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 the powers that be have interpreted the intent to focus on broadband, not telecommunications. (We disagree with this – but that’s another story). Every organization that had been receiving a 50% discount on voice service, is now only receiving 25%. Seem unfair? Well, note that this cut in benefits is across the board (you weren’t singled out). Also, this new cut may not apply to you.
Your organization may be exempt from the change (and allowed to keep the 50% discount) if you are located in an officially-defined underserved area. Generally, these are areas where broadband internet is not widely available – typically this means rural areas. A list of organizations in underserved areas is on the CPUC website. Most Alternative Technologies customers are within the Bay Area and therefore not likely to be exempt and keep the 50% discount. We’ll explain other changes in coming weeks.