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Federal-State Universal Service Joint Board Staff Releases Monitoring Report.

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Released: December 31, 2009


News media Information 202 / 418-0500

TTY 202 / 418-2555

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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D. C. 20554
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order
constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

December 31, 2009
Mark Wigfield 202-418-0253



Comprehensive Report Tracks Trends Related to Universal Service

Washington, D.C. – The staff of the Federal-State Joint Board on Universal Service has
released its most recent Monitoring Report on Universal Service. This report reflects
information on the telephone industry filed with the Federal Communications Commission
(FCC) through August 2009. This report, with a few exceptions, reflects data filed with the FCC
by the telephone industry for the year 2008 and prior years, and projections for 2009.
The report released today addresses the various universal service support mechanisms,
which amounted to about $7 billion in 2008. In 2007, disbursements among the four categories
of universal service mechanisms were: 63.0% for high-cost support; 24.8% for schools and
libraries support; 11.5% for low-income support; and 0.7% for rural health care support. The
report presents data in nine categories:

Industry Revenues and Contributions

– Total industry revenues for
telecommunications services provided to end users in 2008 were about $235 billion,
compared to about $240 billion in 2007. Revenues for fixed local service providers
increased to about $78 billion from about $75 billion, while wireless service providers’
revenues increased to about $118 billion, from about $116 billion, and toll service
providers’ revenues decreased to about $39 billion, from about $49 billion.

Low-Income Support

– Total low-income support decreased to about $819 million in
2008, from about $823 million in 2007.

High-Cost Support

– In 2008, total high-cost support amounted to about $4.5 billion, an
increase from about $4.3 billion in 2007. This increase is due to support to competitive
carriers (CETCs) increasing from $1.2 billion in 2007 to $1.4 billion in 2008.

Schools and Libraries Support

– Schools and libraries support disbursements in 2008
was about $1.8 billion, relatively unchanged from 2007.

Rural Health Care Support

– Rural health care support disbursements increased to $49
million in 2008 from $37 million in 2007.


Subscribership and Penetration

– According to the Current Population Survey, the
percentage of households subscribing to telephone service increased to an average of
95.2% in 2008, from 94.8% in 2007.

Rates and Price Indices

– The price index of overall telephone rates increased 2.9% in
2008, compared to the general rate of inflation of 0.1% for all goods and services.

Network Usage

– Interstate toll usage for customers of incumbent local exchange
carriers declined to 316 billion minutes in 2008, from 349 billion minutes in 2007.

Quality of Service

– The data show noticeable differences in the quality of service
among carriers. For example, complaints per million residential access lines in 2008
ranged from 30 to 1118 for different carriers.
A monitoring program was established in the mid-1980's, at the recommendation of the
Separations Joint Board, to track trends related to universal service and related matters. Since
then, Joint Board staffs have prepared Monitoring Reports at least once a year -- a compendium
of hundreds of pages of statistical data on subscribership and penetration, loop costs, separations
factors, universal service fund payments, etc. The report is unique in that it is the only document
that includes information on every incumbent local telephone company in the nation. In 1998
the publication of this report was moved from the Separations Joint Board staff to the Universal
Service Joint Board staff. This is the thirteenth Monitoring Report from the Universal Service
Joint Board staff.
The full text of this document is available for public inspection and copying during
regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW,
Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. This document may also be purchased from the
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street,
SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, telephone 202-488-5300 or 1-800-378-3160,
facsimile 202-488-5563, TTY 202-488-5562, or via e-mail at <>. The report
may also be downloaded from the Wireline Competition Bureau Statistical Reports Internet site,
which can be reached at <>;. It is available in both page image
(.pdf) format and in a compressed (.zip) format, which, when unzipped yields text and
spreadsheet files.
Wireline Competition Bureau contact: Alexander Belinfante at (202) 418-0944; TTY (202) 418-
CC Docket No. 98-202

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