THE CALIFORNIA TELECONNECT FUND IS UNDER REVIEW BY THE PUC .
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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 1.08%, meaning that $1.08 of every $100 in intrastate charges is allocated 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
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
- 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.