On July 1, 2021 Zoom will begin passing through the Federal Universal Service Fund (USF) charge and various state USF and city excise charges on Zoom Phone services.
Frequently asked questions regarding Federal USF
What is the Federal Universal Service Fund?
The Federal USF is a charge imposed on Zoom by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to support the provision of communications services in rural and high-cost areas, income-eligible consumers, and to support access to communications for schools, libraries, and rural health care providers.
Why is the Federal USF charge appearing on my bill?
The FCC, which regulates all telecommunications companies, set up the Universal Service Fund in 1997. All communication companies that provide service between states contribute a percentage of the total amount they bill to the fund. This includes providers of VoIP services. As a communications company, Zoom Voice Communications contributes to this fund, and we recover our cost in the form of this charge, as allowed by the FCC. You can find more information about the Federal USF on the FCC website.
Why are State USF and other state & local regulatory charges appearing on my bill?
Zoom may also be required to contribute to State Universal Service Funds (SUSF). The funds may be used to assist in providing universal service and to support a variety of other programs at the state and local level. Zoom recovers applicable charges from its end-user customers. These charges are permissible pass-through surcharges but are not taxes or charges mandated by the government. Currently Zoom is collecting State USF in 15 states, which is subject to change.
Certain states also require contributions to their State Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Funds or their user utility fees to offset the cost of providing local transmission services that provide hearing or speech challenged individuals with the ability to use certain communications services. Many states require Zoom to remit this fee to the governing authority. Zoom recovers applicable fees from customers and remits them to the relevant authorities.
Who pays Federal and State USF?
In general, all regulated interstate communications services purchased in the U.S. are subject to the Federal USF. While the Federal USF is remitted by Zoom and other regulated communication providers to the FCC, Zoom is permitted to pass through these charges through line item charges to end users.
How is the Federal and State USF collected?
Zoom will charge the Federal USF and any applicable State USF/local excise tax on Zoom Phone services at the time of invoicing. The USF will be included on the invoice and as a separate identifiable charge.
Are there any special exemptions applicable for government, schools, and non-profits under which the Federal USF or State USF will not be charged?
No, as of July 1, 2021, all government, schools, non-profits, and other tax-exempt customers will have the Federal USF passed through to their bill. Under FCC rules and policies, only telecommunications service providers (including resellers) that pay Federal USF contributions directly to USAC are typically exempt from paying the Federal USF charges to underlying providers such as Zoom Voice Communications.
Why is Zoom charging the Federal USF and the various state and local fees on purchased Zoom Phone services?
Like other regulated communication providers, Zoom is following FCC regulations which provides that the Federal USF may be recovered through interstate telecommunications-related line-item charges from the end user. Likewise, the state and local communication charges we apply are recoverable from the end user and are typically applied to intrastate service and will appear as a separate identifiable charge on future invoices.
How does Zoom identify when the Federal USF and state & local fees will be charged?
Zoom uses the customer-provided sold-to address to determine the sourcing of a sale. The Federal USF and any applicable state and local fees will be charged when the customer’s sold-to address is in an applicable U.S. jurisdiction and they are purchasing Zoom Phone services.
Are there any Zoom Phone services not subject to the Federal USF?
Currently the purchase of Zoom Phone Pro, which requires that the customer maintain their own phone carrier, will not be subject to Federal USF.
I still have questions regarding the Federal USF. Who can I contact?
If you still have any questions, please reach out to Billing by chat.