Special Fees & Surcharges

Access Recovery Charge (ARC): This charge offsets fees other telephone companies charge for accessing their networks to complete service transmissions to other end users.

Federal Universal Service Fund (USF): This charge is collected by telecommunications carriers and paid into a federal fund that provides affordable communications services to rural, isolated and high-cost regions of the country; low-income residential consumers; schools, libraries, and rural health care. All communications companies (including local, long distance, cellular, Internet, & paging providers) contribute to the Federal Universal Service Fund. 

State Universal Service Fund (USF): A state level USF where fees are assessed based on state requirements.  In some cases it is based on “taxable telecommunications receipts.”  In other cases it is a line-by-line charge.

Telecom Relay Systems (TRS) Surcharge – State: This charge is the result of a program administered in accordance with state rules that provide for the distribution of communication devices to eligible communications-impaired persons. It is also used to create and maintain a message relay service. Originally required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 

Federal Telecom Relay Systems (TRS) Fund: This fund reimburses relay service providers for completed interstate traditional TRS and speech-to-speech (STS) minutes of use and for all completed Internet protocol (IP) relay service and video relay service (VRS) minutes of use. 

Municipal Franchise Fee: A fee intended for city streets. 



Gross Receipts Tax: This fee goes towards paying the expense of implementing the Public Utility Regulatory Acts.

Federal Excise Tax: Federal tax applies to local service and features that are not included in a package. No longer applies on long distance charges, effective August 1, 2006.

Local 911 Tax: The 911 charge funds the administration of 911 services typically in counties. This charge is administered pursuant to state rules, and rates are applied universally to all business and residential lines.

State Sales Tax: Depending on the state, this tax is assessed against both local and long distance charges on the bill.

County Local Sales Tax: Similar to State Sales Taxes, this tax is based on county requirements.

Local/City Sales Tax: Similar to State Sales Taxes, this tax is based on local area and city requirements.

Prepaid Surcharges (applies only to prepaid services)


Facilities Charge: The Facilities Charge provides for delivery of high quality services, including connecting customers to the network, customer service and network monitoring, updating operational systems, and the construction of a facilities-based network. The Charge applies to each prepaid line.

Carrier Access Recovery Charge: The Carrier Access Recovery Charge funds a contribution towards higher costs of interconnection with other carriers, due to changes in the regulatory environment. The charge applies to each prepaid line. 

Regulatory Compliance Fee: The Regulatory Compliance Fee covers costs associated with ongoing regulatory and compliance obligations, participation in regulatory proceedings, handling customer complaints with regulatory agencies, and negotiations with other regulated carriers. The charge applies to each prepaid line.