The Goals of Universal Service, as mandated by the 1996 Act, are a follows:
1. to promote the availability of quality services at just, reasonable, and affordable rates;
2. to increase access to advanced telecommunications services throughout the nation;
3. to advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including those in low income, rural, insular, and high cost areas at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas.
In addition, the 1996 Act states that all providers of telecommunication services should have specific, predictable, and sufficient Federal and State mechanisms to preserve and advance universal service; all schools, classrooms, health care providers, and libraries should, generally, have access to advanced telecommunications services; and finally that the Federal-State Joint Board and the Commission should determine those other principles that, consistent with the 1996 Act, are necessary to protect the public interest.
Below are some links to additional consumer information:
The New Universal Service Guide for Users
Consumer Education and Advocacy
Utilities and Transportation Commission
Universal Service Administrative Company
Wyoming Public Service Commission
Understanding fees on your telephone bill