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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Missouri Universal Service Fund assessment to drop

  • Missouri telephone customers, who use wireline home telephone service for their local and in-state long distance calling, will see a drop in the surcharge they pay to fund the Missouri Universal Service Fund under a decision by the Missouri Public Service Commission.
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  • Missouri telephone customers, who use wireline home telephone service for their local and in-state long distance calling, will see a drop in the surcharge they pay to fund the Missouri Universal Service Fund under a decision by the Missouri Public Service Commission.
    The assessment rate reduction takes effect Oct. 1, 2014. Currently, the surcharge percentage of 0.0017 translates to 8.5 cents on a $50 bill. With this reduction, the percentage of 0.0010 translates to 5 cents on a $50 bill.
    The commission voted unanimously to reduce the assessment rate based upon a recommendation from the Missouri Universal Service Board.
    The fund provides financial support to wireline carriers by offering discounted phone service to qualifying low-income or disabled Missouri residents. This program is only available through wireline carriers. Wireless carriers (cellphones) do not participate in the Missouri program.
    Also effective Oct. 1, qualifying low-income and disabled customers will see an increase of $3 per month in the amount of financial assistance they receive for basic wireline home telephone service.
    Qualifying low-income customers will receive discounts up to $15.75 per month on their monthly telephone bill.
    However, this amount can depend on the provider’s basic local telecommunications service. Qualifying disabled customers will receive discounts of $6.50 on their monthly bill. Only one discount per household is allowed.
    “Increasing the monthly support amount for low-income and disabled individuals while at the same time reducing the cost to all Missouri landline telephone customers will help ease the impact of local telephone rate increases, said  Missouri Public Service Commissioner Bill Kenney, who also is the chairman of the Missouri Universal Service Fund Board.
    Applications for the program are available at and made to local telephone companies.

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