On June 7, 2012, the FCC’s Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Further Notice”) on USF contribution reform was published in the Federal Register. The Further Notice seeks comment on various proposals which stand to significantly alter USF contribution obligations for virtually all communications providers.
For example, the FCC is considering elimination of the current “limited international revenues exemption”
(or LIRE), which would result in many “international only” providers being subject to USF contributions on international service revenue. Other proposals in the Further Notice could also have the effect of extending USF contribution obligations to previously exempt providers of “information services” and broadband Internet services. Our previous Legal Alert summarizing the proposals in the Further Notice can be found here: http://www.tkcrowe.com/usf-contribution-reform-to-affect-virtually-all-communications-providers/.
The FCC is currently seeking comment on the proposed reforms from any interested parties. Unless the FCC extends the deadlines, comments must be filed by July 9, 2012, and reply comments must be filed by August 6, 2012.