Several state universal service administrators have announced modifications to USF remittance forms to gather revenue information from interconnected VoIP providers. A number of states now extend USF contribution obligations to VoIP providers. Several states, including Arkansas and Arizona, have extended or plan to extend these requirements to VoIP providers, not through a state commission rulemaking process, but through modifications to USF revenue remittance/reporting instructions effectuated by the administrators.
This raises several questions:
- Does the state have regulations that give it authority to do this? For even though the FCC has said states can “prospectively” impose USF on nomadic VoIP, absent underlying regulatory authority at the state, it is dubious that a mere change to a reporting form is a sufficient legal basis to enforce the reporting requirement.
- Do these remittance forms apply to fixed/facilities VoIP? nomadic VoIP? all VoIP?
- What is the reporting period for these remittance forms? Is it “prospective only” or does it reach back in time prior to the effective date of the FCC’s Nebraska Order?
- Do these forms offer any guidance on the “sourcing” of nomadic VoIP revenue? If they don’t, then there is a great risk the reporting of revenue will be inconsistent with the FCC’s clear directives, which mandated that when states did implement rules to collect USF, they must ensure revenue sourcing rules do not give rise to double contributions on the same revenue.
Clients interested in getting answers to these questions should contact the attorney responsible for their account so we can initiate a legal analysis to determine rights and obligations under these revised reporting requirements.