AT&T Universal Connectivity Charge
In May of 1997, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that mandated that telecommunications carriers pay into a federal program called the Universal Service Fund (USF). AT&T and other telecommunications carriers are required by the FCC, to pay a percentage of their revenues for state-to-state and international services into the Universal Service Fund. The FCC sets this percentage on a quarterly basis. AT&T has chosen to recover its payments into the Universal Service Fund by charging customers the UCC, which is now equal to the percentage set by the FCC.
The Universal Service Fund helps provide affordable telecommunications services for low-income customers and customers in rural areas. It also provides discounts on Internet access for eligible schools, libraries and rural health care providers. The USF is collected from telecommunications carriers and administered by the Universal Service Administration Corporation. They are responsible for disbursing the funds according to eligibility criteria established by the FCC.
In the competitive industry we are in, we cannot afford to absorb the costs associated with the USF that have been imposed on AT&T. Therefore, AT&T has chosen to recover these costs by charging a separate monthly charge called the Universal Connectivity Charge (UCC).
Effective October 1, 2013 the Universal Connectivity Charge will change from 15.1% to 15.6% of your state-to-state and international long distance charges as well as any service charges. If you have AT&T for local service, (click here to see if AT&T Local is available in your area), the UCC also applies to your Subscriber Line Charge(s) (which in California, is called the Network Access for Interstate Calling Charge) and Number Portability Charge(s). You should be aware that AT&T will periodically change the UCC to reflect changes in the amount the FCC requires AT&T to pay into the Universal Service Fund. AT&T will not provide advance notice of changes to the Universal Connectivity Charge except as required by law.