On October 7, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted a Report and Order implementing provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”) that require certain categories of non-interconnected VoIP service providers to contribute to the Telecommunications Relay Services (“TRS”) Fund by October 8, 2011. Affected providers must act immediately to ensure they are taking steps to recover future contribution obligations because fourth quarter 2011 revenues will serve as the basis for TRS Fund contributions for the 2012-2013 funding period.
As a first step, non-interconnected VoIP providers with interstate end-user revenue must register with the Commission using FCC Form 499-A by December 31, 2011. These providers will then be required to complete and submit FCC Form 499-A to the Universal Service Administrative Company (“USAC”) by April 1, 2012.
The 2012 version of FCC Form 499-A will have a new line designated for reporting “non-interconnected VoIP revenues not included in any other category.” It appears that the revised description of non-interconnected VoIP could potentially expand TRS obligations to a much broader range of IP-enabled services. Therefore, any company that provides IP-enabled services should review its service offerings now to determine whether they fall within the definition of “non-interconnected VoIP.”
The Report and Order is available here. Companies need to consider now how to ensure they are collecting sufficient pass-through charges to avoid a shortfall when TRS contributions come due next summer. Clients should contact the attorney assigned to their account with any questions or concerns about ensuring compliance with the new requirement.