I found a few interesting references. It seems that the California State Legislature and its Public Utilities Commission have been busy. The legislation is AB 3643, passed in July 1995.
The real action, however, is in the regulations issued about three weeks ago.
The new rules are in the appendix.
The "good stuff" is in the second appendix "ADOPTED UNIVERSAL SERVICE RULES."
The CPU has set a subsidy rate of 25 percent for 1-MB, ISDN, switched-56 and T-1 lines. Higher speed services up to DS3 get a 20 percent subsidy.
While that colors as a good thing, better deals for clear channel T-1s, T-1 rate Frame Relay ports, and 56 Kb Frame Relay ports are available to tax supported schools under the State GSA contract with PacBell. The new discount will be welcome for frame customers at intermediate port speeds of 128 and 384 Kb. [Pac Bell does tariff other port speeds.]
Actually, it's not clear that public schools already eligible for the State GSA rate shouldn't get a 25 percent discount ON TOP of the already good GSA price.
PacBell already has a special ISDN program (Knowledge Network) for education that amounts to a call plan layered on top of tariff ISDN service. Presumably, the new tariff subsidy will be available for the lines that stand underneath the Knowledge Network.
In the main part of the CPUC decision, the Commision recites arguments and makes rulings. Our stuff is in section VII about half way through.
The Commission believes that $20 Million/year will cover the subsidies for the tariff discount program. $15 M is for schools and libraries; $5 M is for CBOs (Community Based Organizations) which are elligible for subsidies if they're non-profit and have an educational character. CBOs only can get the "low speed" (below T-1 rate) subsidy and in quantities more limited than public education.
-jim warner, UCSC network engineer