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Background

Taxes And Surcharges

Explanation of Taxes and Surcharges on Your Phone Bill

In addition to the service charges billed for Calista Networks Voice Service, surcharges, taxes, fees and other charges may be applied to your monthly invoice based on the type of service you have and your geographical location, among other factors.


Federal Charges

Federal Universal Service Fund (FUSF)

All telecommunications service providers and certain other providers of telecommunications must contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund (USF) to support access to telecommunications services at reasonable rates for those living in rural and high-cost areas, income-eligible consumers, rural health care facilities, and schools and libraries. A "Universal Service" line item may appear on your telephone bill when your service provider chooses to recover USF contributions from you, the customer. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on, but service providers are allowed to do so. These charges usually appear as a percentage of the consumer's phone bill. Companies cannot collect an amount that exceeds the percentage of their contribution to the USF. They also cannot collect any fees from a Lifeline program participant.

Local Number Portability (LNP)

Local Number Portability (LNP) is a customer’s ability to keep existing phone numbers when switching to another service provider. Calista Networks provides LNP, as well as contributes to the Commission’s LNPA program, designed to diffuse the costs of administering LNP. Calista Networks pays a proportionate share of the LNP costs in each region in which it operates and has customers. Calista Networks collects a fee from customers to offset its LNP costs. This fee varies frequently by region.

Federal Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund

The Telecommunications Relay Services (“TRS”) Fund was established by the FCC in 1993 to reimburse TRS providers for the cost of providing interstate TRS services. TRS services are telephone transmission services that provide hearing or speech challenged individuals with the ability to use a traditional telephone.
Under the FCC’s rules, Calista Networks must contribute a percentage of its interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues to the TRS Fund. And, Calista Networks may collect these fees from customers. The contribution percentage varies annually.

North American Numbering Program Administration (NANPA)

The North American Numbering Plan (“NANP”) is an integrated telephone numbering plan for the Public Switched Telephone Network (“PSTN”) serving multiple countries including the United States and its territories. It is administered by the North American Numbering Plan Administration (“NANPA”). Under the Commission’s rules, Calista Networks must contribute to the costs of numbering administration. Contributions are based on a percentage of Calista Networks’s revenues from customers using international, intrastate and interstate services. The percentage varies annually.

Annual Regulatory Fee

Calista Networks must pay an annual regulatory fee to the Commission. This fee varies annually. Calista Networks collects this fee from customers.

Regulatory Compliance Recovery Fee Surcharge

A charge equal to 3.75 percent of charges, excluding taxes, appearing on a Customer’s invoice will apply to services subject to direct regulation by the FCC. This charge is being imposed to recover amounts incurred by Calista Networks for fees, contributions and/or charges associated with telecommunications services for the sight and hearing impaired, local number portability and North American Numbering Plan administration, and administrative costs, fees and expenditures related to compliance with Federal regulatory programs and annual FCC regulatory fees. This is a permissible pass-through fee but is not a tax or charge mandated by the government. For more information on the various programs supported by the CRF, please see below.

State Charges

State and Local E911/911 Fees

Certain states and localities require Calista Networks to collect a fee to help support state and local Enhanced 911 (E-911) Funds. These funds support state and local 911 service. These fees vary by state and locality.

State Universal Service Fund (State USF)

Certain states also require Calista Networks to contribute to State Universal Service Funds. The funds may be used to assist in providing universal service and to a variety of other programs at the state level. Calista Networks collects applicable charges from customers. This charge is not a tax or government-imposed fee.

State Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Funds

Certain states also require contributions to state Telecommunications Relay Services (“TRS”) funds to offset the cost of providing local transmission services that provide hearing or speech challenged individuals with the ability to use a traditional telephone. Many states require Calista Networks to collect this fee and remit it to the taxing authority.