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The California Teleconnect Fund is a state program administered by the California Public Utilities Commission. Many of the nonprofits that we work with receive significant discounts under the program.

In recent years, changes have been proposed to the Teleconnect Fund that are disadvantageous to community-based organizations. Our team has worked closely with the CalNonprofits to defend important aspects of the program. (For more information about CalNonprofits and their work on this program, see their website.)

The way CTF works is simple: A small surcharge is applied to all California telecommunications bills. This surcharge is set at 0.78%, meaning that for every $100 in intrastate charges, and allocation of 78 cents goes into the Fund.  (The surcharge changes periodically.)

The collected funds are then made available to offset the programmatic telecommunications and internet expenses of certain qualifying organizations. In general, schools, hospitals, health clinics, libraries and community-based organizations with programs in education, health delivery and job training can apply for the discount.

To apply, nonprofit community-based organizations need to submit an application to the PUC that includes the following:

  • 501(c)3 or 501(d) IRS tax-exempt status letter addressed to the organization
  • Current IRS Form 990
  • Mission statement
  • Brochure and or website address describing qualifying programs

The process

After an application is submitted, approved applicants will receive an Approval Letter & Application Number. The next step is to notify your service provider (for example AT&T) of your eligibility to receive the discount. If you notify your service provider within 30 days of approval, the discount is retroactive to the day the application was filed. Otherwise, the discount begins on the date of notification. Future bills will show a line item credit. Your carrier will get reimbursed by the California Teleconnect Fund. You will have no monthly or annual paperwork requirements. It’s that simple.

What the discount covers

Not every item on your bill is eligible for the discount. However, many of the most common services are covered including:

  • Measured Business Line (1 MB)
  • Basic VoIP service
  • ISDN
  • T-1 and Switched 56 lines
  • Internet Access Services including DSL
  • Multiprotocol Label Switching (in conjunction with a broadband service)
  • OC 3 – OC 192; and more.

If your service is not listed, fear not. CPUC recognizes that functional equivalents vary between service providers.

The information on this page is intended to be a helpful introduction to the California Teleconnect Fund for nonprofits. Complete details and official eligibility requirements, application & instructions are at the Public Utilities Commission website.

CPUC’s CTF website

CTF Application

What groups qualify for CTF? image

Health clinics, school, libraries and a wide variety of community-based organizations are eligible for California Teleconnect Fund discounts.

To give you examples of groups that are receiving these discounts, here is a list of supplied by the PUC for a single zip code (94102) in San Francisco:

Access Institute for Psychological Services
Asian Art Museum Foundation of San Francisco
Bay Area Women’s and Children’s Center
Board of Trustees of the Glide Foundation
Career Resources Development Center
Central City Hospitality House
Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
Community Awareness And Treatment Services
Community Center Project of San Francisco
Community Housing Partnership
Compass Children’s Center
Compass Clara House
Compass Community Services
Compass Family Services
Compass Family Shelter
Continuum HIV Day Services
Home Base/The Center for Common Concerns
Legal Services for Prisoners with Children
Lyon-Martin Health Services
Mental Health Association of San Francisco
New Conservatory Theatre Center
New Leaf Services for our Community
Pacific Institute
Progress Foundation
Rose Resnick LightHouse for the Blind
Salvation Army
San Francisco Arts Education Project
San Francisco Senior Center Downtown
St. Anthony Foundation
Tenderloin Housing Clinic
Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corp.
Transgender Law Center
Women’s Initiative for Self Employment


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