Puerto Rico Imposes USF Obligations on Fixed and Nomadic I–VoIP Providers


On June 3, 2010, the Telecommunications Regulatory Board of Puerto Rico (“Board”) issued an Order requiring all providers of fixed interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (“I-VoIP”) to contribute to Puerto Rico‘s Universal Service Fund (“USF”) based on their intrastate revenues.  The Board further directed nomadic I-VoIP providers with the capability to track call jurisdiction to contribute on the same basis.  The Board adopted the inverse of the Federal Communications Commission‘s I-VoIP safe harbor for interstate traffic, setting 35.1% as the interim intrastate traffic safe harbor.  I-VoIP providers required to contribute may do so on the basis of the safe harbor, actual intrastate telecommunications revenues, or traffic studies.

The Order listed all I-VoIP providers registered with the Board, and provided any such party with the opportunity to submit a motion to reconsider the Order within 20 days of filing.  The Order also authorized parties to seek review with the Appellate Court of Puerto Rico within 30 days.

The Board has contacted several providers directly, signaling its intent to vigorously enforce the Order.   It remains to be seen whether the Board‘s Order will be challenged and upheld.  In any event, the Order represents another attempt to regulate and subject I-VoIP to state-level fees and oversight.  If you have any questions regarding the Board‘s Order, please contact the attorney assigned to your account.  Alternatively, you may reply to this message via e-mail, and someone will promptly respond to your inquiry.

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