8660 Public Utilities Commission
6685 - UNIVERSAL SERVICE TELEPHONE PROGRAMS
The PUC oversees approximately $515 million in telecommunications programs including the California Lifeline Fund, California Teleconnect Fund, Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program, and California High Cost Funds, all of which provide needed services to consumers and communities. The objectives of these "universal telephone service" programs include: (1) ensuring basic telephone service is available to all Californians; (2) encouraging consumer choice among competitive telephone companies; (3) modifying, as necessary, the basic telephone service definition to incorporate new technology; and (4) ensuring consumers have access to sufficient information to make informed choices about basic service and universal lifeline telephone services. The California Teleconnect Fund program provides discounted telecommunication services to qualifying schools, libraries, hospitals, and community-based organizations. The California Advanced Services Fund Program encourages the deployment of broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved rural and urban areas of California.