CALIFORNIA TELECONNECT FUND
BetterWorld provides CTF-eligible internet access services with T-1, DSL, and ethernet over copy
Calling all community based organizations, hospitals, health clinics, nonprofits, libraries, & schools in California!
Did you know that your organization might be eligible to reduce your data expenses by half? Thousands of eligible organizations in California are not aware of the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) and missing out on this great benefit available to them.
BetterWorld is a certified and approved provider for data services that are eligible for reimbursement through the CTF Program. We will help you apply for the CTF and save on your telecom bills at no additional cost!
Note: The California Public Utilities Commission is no longer funding Voice Services discounts as of July 1, 2019.
California Teleconnect Fund At-A-Glance
Organizations that qualify for the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) include:
Community-based organizations (CBOs)
Government and district-owned hospitals & health clinics
Public or nonprofit schools & community colleges
CTF provides funding for basic access services. With a CTF grant, your organization can benefit from 50% savings on data services.
Betterworld Technology provides CTF-eligible Internet Access Services with T-1 , DSL, and Ethernet Over Copper.
History of the California Teleconnect Fund
CTF was established in 1996 by the CPUC to support universal service and is funded by California State Budget through an end-user surcharge on intrastate communications services. The CTF discount is dependent upon the appropriation of funds within the State Budget and although there are no current indications it would occur, the discount could be discontinued if funding became exhausted or the program itself was suspended.
E-Rate Discount for Schools and Libraries
In 2006, a bill was passed in connection with CTF to avoid a double discount by requiring all organizations applying for CTF that are eligible for the E-rate discount (libraries and schools) to provide the E-rate discount percentage that they already receive, or an average value if they don’t already have a discount.
If your organization is receiving an E-rate discount, you should put this percentage on your CTF application. If your organization is a school or library and does not have an E-rate discount, then you will need to apply the current statewide average (currently 72% through 6/30/12) before calculating the CTF discount. (for example, for a $100 a 72% E-rate discount leaves $28, so the 50% CTFF discount is then applied to that remaining $28).
If your organization is using services that are not eligible for E-rate, but are eligible for the California Teleconnect Fund, you can submit a CTF Eligible vs E-rate Ineligible Form.
Key Points About E-rates
Schools or libraries should apply for the E-rate discount as well as the CTF discount to determine their E-rate discount amount.
The E-rate discount applied is either 1) the statewide average (72%) or 2) whatever your submitted E-rate application is approved for.
The program first applies the E-rate discount to an organization’s bill before applying the 50% CTF discount.
For example: if the organization’s E-rate discount (after it submits an application) is determined to be 0%, then a 0% E-rate discount would be applied and the CTF discount would be 50% of the full cost of the organization’s bill.
If you want your school or library to learn more about E-rate discounts, there are ongoing training sessions on the topic on the K12 High Speed Network and application instructions on the US Department of Education site.
Detailed CTF Eligibility Requirements
The California Public Utilities Committee site covering the CTF makes for a daunting read, so we’ve done our best here to give an informative overview: describe what the CTF is, which organizations are eligible, and how to apply.
In order to apply for CTF, your nonprofit or library must qualify under one of the following categories:
California Community Colleges: California community colleges and/or districts.
Community Based Organizations (CBOs): Tax exempt organizations offering health care, job training, job placement, educational instruction, or operating a community technology program which provides access and training in a local community that has limited or no access to the Internet. Also, CBOs or a nonprofit CBO providing 2-1-1 information and referral services. (A “tax exempt organization” in this instance is an organization described in Section 501(c)(3) or 501(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, Title 26 of the United States Code.)
Hospital and Health Clinics: All hospitals and health clinics owned and operated by county, municipal government, or hospital districts.
Libraries: Libraries that are eligible for participation in state-based funding under the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). Eligibility for libraries is defined in Act 20 USCA Sec. 9122 (2 and 3), but does not have to be certified under LSTA for CTF participation.
Public or Nonprofit Schools: Public schools, nonprofit schools, and religious schools that are incorporated as a nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation or as a nonprofit Religious Corporation providing elementary or secondary education (grades K-12). Qualified schools may not have endowments of more than $50 million.
How to Apply for the California Teleconnect Fund
Apply for the CTF program (be sure to use original signature, as copies and faxes are not accepted) using the application on the California Teleconnect Fund site. Send application to:
CPUC, Telecommunications Division
Attention: California Teleconnect Fund
505 Van Ness Avenue, Third Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Submit Approval Letter from CPUC to Betterworld Technology along with the appropriate discount request form. (You may submit request form while approval is pending).
That’s it! Although there are some forms involved and verification materials necessary to receive the CTF discount, the benefits of signing up if you are eligible could really make a bottom line difference for your organization.
Do you have any questions about applying for the CTF? Click here to directly book a call with our team.
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