Contributing Carriers to the Illinois Universal Fund

All companies that have received Certificates of Service Authority under Section 13-403, 13-404 and 13-405 of the Public Utilities Act shall be contributors to the Illinois Universal Service Fund except those companies that qualify as "de minimis carriers" as described below hereafter referred to as "Contributing Carriers". Carriers with contributions projected as less than $2,400 per year will be considered "de minimis carriers" and will be exempt from contributing to the Illinois Universal Service Fund ("IUSF"). The status of a carrier as a "de minimis carrier" will be established at the beginning of each plan year and will not change during that plan year.

Basis For Assessment

The assessment for funding shall be based on intrastate retail telecommunications revenues generated in the State of Illinois less uncollectible revenues related to the Illinois intrastate retail revenues. Intrastate telecommunications means communications or transmission between points within the State of Illinois. For purposes of determining this assessment, revenues collected from the imposition of the end user surcharge for the Illinois Universal Service Fund will not be considered intrastate retail telecommunications revenues.

The Fund Administrator shall have authority to develop procedures and forms for collecting information from all Contributing Carriers including "de minimus carriers". In general, such procedures should adhere, to the extent possible, to the procedures used in FCC Form 499-A while maintaining consistency with the definition of the intrastate retail revenues described above.

Fund Periods

The initial fund period will commence annually on October 1, 2001. The initial funding will be based on 2000 Illinois Intrastate Retail Revenues gathered by the Staff of Commission through a data request to the Contributing Carriers.

Subsequent funding periods will commence annually on October 1 of each calendar year. Initial funding for subsequent periods will be based on the Illinois Intrastate Retail Revenues of the prior calendar year, until the October 2020 fund year.

Final funding for each funding period will be determined based on the Annual True Up Procedure described hereafter, until the October 2020 fund year.

Beginning with the October 2020 fund year, funding for each period will be based on the Illinois Intrastate Retail Revenues of the most recent fund year (October through September), with no Annual True Up Procedure.

Recovery of Assessments

Contributing Carries to the IUSF will be required to assess a uniform percentage surcharge to their customers on the intrastate retail revenues charged to customers to provide for recovery of their contribution to the fund. The uniform percentage that a Contributing Carrier will assess is the percentage used in calculating the assessment on the Contributing Carriers.

In the initial year of the fund, to accommodate potential delays in being able to implement billing of the percentage surcharge, each Contributing Carrier may adjust the uniform percentage surcharge applied to customers bills during the months in which they are capable of billing the surcharge, by multiplying the uniform percentage surcharge times twelve and divide by the number of months they will actually bill the surcharge during the first year.

Fund Administrator

The initial administrator for the fund will be the Illinois Small Company Exchange Carrier Association ("ISCECA"). Consistent with the 27th Interim Order in the Docket No. 83-0142 the maximum administrator fee of $150,000 can not be exceeded with Commission approval.

The ISCECA will continue to comply with administrative requirements established in Docket No. 83-0142.

The administrator will report to the Illinois Commerce Commission any company that does not comply with the reporting or contribution requirements of the IUSF so it may take appropriate action.

Determination Of Assessment Level

The general formula for the determination of the assessment percentage (which is also the end user surcharge percentage) is as follows:

A factor to recognize the possibility of uncollectible amounts from Contributing Carriers may be included in arriving at either the Fund working cash requirements or the Illinois Intrastate Retail Revenues of Contributing Carriers.

The Staff of the Commission will issue a data request to potential Contributing Carriers by July 31, 2001 to gather data for determination of the initial assessment. The Staff and ISCECA working together will provide to the Commission by September 1, 2001 the Fund Administration Costs, Fund working cash requirements, and Illinois Intrastate Retail Revenues of Contributing Carriers for the initial period of the fund.

In subsequent years, the fund administrator will collect all necessary information from the carriers directly. The data gathered by the fund administrator will be used solely to calculate contributions to the Illinois universal service support fund. In situations where the fund administrator collects proprietary information, the fund administrator will treat the data in accordance with any confidentiality agreement.

The assessments for individual Contributing Carriers will be determined by multiplying the assessment percentage times that carriers' Illinois intrastate retail revenues for the prior fund operating year (October through September).

Carriers that failed to file an annual report for the year 2000 with the Commission will be required to report their year 2000 Illinois intrastate retail revenues.

Collection Of Assessments

Annual assessments will normally be paid to the Fund Administrator in twelve equal monthly amounts. However, for those Contributing Carriers who have relatively small assessments, the Fund Administrator may establish quarterly rather than monthly payments.

Assessments will normally be due on the first day of the month.

The initial assessment will be due twenty days after receiving notification of the assessment from the Fund Administrator.

Annual True-Up Procedure

At the end of each plan year the Fund Administrator will gather from each Contributing Carrier a report on the revenues collected by that carrier from surcharges applied (or that were authorized to be applied) to end user customers.

Upon receipt of these plan year reports from the Contributing Carriers, the Fund Administrator will compare the revenues received (or authorized) from the surcharges with assessments paid by each Contributing Carrier. Contributing Carriers who have collected more than their assessment will be assessed this additional amount by the Fund Administrator. Contributing Carriers who have collected less than their assessment will have the difference refunded by the Fund Administrator, or credited toward their current year assessment, at a time determined by the Fund Administrator consistent with its cash management needs.

The Fund Administrator will take into account changes in annual assessments resulting from this true-up procedure in the development of the Fund working cash requirements for future plan year assessments.

Beginning October 2020, carrier contributions will be based on the most recent fund operating year (October through September), as opposed to most recent calendar year, and Annual True-Ups will no longer be required.