​​Frequently Asked Questions on Assessment of Telecommunications Providers​

Questions and Answers Concerning Assessments & Fees Applicable to Telecommunications Providers Levied by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin .

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What​ method should a cellular mobile radio service provider​ use to allocate telecommunications revenue to the intrastate jurisdiction?

Where a factor is used to allocate a cellular mobile radio service provider’s telecommunications revenue to the intrastate jurisdiction, the factor used must be the complement to the factor used to allocate telecommunications revenue to the federal jurisdiction. This applies regardless of whether the federal factor is based on direct assignment, a good-faith estimate, or use of the federally-approved “safe harbor” allocation method. Just as required in the federal jurisdiction, a reporting entity using the good faith estimate method must provide all relevant supporting documentation for the intrastate allocation if requested by the Commission.

For revenues that are not reported to the Federal jurisdiction (such as text messaging, outroamer, reseller, and intracompany), the reporting entity should use direct assignment if possible to attribute and report Wisconsin intrastate revenue. In the absence of specifically available data to permit classification to the interstate and intrastate jurisdictions, a provider may use a good-faith estimate, or the complement to the federally-approved “safe harbor” percentage.

The safe harbor percentages are as follows: ​

Intrastate ​
Cellular and broadband PCS telecommunications revenues:
Paging revenues:


How do I view relevant information concerning assessments in the Wisconsin Statutes and/or Wisconsin Administrative Code on the Internet?

Wisconsin Statutes can be viewed here: https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/statutes.

The Wisconsin Administrative Code can be viewed here:

The relevant Wisconsin statute and administrative code cites and links are as follows: ​

  • Direct assessment--Wis. Stat. § 196.85(1)
  • Remainder assessment--Wis. Stat. § 196.85(2)
  • Telephone relay assessment--Wis. Stat. § 196.858
  • USF assessments--Wis. Stat. § 196.218(3), Wisc, Admin. Code §160.18
  • Assessment of Costs--Wis. Admin. Code ch. PSC 5
  • Telecommunications resellers and resale rules--Wis. Admin. Code ch. PSC 168

In what form are assessable revenues reported to the Commission?

Telecommunications providers are required to report assessable revenues information in the Annual Questionnaire System (AQS) for Telecommunications Utilities.  Links to the application and the help file are as follows:

The due date for the annual questionnaire is April 1 of the following year, or the next business day if April 1st falls on a holiday or weekend. The AQS for a given calendar year will become available in early January of the following year (for example, the AQS for reporting 2023 revenues will become available in January of 2024).​

The Annual Questionnaire must be completed online, and filed using the AQS app. Copies of AQS forms or data submitted via paper mail or email will not be accepted.

Questions about the AQS or using the AQS app should be directed to Peter Jahn at (608)267-2338 or by e-mail at Peter.Jahn@wisconsin.gov


Are telecommunications providers allowed to create surcharges or automatically adjust their customers’ rates for any of the Commission’s assessments?

The Commission does not regulate the retail rates charged by telecommunications providers. Providers may adjust rates, or create surcharges, to recover assessments. Telecommunications utilities that make such adjustments to recover USF assessments must identify those adjustments on customer bills, pursuant to Wis. Stats. § 196.218(3)(f).

Whom should I contact​ if I have further questions concerning telecommunications assessments or fees levied by the Commission?

General questions concerning universal service assessments and fees should be directed to Holly O’Higgins at (608)267-9486 or by e-mail Holly.OHiggins@wisconsin.gov.

General questions concerning telecommunications assessments and fees should be directed to Peter Jahn at (608)267-2338 or by e-mail at Peter.Jahn@wisconsin.gov.

If you have specific questions concerning a direct, remainder or telephone relay bill that you have received, please contact Aliou Traore at (608)267-1488 or by e-mail at Aliou.Traore@wisconsin.gov​​.

Specific questions concerning a USF assessment bill that you have received should be directed to Michael Tamburino, PMP Manager, Client Relations, of SOMOS at (973)581-6714 or by e mail at Michael.TAMBURINO@solixinc.com​​.