September 22, 2008
Voice Over Internet Providers to Pay into Kansas Universal Service Fund
The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) today took action directing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telecommunication providers in Kansas to begin paying into the Kansas Universal Service Fund (KUSF), effective December 1, 2008.
The KUSF is a fund that provides assistance to telecommunications providers across Kansas to ensure every Kansan has access to a first class telecommunications infrastructure that provides excellent services at an affordable price. All land line and wireless carriers are required to contribute to the fund. The state legislature passed Senate Bill 49 during the 2008 legislative session, requiring VoIP providers that interconnect with the public switched telephone network to contribute to the KUSF. The KCC order issued today implements that law. This will treat all telecommunications providers the same with regard to contributions to the fund.
It also is consistent with Federal Communications Commission rules adopted in 2006, requiring interconnected VoIP providers to contribute to the Federal Universal Service Fund.
The Commission's decision determines that effective December 2008, interconnected VoIP providers will be assessed at the current KUSF rate of 4.65 percent of its Kansas revenues. VoIP providers may but are not required to pass the assessment on to customers. Consequently, VoIP customers may see an increase in their bills of approximately 4.65 percent beginning December, 2008. The KCC Staff's initial estimate of VoIP contributions to the KUSF is approximately $1.62 million, based on 2008 data. That amount is expected to increase as the number of VoIP customers increase.
Docket No. 07-GIMT-432-GIT