All telecommunications service providers must contribute to the federal Universal Service Fund, which allows those living in rural and high-cost areas, income-eligible consumers, rural health care facilities, and schools and libraries to access to telecommunications services at reasonable rates through programs and initiatives such as the Connect America Fund, Lifeline and E-rate.
A "Federal USF Recovery Charge" line item may appear on your telephone bill when your service provider chooses to recover USF contributions from you, the customer. The FCC does not require this charge to be passed on to you, but service providers are allowed to do so. These charges usually appear as a percentage of your phone bill. Companies cannot collect an amount that exceeds the percentage of their contribution to the USF. They also cannot collect any fees from someone who is a Lifeline beneficiary.
For more information, please visit the Federal Communications Commission website.