Texas Universal Service Fund Fee
Recently, the Public Utility Commission of Texas decided to increase the assessment for the Texas Universal Service Fund from 3.3% to 24%. This change went into effect on August 1, 2022 and only affects Texas residents. Below are some Frequently Asked Questions to help answer additional questions related to this change.
As a result, you will see an increase on that line item of your bill. This is not a Patriot Mobile fee increase. This affects all cell phone customers regardless of service provider. While this is an example of how unelected bureaucrats affect hard-working Americans, those bureaucrats were given this authority in 1996 by Congress. Elections have consequences.
We always strive to keep our members informed and again want to reiterate that this is not a Patriot Mobile fee increase.
Thank you for being a loyal member of Patriot Mobile, where we give a portion of every dollar to Christian conservative causes that support your values.
This is a surcharge that voice service providers assess to recover their required contributions to the Texas Universal Service Fund. The TX USF primarily supports a program that assists small telephone companies and co-ops providing service in rural areas. Patriot Mobile does not receive any support from this fund. The fund also supports the Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP), Relay Texas and lifeline.
The surcharge is assessed on intrastate voice charges — i.e. calling within Texas — and includes voice telephone service charges and intrastate long-distance services charges.
The amount of the surcharge has been the subject of litigation in Texas brought by small telephone companies and co-ops who asserted that the Texas Public Utilities Commission had been underpaying them Universal Service Funds. Recently, a court agreed with them and ordered the Texas Public Utilities Commission to repay small telephone companies and co-ops the shortfall. To collect this shortfall, the Commission ordered all voice telecommunications providers to increase payments to the fund from 3.3% to 24%, resulting in a significantly higher surcharge assessment on consumers.