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FCC Adopts Interim Measures to Maintain Universal Service Fund

The Federal Communications Commission announced December 13 that it had adopted interim measures to ensure the "near-term sustainability" of the Universal Service Fund. Because of shifts in the telecommunications market, with more consumers shifting to wireless and Internet telephony and away from traditional long distance service, the Commission has been reviewing how to restructure the contribution factors for the fund to make it more stable. The Commission is considering a number of long-term changes to help make the contribution system more reflective of the current state of the telecommunications market.

Among the interim measures that were adopted was one that will prohibit carriers from including a mark-up above their Universal Service Fund contributions if they choose to recover the costs of their contributions through a line item on the phone bill.

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