Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

OUS Fund Consumer Information
The Public Utility Commission of Oregon (PUC) was directed by the 1999 Oregon Legislative Assembly to create and implement the Oregon Universal Service (OUS) fund and pay for it with a surcharge on all retail telecommunications sales in Oregon. The OUS fund is designed to support local telephone companies that provide basic telephone service in high-cost rural areas in Oregon. The purpose is to ensure that basic telephone service is available at reasonably comparable and affordable rates throughout the state.
The Surcharge rate applied to a customer’s bill is subject to periodic change. The surcharge rate applies to only a portion of your bill. Items such as local service, EAS, intrastate long distance phone calls, and other related intrastate services have the surcharge applied to them. Items such as interstate and international long distance phone calls, interstate private lines, federal subscriber line charges, and DSL services that terminate on Internet Service Providers are not assessed the surcharge.
The surcharge applies to all local, in-state long distance, and other related in-state telephone service charges on your phone bill. The surcharge does not apply to:
(1)  wireless services that you receive from a wireless company,
(2)  internet services,
(3) voice messaging and telephone answering services,
(4)  alarm monitoring,
(5)  telephone equipment leases and inside wire maintenance at your home,
(6)  directory listing charges,
(7)  late payment charges, and
(8)  telephone taxes and fees for emergency 911, franchise taxes, federal excise taxes, and PUC fees.
(9) interstate and international telecommunications services.
Your local and long distance telephone service companies bill the surcharge. If you receive a single bill from your telephone company, the charge would apply to the total bill. If you receive separate telephone bills, the charge might appear on each bill.