Customer Service Q & A for Taxes

FCC Remand Order Recovery Fee:

This charge is the direct result of the recent FCC mandate which enforces the DC circuit Court ruling that went into effective on March 11th, 2005, which terminates the availability of Unbundled Network Elements Platform (UNEP) to Competitive Local Exchange Carriers like the Enhanced Communications Network and allows incumbent Local Exchange Carriers like SBC and Verizon to charge higher priced tariffs and/or commercial agreements which has resulted in an increase to the cost of their LOCAL network components. This Charge is not a tax but rather a recovery fee that allows ECN to retain our LOCAL network access with SBC and Verizon. In the future, if the FCC mandates that SBC and/or Verizon must make UNEP available to ECN once again or the FCC and/or State Authority require Verizon and/or SBC to reduce the cost of LOCAL network access then ECN will no longer need to collect this fee.

Carrier Administration Fee (CAF):

The Carrier Administration Fee (CAF) helps Enhanced Communications Network recover the costs associated with state-to-state and international connection charges, property taxes, and expenses associated with regulatory proceedings and compliance. This fee applies for each month in which you have any Enhanced Communications Network charges on your bill. This fee is not a tax or charge required by the government.

Universal Service Fund (USF):

The USF helps to make phone service affordable and available to all Americans, including consumers with low incomes, those living in areas where the costs of providing telephone service is high, schools and libraries and rural health care providers. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorizes this charge and reviews it quarterly.

Network Access Fee:

This charge funds part of the cost of providing long distance access to the local network. The charge is applied per line. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorizes this charge.

Local Number Portability Charge (LNP):

This charge provides residential and business telephone customers with the ability to retain, at the same location, their existing local telephone numbers when switching from one local telephone service provider to another. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) authorizes this charge.

Poison Control Surcharge:

In some states, regulations require that we collect funds for the Poison Control Network in your area that provides information on poison remedies 24 hours a day.

Federal Excise Tax:

This is a three percent tax mandated by the federal government. It is imposed on all telecommunications services, including local, long distance and wireless bills.

State & Local Municipal Tax:

This charge is imposed by state, local and municipal governments on goods and services. It may also appear as a "gross receipts" tax in some states.

E 911:

This charge is imposed by local governments to help pay for emergency services. (Fire and Rescue)

California Customers only - Local Bill

Currently, there are five CPUC mandated telecommunications all-end-user surcharges supporting various public programs in California. The all-end-user surcharge rates vary from program to program and they are adjusted periodically based on the forecasted demand of the programs. The five all-end-user surcharges and their approved rates since January 1, 2000 are:

Universal Lifeline Telephone Service Charge-State (ULTS):

The ULTS program was established by the California Public Utility Commission in compliance with Public Utilities Code § 871. It provides discounted basic residential telephone services to low-income households and operates a competitively neutral marketing program.

Telecommunications Relay Services Charge:

This program was implemented to improve communications potential for the deaf and hearing-impaired by providing them direct access to California's public switched telephone network. The California Relay Service (CRS) uses third-party intervention to provide 24-hour contact with any other telephone subscriber. This state charge helps to pay for the relay center, which transmits and translates calls for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired people.

PUC Fee-State:

The California Public Utility Commission determines annually the appropriate CPUC fee to be paid by the telecommunications carriers. This fee is based on the telecommunications carrier's gross intrastate customer billings excluding inter-carrier sales, equipment sales and directory advertising. The purpose of this fee is to finance the Commission's annual operating budget.

The California High Cost Fund-A (CHCF-A):

The California Public Utility Commission implemented this charge in accordance with Public Utilities Code § 739.3. It provides a source of supplemental revenues to 17 small local exchange carriers (LECs) for the purpose of minimizing any rate disparity of basic telephone services between rural and metropolitan areas.

The California High Cost Fund-B (CHCF-B):

The California Public Utility Commission implemented this charge accordance with Public Utilities Code § 739.3. It provides subsidies to carriers of last resort (COLRs) for providing basic local telephone service to residential customers in high-cost areas that are currently served by Pacific Bell, Verizon California Inc., Citizens Telecommunications of California, and Roseville Telephone Company. The purpose of the subsidies is to keep basic telephone service affordable and to meet the Commission's universal service goal.