If you’re a Bakersfield nonprofit and offer technology services, there’s a good chance you can take advantage of the California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) to receive a 50 percent discount on selected telecommunications services.
It appears the CTF applies to multiple internet services, such as landline, satellite/wireless, including cellular data plans and laptop cards. The CTF was started back in 1996 when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) reaffirmed its commitment to universal service.
As for eligibility guidelines, besides schools, libraries, and health care institutions, nonprofits and Community Based Organizations (CBOs) may also qualify if they offer health care, job training, job placement, 2-1-1 referral services and information, educational instruction, or a community technology program offering access to and training in the Internet and other technologies.
The process to apply includes filling out an application, which you can find here. The CTF website notes applicants will be notified within 30 to 90 days, and you can even check the status of your application online as well.
There appears to be approximately 27 Bakersfield CBOs which have qualified for the CTF—but that seems like a drop in the bucket compared to the number of nonprofits / CBOs in Bakersfield and Kern County. In fact, there have been only four CBOs this year. I don’t see any of the Family Resource Centers listed, nor the Boys and Girls Club locations.
During these tough budget times, this is a great opportunity for Kern County nonprofits and CBOs to take advantage of additional discounts and maximize every dollar. Make some time to research the CTF to see if your organization may qualify.