Understanding Your Bill
The Oregon Public Utility Commission (PUC) encourages customers to carefully read your telephone bills, which includes various fees, surcharges, and taxes.
Please contact your service provider for any questions about your bill. The PUC’s Consumer Services Division can also help resolve disputes and can be reached at 503-378-6600 or 800-522-2404 or 711 for Oregon Relay users.
Oregon Telecommunications Charges
Below is a brief description of the charges Oregon telecommunications customers may see for landline services.
Residential Line Charge
A basic monthly charge for local telephone service that enables you to make calls within your local calling area.
Extended Area Service (EAS)
FCC Charge for Network Access
This per-line charge, which can be listed on your bill with various similar names, is authorized by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The fee helps your landline service provider to cover fixed costs of operating and maintaining the network to make and receive long distance calls.
These are add-on services selected by the customer, and may include Call Waiting, Caller ID, Call Blocking, etc. Each service should be listed separately on your bill.
Long Distance Charges
There will be a listing of all long distance calls provided by your selected long distance carrier.
Payphone Surcharge or Access Fee
A per-call fee that long distance carriers may charge when a call is made with a calling card from a pay telephone. Yes, there are still pay telephones!
Calling Plan Charges
This fee, which varies by long distance carrier, gives customers more options for international and long distance calling rates.
These are information and entertainment services provided through 900 numbers, select 800 numbers, and certain international phone numbers. Charges are set by the pay-per-call service provider and not the telephone company.
Federal Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
Funds relay services that allow individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have a speech disability to make and receive calls.
Universal Service Fund Surcharge (Federal)
Applied to both local and toll service, this charge recovers the amount your landline service provider contributes to the Federal Universal Service Fund and makes phone service affordable to all.
Universal Service Fund Surcharge (Oregon)
Ensures high quality and affordable phone service is available to all Oregonians, especially those living in rural areas where the cost to provide telecommunications service may be higher.
Federal Excise Tax
Mandated by the federal government, this tax is levied on local and wireless telecommunications services.
Residential Service Protection Fund (RSPF)
Funds Oregon Relay
services, specialized communication devices to qualifying Oregonians with disabilities (TDAP
), Communication Facilitator
services, and discounted monthly phone or high-speed internet service for qualifying Oregon households with low-incomes (Lifeline
Oregon PUC Fee
Designed to recover the amount telecommunications service providers pay the PUC to regulate public utilities, this fee is assessed on all intrastate revenues, including both local and toll services.
This fee recovers the cost of operating in your city or municipality – including fees imposed for the rights to place telephone poles and wires along streets and other rights of way. Contact your local taxation office with questions about this fee.
State 911 Tax
This tax is assessed on behalf of the State of Oregon to pay for 911 emergency dispatch service.
Long distance carriers will add miscellaneous fees to bills. Call them with questions about this charge.
Access Recovery Charge (ARC)
This fee allows incumbent local exchange carriers to recover some revenues lost through FCC-required reductions to access rates.