Clients that receive High Cost Loop Support (HCLS) must have their local rates plus state-regulated fees (state SLCs, state USF, and mandatory EAS charges) at or above $16.00 by December 1, 2014, in order to avoid a reduction in Universal Service Funding (USF) when the next phase of the rate floor begins on January 2, 2015.
JSI reminds clients that they should follow relevant state requirements for notifying customers of any rate increases associated with the FCC’s universal service and intercarrier compensation (USF/ICC) reforms, including updating the company’s tariff. Generally, you will need to notify your customers of the impending rate increase in your November bills. If your state does not have notification requirements, JSI still recommends that your company provide notice since proactively notifying your customers of rate changes is always a good business practice. A full suite of solutions to assist companies communicate these rate increases to customers-including bill messages, website text and scripts for customer service representatives-is available from JSI.
JSI also can assist clients who are looking at extending their local calling scope and/or bundling of features in order to improve their service value in light of these ongoing rate hikes.
If you have any questions regarding the local rate floor benchmark or would like assistance with communicating the rate increases with your customers, please contact John Kuykendall (firstname.lastname@example.org) in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590. If you would like assistance with increasing your local service value, please contact Valerie Wimer (email@example.com) in JSI’s Maryland office at 301-459-7590.