The Universal Service Fund is funded by assessments on long-distance voice revenue from landline and wireless telecommunications providers. The providers pass these assessments along to consumers on their bills. Due to declining long-distance revenue and increased needs of the program, the contributions factor (the percentage used to assess revenue) has increased steadily from less than 10% fifteen years ago to around 30% today.
All four USF programs support broadband networks and services, yet the contributions are still based on long-distance revenue. The system needs to be modernized so that broadband is assessed for contributions to the Fund.