Federal Communications Commission
News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th St., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
Released: September 12, 2012
Proposed Fourth Quarter 2012 Universal Service Contribution Factor
CC Docket No. 96-45
In this Public Notice, the Office of Managing Director (OMD) announces that the proposed
universal service contribution factor for the fourth quarter of 2012 will be 0.174 or 17.4 percent.1
Rules for Calculating the Contribution Factor
Contributions to the federal universal service support mechanisms are determined using a
quarterly contribution factor calculated by the Federal Communications Commission (Commission).2
The Commission calculates the quarterly contribution factor based on the ratio of total projected quarterly
costs of the universal service support mechanisms to contributors’ total projected collected end-user
interstate and international telecommunications revenues, net of projected contributions.3
USAC Projections of Demand and Administrative Expenses
Pursuant to section 54.709(a)(3) of the Commission’s rules,4 the Universal Service
Administrative Company (USAC) submitted projections of demand and administrative expenses for the
fourth quarter of 2012.5 Accordingly, the projected demand and expenses are as follows:
47 C.F.R. § 54.709(a).
2 See id.
47 C.F.R. § 54.709(a)(2).
47 C.F.R. § 54.709(a)(3).
Federal Universal Service Support Mechanisms Fund Size Projections for the Fourth Quarter 2012, available at
filings> (filed August 2, 2012) (USAC Filing forFourth Quarter 2012
). See also
Federal Universal Service Support Mechanisms Quarterly Contribution Base for the Fourth
Quarter 2012, available at <http://www.universalservice.org/overview/
filings> (filed August 31, 2012) (USAC
Filing for Fourth Quarter 2012 Contribution Base
Schools and Libraries
Rural Health Care
USAC Projections of Industry Revenues
USAC submitted projected collected end-user telecommunications revenues for October through
December 2012 based on information contained in the Fourth Quarter 2012 Telecommunications
Reporting Worksheet (FCC Form 499-Q).6 The amount is as follows:
Total Projected Collected Interstate and International End-User Telecommunications Revenues
for Fourth Quarter 2012: $16.410687 billion.
Adjusted Contribution Base
To determine the quarterly contribution base, we decrease the fourth quarter 2012 estimate of
projected collected interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues by the projected
revenue requirement to account for circularity, and decrease the result by one percent to account for
uncollectible contributions. Accordingly, the quarterly contribution base for the fourth quarter of 2012 is
Adjusted Quarterly Contribution Base for Universal Service Support Mechanism
Fourth Quarter 2012 Revenues - Projected Revenue Requirement - 1%
($16.410687 billion – $2.400120 billion) * 0.99
6 USAC Filing for Fourth Quarter 2012 Contribution Base
Unadjusted Contribution Factor
Using the above-described adjusted contribution base and the total program collection (revenue
requirement) from the table above, the proposed unadjusted contribution factor for the fourth quarter of
2012 is as follows:
Contribution Factor for Universal Service Support Mechanisms
Total Program Collection / Adjusted Quarterly Contribution Base
$2.400120 billion / $13.870461 billion
Unadjusted Circularity Factor
USAC will reduce each provider’s contribution obligation by a circularity discount
approximating the provider’s contributions in the upcoming quarter. Accordingly, the proposed
unadjusted circularity factor for the fourth quarter of 2012 is as follows:
Unadjusted Circularity Factor for Universal Service Support Mechanisms
1 - ((Fourth Quarter 2012 Revenues - Total Program Collection) / Fourth Quarter 2012 Revenues)
1 – (($16.410687 billion - $2.400120 billion) / $16.410687 billion)
Proposed Contribution Factor
The Commission has directed OMD to announce the contribution factor as a percentage rounded
up to the nearest tenth of one percent.7 Accordingly, the proposed contribution factor for the fourth
quarter of 2012 is as follows:
7 See Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service, 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review – Streamlined Contributor
Reporting Requirements Associated with Administration of Telecommunications Relay Service, North American
Numbering Plan, Local Number Portability, and Universal Service Support Mechanisms, Telecommunications
Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990,
Administration of the North American Numbering Plan and North American Numbering Plan Cost Recovery
Contribution Factor and Fund Size, Number Resource Optimization, Telephone Number Portability, Truth-in-
Billing and Billing Format
, CC Docket Nos. 96-45, 98-171, 90-571, 92-237, 99-200, 95-116, 98-170, Order and
