Note: This information applies to the current CTF program. Once the Rulemaking is completed the new eligibility rules will go into effect. The CPUC has not indicated when that will be, but we anticipate late 2016 or early 2017. Organizations enrolled in the program will have to "re-certify" but we don't yet know the time frame for that either. Subscribe to our e-news to get updates as we know more.
Currently 501(c)3 and 501(d) nonprofits can apply as a Community Based Organization for the Fund by mailing in a simple application form (instructions and application here). The CTF Staff will review the application and either approve or reject it, or request additional information from your organization.
Not all telecommunications providers participate in the program so check the list of participating providers to make sure your provider is on it before you start the application. Also, while most telecommunications and internet services are covered, you should check with your service provider to make sure your organization is using one or more of the following covered services:
You can find technical details of eligibile services here.
Once approved, your organization sends the Approval Notification within 30 days to your telecommunications provider. The service provider then gives your organization a 50% discount on the monthly recurring charges (excluding fees) retroactive to the date the CPUC received the original application (the date is on the Approval Notification.) The discount will show up on your monthly bill as a credit. The service provider then files for reimbursement from the CPUC.
If your organization receives other discounts such as the Federal E-rate, the CTF will cover 50% of the remaining balance after the other discount programs are applied (more details here).