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  3. About Surcharges, Taxes, Fees, and Assessments

About Surcharges, Taxes, Fees, and Assessments

We’ve prepared the following information to help you understand many of the taxes, surcharge, fees and assessments you might see on your Allstream invoice.

Allstream Business US, LLC. (“Allstream”) recognizes its obligation to administer its customer billing in accordance with the rules and guidelines set forth by tax authorities at all levels of government (federal, state, county, and city). One of your operational/financial goals is to support this obligation to the fullest extent possible.

Allstream conducts internal reviews of its customer billing to ensure that Allstream is in compliance with tax rules and/or guidelines and changes thereto. Any billing issues identified are then reviewed by internal tax experts and/or external tax consultants.

As is true for most all service providers, customer billing at Allstream is subject to review by various tax authorities who also conduct formal audits on a periodic basis. These audits are specifically designed to assess the accuracy and comprehensiveness of our tax billing. If the audits identify any variances between the authority’s rules and our practices, Allstream amends its practices to achieve full compliance.

Allstream uses sophisticated operational support systems (OSS) including state-of-the-art billing and taxation software. Allstream’s significant financial investment in OSS bears witness to its commitment to deliver timely, accurate, and comprehensive invoices to customers. Allstream is confident that its systems generate tax billing that is compliant with industry standards and government regulations. Taxes collected from our customers are remitted to the appropriate tax authorities in a timely and comprehensive manner.

Allstream collects and remits a wide range of federal, state and local taxes, surcharges and fees in support of government programs, or on behalf of governmental entities that impose them on communications providers, for the sale of goods and services. These charges include, but are not limited to, sales and use taxes, franchise fees and emergency services surcharges; they vary by jurisdiction and may be as specific as “transit” or “district” taxes. If you need more information about a specific tax or surcharge, contact Customer Care.

Universal Service Fund (USF)

Universal Service Fund surcharges support the provision of affordable telecommunications services to rural, isolated, and high-cost areas; low-income residential subscribers; schools and libraries; and rural health care programs. All communications companies (including local, long distance, cellular, and paging providers) must contribute to the Federal Universal Service Fund; and several states also have Universal Service programs funded by rate-payers.

Telecommunications Assistance “Lifeline” Programs (e.g. TAP, LITAP)

These surcharges fund “Lifeline” programs. These are state-run programs to lower the cost of residential telephone or broadband service for persons who meet certain income guidelines, have a disability, or are at least 65 years of age. TAP surcharges are assessed to all telephone customers (except Lifeline recipients) at a flat rate per line.

State Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) & Telephone Assistance for Communications Impaired Persons (TACIP)

TRS programs enable telephone conversations for communications impaired persons through the use of special equipment and Relay Service operators. Costs for intrastate TRS (i.e., TRS calls made within a state) are paid by the states, which may recover intrastate TRS costs through a charge applied to the telephone bills of all telephone customers in a state. More information »

Federal Cost Recovery Charge

Allows for recovery of money paid to the federal government for regulatory costs and telecommunication services for the hearing-impaired. This charge is a percentage of interstate and international charges. Additional information regarding the Federal TRS fund may be found on the FCC Website https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/telecommunications-relay-service-trs.

Public Utility Commission Fee (PUC)

Some states require telecommunications providers to collect fees to support the operations of the state public utilities commission.

FCC Regulatory Fee

A fee paid by Interstate Telecommunications Service Providers to fund the Federal Communications Commission. The current rate is the last rate published by the FCC.

FCC Regulatory Fee – Toll Free

The FCC imposes a regulatory fee on communications providers for each toll free number the provider manages (i.e., telephone numbers for which the toll charges for completed calls are paid by the toll free subscriber). The fee is determined annually by the FCC, and Allstream collects and remits payment of the fee.


Allstream may also impose the following Allstream-specific surcharges to support its provision of telecommunications services.

Interstate Access Charge (IAC)

The IAC defrays the costs of maintenance and upkeep of Allstream’s network so that customers can access the interstate telecommunications network to place and receive interstate, off-shore and international long distance calls. This monthly recurring charge is assessed as a flat rate per line or circuit for single and multi-line customers.

Interconnection Fee (ICF)

The ICF is designed to recover portions of the Allstream’s costs of interconnection to the public switch telephone network (PSTN). The ICF is a monthly recurring charge assessed as a flat per line or circuit.

Network Access Assessment (NAA)

The NAA is assessed as a percentage of recurring and usage charges for local and intrastate services (depending on service location); interstate and international services, data, IP-platform and cloud services; private-line services; and the Interstate Access Charge (IAC) and Interconnection Fee (ICF).

Account Maintenance Charge (AMC)

The AMC is a monthly recurring end-user subscriber charge associated with general account servicing and administration. Customers can receive credits to offset this charge by enrolling in electronic billing and/or ACH auto pay.

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