At a California Public Utilities Commission meeting on July 23, the Commission approved Decision 15-07-007, which restates the program goals of the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) and implements a series of reform measures).  The CTF is the California program that funds discounts for schools, libraries, and community-based organizations for CTF-eligible services.

In summary, the Decision:

  • adopts restated program goals, affirming obligations to support universal access goals in the context of technological advances and public policy changes;
  • retains the 50% discount structure for all eligible CTF services except for voice services, to which a 25% discount will apply;
  • sets new eligibility criteria for participants, service providers and CTF services;
  • directs service providers to post and submit CTF contact information, customer service and eligible service information, including pricing information after the Phase 3 decision further develops the reporting requirements; and
  • begins a phase-out of CTF subsidies for voice and data plan services, following the federal E-rate program phase-out for these services (as described in our Advisory).

The Decision also sets forth the issues to be addressed in Phase 3 of this proceeding, Rulemaking 13-01-010, including examination of program administration, results measurement and implementation issues.