Entries by Alternative Technologies

Major Changes to Teleconnect Fund

  On April 25, 2019, the Public Utilities Commission officially voted to discontinue support under the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) for voice services effective July 1, 2019. CTF is a public purpose program created in 1996 that enabled nonprofit community-based organizations to get telephone and internet services at a discount. Numerous changes to the program […]

What’s the CTF “exemption” all about?

We’ve  had a number of customers and colleagues contact us to ask about recent changes to the Teleconnect Fund. First, if you are already receiving the California Teleconnect Fund discount on your telephone bills, you will soon notice that it doesn’t provide as much benefit to your organization as it did in the past. That’s because […]

Decision Modifying the Decision

The staff at the California Public Utilities Commission released a document a few days ago that clarifies several points on their July 2015 Decision. Specifically, the new document articulates how the CTF will stay at 25% for voice service even as E-rate support gets phased down to 0%. Additionally, the decision states that community-based organizations […]

PUC Compromise Decision on Teleconnect Fund

Since late May, much attention has been on the PUC to learn what changes were in store for the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF). PUC staff had proposed dozens of changes to the program, starting with what size organizations could participate, what programs would qualify, which carrier services would be reimbursed, and specific reporting requirements for organizations […]

We did it! Decision Postponed!

We just learned moments ago (Wed, 5/21 4:25 pm) that a vote on the Proposed Decision is being ‘held’ (postponed). We strongly suspect that this delay has been caused due to the outcry from the nonprofit community catalyzed by the action alert organized in conjunction with the California Association of Nonprofits Task Force. We will meet […]

Legal analysis of the proposed exclusion of voice and VoIP

Cooper, White & Cooper LLP, a law firm representing small, mostly rural, telephone companies, took a look at the proposed exclusion of voice and VoIP from the CTF.  This excerpt is from the opening comments submitted to the PUC on May 11, 2015 (emphasis ours): “… the Commission should reject those parts of the Proposed Decision which would […]

Insights from other parties to the proceedings

Comments from the official parties to the proceeding are starting to circulate. (Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an official party to comment to Commissioners). The Executive Director of the California Emerging Technologies Fund, an expert in the area of advancing nonprofits in the Internet area, made great points (from direct knowledge and experience) […]

CalNonprofit Task Force on the Teleconnect Fund

Yesterday there was a conference call for members of the California Association of Nonprofits (http://calnonprofits.org). Good discussion. Interesting case of one organization with state mandate to provide voice access to a disadvantaged population – that will now likely not qualify. They are contacting all the commissioners with their objections to the Proposed Decision. You should too. […]

The worst parts of the Proposed Decision (& why)

Earlier posts gave a cursory summary of changes to the Teleconnect Fund, with special attention to CBO eligibility. On closer inspection, it looks worse: the 50% of mission requirement, and direct access vs. administrative use provisions. If the “50% of mission” for CBOs is adopted, there will be plenty of wrangling over vagueness. But clarification […]