The California Teleconnect Fund is a state program administered by the California Public Utilities Commission. Many of the nonprofits that Affinitel Communications works with receive significant discounts under the program.
The way CTF works is simple: A small surcharge is applied to all California telecommunications bills. This surcharge is set at 0.59% (less than 1%), meaning that 59 cents of every $100 in intrastate charges is allocated into the Fund. The collected funds are then made available to offset the telecommunications 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 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
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 & Visually Impaired
- Salvation Army
- San Francisco Arts Education Project
- San Francisco Community Television Corp.
- San Francisco Senior Center Downtown
- St. Anthony Foundation
- Tenderloin Housing Clinic
- Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation
- Transgender Law Center
- Women’s Initiative for Self Employment
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 CTF website.