Second Order on Reconsideration, 18 FCC Rcd 4818, 4826, para. 22 (2003) (Second Order on Reconsideration)
Proposed Circularity Factor
The Commission also has directed OMD to account for contribution factor rounding when
calculating the circularity discount factor.8 Accordingly, the proposed circularity factor for the fourth
quarter of 2012 is as follows:
If the Commission takes no action regarding the projections of demand and administrative
expenses and the proposed contribution factor within the 14-day period following release of this Public
Notice, they shall be deemed approved by the Commission.10 USAC shall use the contribution factor to
calculate universal service contributions for the fourth quarter of 2012. USAC will reduce each
provider’s contribution obligation by a circularity discount approximating the provider’s contributions in
the upcoming quarter.11 USAC includes contribution obligations less the circularity discount in invoices
sent to contributors. Contribution payments are due on the dates shown on the invoice. Contributors will
pay interest for each day for which the payments are late. Contributors failing to pay contributions in a
timely fashion may be subject to the enforcement provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, and any other applicable law. In addition, contributors may be billed by USAC for reasonable
costs of collecting overdue contributions.12
We also emphasize that carriers may not mark up federal universal service line-item amounts
above the contribution factor.13 Thus, carriers may not, during the fourth quarter of 2012, recover through
a federal universal service line item an amount that exceeds 17.4 percent of the interstate
telecommunications charges on a customer’s bill.
9 The proposed circularity discount factor = 1 + [(unadjusted circularity discount factor – 1) * (unadjusted
contribution factor / proposed contribution factor)]. The proposed circularity discount factor is calculated in a
spreadsheet program, which means that internal calculations are made with more than 15 decimal places.
47 C.F.R. § 54.709(a)(3).
11 USAC will calculate each individual contributor’s contribution in the following manner: (proposed contribution
factor * contributor’s projected collected revenues) – (proposed circularity discount factor * proposed contribution
factor * contributor’s projected collected revenues).
47 C.F.R. § 54.713.
47 C.F.R. § 54.712.
In addition, under the limited international revenues exception (LIRE) in section 54.706(c) of the
Commission’s rules, a contributor to the universal service fund whose projected collected interstate end-
user telecommunications revenues comprise less than 12 percent of its combined projected collected
interstate and international end-user telecommunications revenues shall contribute based only on
projected collected interstate end-user telecommunications revenues, net of projected contributions.14 The
rule is intended to exclude from the contribution base the international end-user telecommunications
revenues of any entity whose annual contribution, based on the provider’s interstate and international end-
user telecommunications revenues, would exceed the amount of its interstate end-user revenues.15 The
proposed contribution factor exceeds 12 percent, which we recognize could result in a contributor being
required to contribute to the universal service fund an amount that exceeds its interstate end-user
telecommunications revenue. Should a contributor face this situation, the contributor may petition the
Commission for waiver of the LIRE threshold.16
For further information, contact Kim Yee in Financial Operations, Office of Managing Director,
at (202) 418-0805, TTY (202) 418-0484.
47 C.F.R. § 54.706.
15 See Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service
, Sixteenth Order on Reconsideration, CC Docket No. 96-45,
Eighth Report and Order, CC Docket No. 96-45, Sixth Report and Order, Docket No. 96-262, 15 FCC Rcd 1679,
1687-1692, paras. 17-29 (1999) (Fifth Circuit Remand Order
16 Generally, the Commission’s rules may be waived for good cause shown. 47 C.F.R. § 1.3. The Commission may
exercise its discretion to waive a rule where the particular facts make strict compliance inconsistent with the public
interest. Northeast Cellular Telephone Co. v. FCC
, 897 F.2d 1164, 1166 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (Northeast Cellular
addition, the Commission may take into account considerations of hardship, equity, or more effective
implementation of overall policy on an individual basis. WAIT Radio v. FCC
, 418 F.2d 1153, 1159 (D.C. Cir.
1969); Northeast Cellular
, 897 F.2d at 1166. Waiver of the Commission’s rules is therefore appropriate only if
special circumstances warrant a deviation from the general rule, and such deviation will serve the public interest. Northeast Cellular
, 897 F.2d at 1166; 47 C.F.R. § 54.802(a).