PROCEED WITH CAUTION: Universal Service Fund Revenue Reporting – Pitfalls and Potential Traps Lurking for VoIP Providers
When it comes to reporting revenue from advanced communications services, the Form 499-A Instructions and the FCC’s limited guidance have created a quagmire of uncertainty. In particular, we are seeing increased confusion and inconsistency with regard to the reporting of certain services that are frequently provided in conjunction with core I-VoIP offerings. Typical “ancillary” services include the provision of direct inward dialing (“DIDs”) numbers, call center features (e.g., IVR, auto attendant, call center software), conference bridging, 800 services, SIP trunking, MPLS, and enhanced call features. As explained below, even if such services may not fit within the FCC’s definition of I-VoIP services when viewed in isolation, if these services are “associated with” an I-VoIP service, USAC may treat revenue from these “ancillary” services as USF-assessable.