In the current market where Universal Service Fund fees have reached historical highs, providers are looking for ways to use their data to have an impact on cutting down their customer’s costs.
ATS partners with innovative VoIP and Wireless providers across the United States to deliver the benefits of traffic studies to cut down provider FUSF taxes, often by millions of dollars.
One such partner is Phone.com, a cloud-based phone systems and VoIP provider based in New Jersey that provides communication services for small and medium-sized businesses across the country. In the second half of 2022, Phone.com reached out to us about rising USF costs and was interested in how a traffic study could benefit them.
With over 50,000 businesses and entrepreneurs relying on their services, their incentive for performing a traffic study was purely to lower the bottom line that their customers need to pay with every bill.
As a VoIP provider, Phone.com was subject to the 64.9% safe harbor rate—which is widely considered to be problematic since it often results in an overpayment. This is because the Safe Harbor rate is calculated based on an assumed level of Percent of Interstate Usage (PIU) usage that often inaccurately reflects a provider’s actual usage.
In other words, Phone.com’s customers were being taxed on an assumption that 64.9% of their traffic would be interstate or international, regardless of how much the actual percentage was.
After running a free preliminary analysis of their data, we determined that a traffic study would lower their FUSF costs by a good margin. From there we received a full sample of data from them and quickly turned around a final analysis of their records.
In the end, their Percent of Interstate Usage came back to 31.3% — effectively cutting their USF fees by more than half. That’s a substantial amount of USF Fees that were being passed on to their customers that were completely avoidable by properly running a professional traffic study.
Phone.com’s PIU of 31.3% is typical of what we’ve seen when performing Traffic Studies for VoIP providers. There is no risk in completing a study, only a reward for Phone.com and its customers.
“We were aware that our customer traffic mix was likely well below the safe harbor percentage, but needed assistance in collating and analyzing the data. ATS professionally interacted with our teams at every level to obtain and assess all of the substantial amount of call traffic information across our entire customer base to achieve this and provide a completed traffic study in the required format for submission to USAC. We were particularly impressed with their responsiveness at all times and their completion of the entire assignment within both agreed time and cost parameters.” - Phone.com
Optimizing Your Fees With Analytics
The right analytics partner is someone who has expertise in data analysis and technology and can provide actionable insights and recommendations to help you make informed decisions that drive growth and success for your organization.
For a communications provider like Phone.com, that partnership is critical to enable their success and stay competitive while keeping their customers happy.
By performing a USF traffic study, VoIP providers can ensure that they are contributing the correct amount to the USF, and avoid potential penalties for underreporting or underpaying their contributions. Additionally, performing the study can help VoIP providers understand their revenue streams and make informed business decisions.