Telecommunication Provider Assessments

All telecommunications providers are assessed for Commission expenses, universal service funding and other expenses. These assessments are based on the revenues reported in the telecommunications provider annual questionnaire. To develop the assessment rate, the Commissi​on divides the revenue needed by the total revenues for all utilities. This results in an assessment rate. Individual company assessments are calculated by multiplying that assessment rate by the company’s revenues.

​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.

Select a question below in order to jump to the answer.

A. What are the current and recent assessment rates for the remainder, telephone relay, and the four USF assessments?

Assessments for Remainder, Telephone Relay, Utility Trade Practices, and state USF are calculated in early October of each calendar year. The rates used for the fall billings of a given calendar year are as follows. With respect to the remainder assessment, the actual fiscal year (FY) factor is generally used. In the first year that a company is subject to the assessment, however, it is required to pay both the actual and advance assessment amounts. In the fall of the following calendar year, the advance FY assessment amount will be trued up based on actual revenues subject to the assessment and the actual FY factor.

View current and recent historical assessm​ent rates

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B. What telecommunications providers are subject to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin’s (Commission) direct and remainder, intrastate telephone relay, and intrastate universal service fund (USF) assessments?

View assessments a​s applied to telecommunications providers by the Commission

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C. What general and specific revenue types are subject to the remainder, telephone relay, telecommunications trade practices, and Universal Service Fund (USF) assessments?

View revenue types subject to assessments

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D. 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:

Cellular and broadband PCS telecommunications revenues37.1%>62.9%
Paging revenues12%88%

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

Wisconsin Statutes

View 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

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F. 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

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G. 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).

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

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

If you have specific questions concerning a direct, remainder or telephone relay bill that you have received, please contact Jenna Schmidt at (608)267-7709 or by e-mail at Jenna.Schmidt​

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

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Note: These questions and answers neither address other assessments (e.g., for energy and municipal utilities) levied by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (Commission), nor assessments or fees levied by other state of Wisconsin agencies (e.g.,Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions). The Web page address for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue is; the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions website is