Contribution Factors

Contribution and circularity factors are percentages used when calculating Universal Service Fund obligations and the annual true up.

What is the contribution factor?

The contribution factor is the percentage of end user revenue that will be contributed to the Universal Service Fund to support the universal service programs, as established by the FCC. The contribution factor changes every quarter.

What is the circularity factor?

The circularity factor is the percentage which lowers a filer’s contribution base to prevent the assessment of universal service fees on the pass-through Universal Service Fund charges that filers bill to their customers and are reported as revenue on the FCC Form 499.

After the contribution factor is applied to the quarterly contribution base, the circularity factor is then applied to reduce the contribution base resulting in a lower Universal Service Fund invoice. Like the contribution factor, the circularity factor is established by the FCC and changes every quarter.

The FCC releases a Public Notice each quarter to announce the newest contribution and circularity factors on its website.

Applies to Quarter Contribution Factor Circularity Factor Public Notice
October – December 2019 25.0% 19.8982% DA 19-910
July – September 2019 24.4% 19.6552% DA 19-559
April – June 2019 18.8% 15.8414% DA 19-178
January – March 2019 20.0% 16.7999% DA 18-1249
October – December 2018 20.1% 16.6091% DA 18-944
July – September 2018 17.9% 15.1910% DA 18-613
April – June 2018 18.4% 15.6293% DA 18-234
January – March 2018 19.5% 16.2361% DA 17-1203
October – December 2017 18.8% 15.7216% DA 17-884
July – September 2017 17.1% 14.5692% DA 17-580
April – June 2017 17.4% 15.0850% DA 17-245
January – March 2017 16.7% 14.4192% DA 16-1367

A historical record of factors can be found on the FCC’s Contribution Factors & Quarterly Filings page.