Nebraska Universal Service Fund

Nebraska’s system of ensuring affordable and reliable phone service for all Nebraskans is a model for the country!

 

What is the NUSF?

The Nebraska Universal Service Fund collects a small portion from every telephone bill to ensure that everyone in Nebraska has a dial tone, no matter where they live.  It offsets the costs of making sure that every Nebraskan has access to telecommunications services, regardless of location or income level.

Nebraska is a diverse state with population and geographic challenges. The NUSF helps keep telecommunications services affordable.  Without the Fund, some customers would pay hundreds of dollars per month just for basic service! Low-income families may not be able to afford a phone.

 

History of NUSF

Legislators, regulators and other Nebraska policymakers determined that reliable and affordable telecommunications was so important that the Nebraska Universal Service Fund was created.

Money for the Fund comes from a small percentage collected on each monthly phone bill and is administered by the Nebraska Public Service Commission to offset the costs that telecommunications companies incur in their mission to provide service universally ~ service to customers no matter where they live.

 

Top 10 Benefits of the NUSF

  1. NUSF drastically lowered urban residential and business long distance and phone line rates.
  2. NUSF supports the telecommunications network that makes alltelecommunications in Nebraska possible.
  3. Nebraska’s landline telecommunications system allows urban businesses to connect with businesses and customers across the state, providing jobs and economic opportunities in our cities.
  4. NUSF funding means that businesses in Nebraska benefit from lower monthly costs, and are not charged “hidden” costs to offset rural customers’ basic service.
  5. Nebraska’s landline telecommunications system, with NUSF support, makes possible all other technology – DSL, broadband and cell phones.  It’s the backbone of the entire system.
  6. NUSF provides Nebraskans traveling in remote areas of our state with a seamless, integrated telecommunications system that works extremely well.
  7. Nebraska’s economy has fared better than other states in part due to our outstanding telecommunications network and the competitive advantage the network provides.
  8. NUSF’s low income assistance program is critical for calling law enforcement, for medical care and connecting with job opportunities.
  9. Public safety officials rely on a landline communications system that is always available and always secure which benefits urban and rural residents..
  10. The Tele-Health network, funded by NUSF, allows urban hospitals to consult on medical care throughout the state, which provides income and jobs for urban areas.

 

Is the NUSF Surcharge a Tax?

No!  The Legislature created the NUSF to be administered by the Nebraska Public Service Commission.  The surcharge is a fee on all phone bills that can only be used to fund the low-income assistance program, the Tele-Health program, provide Internet services for public schools and to make sure Nebraska’s telecommunications network is comprehensive throughout the state.  Those are the only services for which NUSF funds can be used.  The NUSF fund is not set up to be General Fund tax revenue that the Legislature can spend however it wants