The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is accepting nominations for the California Emerging Technology Fund (CETF) governing board. Individuals interested in being considered for the CETF board should send a letter of interest and a resume to the following address by January 16, 2006. Interviews may be scheduled with candidates.
Send CETF Nominations to:
Jack Leutza, Director
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
The CETF was established following the Commission's November 2005 approval of telecommunications mergers between SBC and AT&T and between Verizon and MCI in California. As a condition of these mergers, the Commission required the merged companies to provide funds to support the CETF. The purpose of the CETF is to achieve ubiquitous access to broadband and advanced services in California through the use of emerging technologies by the year 2010. Not intended to simply be a "build it and they will come" approach, the CETF will also work to expand broadband adoption and use.
The population of California has highly diverse needs and it is crucial to make advanced telecommunications broadly available. As such, the CETF will focus a significant amount of its resources on the needs of underserved communities and bridging the Digital Divide. Underserved communities include but are not limited to individuals, groups, and organizations that face telecommunications challenges or disadvantages due to physical disabilities, low incomes, inadequate telecommunications infrastructure, language and cultural differences, lack of technological understanding and/or equipment, and other constraints facing members of the State.
Funds dedicated to the CETF will be used to attract matching funds in like amounts from other organizations. Initial funding will be provided by the merging companies for a total initial endowment of $60 million over five years. It is anticipated that a majority of CETF funds will be matched by other private, non-profit, or government entities for specific projects to reach a total goal of at least $100 million in funding over five years. The CETF should earmark at least $5 million to fund telemedicine applications that serve California's underserved communities, particularly those that serve rural areas of the state or serve a large number of indigent patients.
The CETF is expected to be organized under the Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation Law for charitable and public purposes only. The CETF governing board will be responsible for establishing its own Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and Charter. The CETF Governing Board will be comprised of 12 total appointees: four appointed by the Commission, three appointed by SBC (only one may be an SBC employee), and one by Verizon. Those eight appointees will determine the remaining four board members and the board will be encouraged to make the final four appointments with the goal of making broadband as ubiquitous as possible in California.