Surcharges, such as the Universal Connectivity Charge, are authorized by and under the jurisdiction of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and are used by long distance companies to recover the costs of funding universal service. The FCC has directed long distance companies to explain the charge to their customers. The Universal Connectivity charge is a percent surcharge (usually between 4%-6%) on a customer's interstate and international billings.
THE UNIVERSAL SERVICE FUND
Upon passing the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Congress required that a discount program be established for telecommunications services for schools and libraries. Further, Congress required that this discount be funded from long distance services contributing to a universal service fund.
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