Federal Universal Service Charge
The Federal Government has a policy to promote telephone service to all Americans at affordable and reasonably comparable rates. All telecommunications companies are required to pay this money toward a federal program that assists high cost rural telephone companies in proving service in rural areas at about the same rates as urban areas and provides phone and Internet service to schools, libraries and rural health-care facilities. The fee is charged as a percentage (currently 17.4%) of all federally authorized telephone charges.
Federal Access Charge
Also known as the Subscriber Line Charge (SLC) and the End User Customer Line Charge (EUCL), this is an FCC authorized charge for network access. The charge helps pay for the operation of the local telephone network and covers costs that not already recovered by the local phone services monthly charges. This charge was meant to keep basic local rates stable at the time of the Bell system breakup. It helps cover phone companies’ fixed costs to operate and maintain the local phone network. It is currently capped at $6.50 for a primary residence/business line (April 1, 2012). Multi-line business customers pay $9.20 per line for end user common line charge (EUCL).
Federal Excise Tax
This tax was created as a luxury tax to pay for the Spanish-American War and is currently assessed at 3% of all billed local services. All proceeds are used for general Federal Government purposes.
State & Local Charges
An E-911 emergency services charge is levied on each landline. These taxes are collected by the service provider and remitted to the state to fund emergency services.