USF Traffic Study - Wireless

Reduce USF Contributions

Stop Filing Safe Harbor

In June 2006, the FCC adopted an order that increased the Safe Harbor contribution percentage for the federal USF from 28.5% to 37.1%. For carriers that continue to rely on the Safe Harbor, an increase of 9% is significant and can result in upwards of millions of dollars of additional contributions to the federal USF. Carriers that rely on the Safe Harbor face a competitive disadvantage to the extent that other carriers’ reliance on traffic studies or actual interstate revenues leads to a lower contribution percentage, meaning that those carriers pay less money into the USF and attempt to recover fewer dollars from their customers. The increased Safe Harbor can also strain carriers’ revenues to the extent that they are unable, as a practical matter, to pass the higher contributions through to their customers.

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Although carriers have faced these issues for years, the FCC’s decision to increase the “Safe Harbor” provides a good reason for carriers to re-examine the wisdom of relying on the Safe Harbor. By reducing their contribution to a level that accurately reflects the percentage of interstate and international traffic, wireless carriers will be better able to decrease the surcharges added to their customers’ bills, which may help to reduce subscriber churn in an increasingly competitive wireless market. For carriers who do not have the resources to rely on actual revenues for each USF filing, performing a traffic study is the most effective way to decrease USF contributions to a level that accurately reflects interstate and international usage.

“As a small, growing company with revenues that would have lead us to lose our de minimus status with the Safe Harbor rate, we quickly decided to do a traffic study before filing our 499-A. Our decision to work with Advanced Technologies and Services has proven to be a great one! Their sophisticated data analytics software, combined with in-depth industry knowledge, created a professional traffic study report that we submitted to USAC (which validated that we were still de minimus). Equally as important in our book, ATS scored very high in the customer service department—responsive, patient, informative, and collaborative. We will be contacting Ryan again to help us with our next traffic study.”

Chuck Daniels

CEO, D3 Unified Communications

Try the calculator below to see just how much you can reduce your USF contributions with ATS’ traffic study analysis.

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