The California Public Utilities Commission has recently engaged in a widespread campaign to identify communications services providers that may be operating or selling services to consumers in the state of California and who are not contributing to the six (6) California Universal Service Funds (commonly known as the “California Combined Surcharges“). We believe the purpose of this exercise may be to develop a record upon which to initiate enforcement actions.
California Combined Surcharges are clearly applicable to certain types of communications services, including most traditional telephony, traditional wireless and Interconnected VoIP services. However, one area of particular uncertainty revolves around “prepaid” telecommunications services, including prepaid calling cards, prepaid “PINS” (electronic or otherwise), and prepaid wireless recharge.
If your company is currently selling prepaid calling cards, prepaid PINS or prepaid wireless services to California consumers, but are not contributing to the the CA Combined programs, please contact Jonathan S. Marashlian immediately to further evaluate the applicability of the CA Combined to your company’s specific prepaid services, determine your exposure to risk, and evaluate options to mitigate exposure. Mr. Marashlian may be reached at email@example.com.