Oregon Expands Universal Service Fund Contributions to VoIP and Wireless Service Providers

In July, Governor Kate Brown of Oregon signed into law new rules amending for the funding of the Oregon Universal Service Fund (OUSF) which expanded the contribution assessment to commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) providers and retail Voice over IP (VoIP) providers. Both types of businesses had previously been exempted from collecting the USF surcharge. The new Act amended the language of ORS 759.400 and ORS 759.425.

Under the new rules, the maximum OUSF surcharge will be set at 6.0%. Both the expanded contribution rules and the new rate cap go into effect on January 1, 2021. The changes come as USF contributions decline across the country in the face of increased usage of non-traditional, non-assessed communications services.

Regulatory environments are always changing across the fifty states, and failure to register with state utility commissions and/or remit contributions and other fees related to state public interest programs can result in material financial consequences.

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