RHC Program Updates

The FCC Announced an Increase in Rural Healthcare Program Funds for FY2020 

On June 30th, 2020 the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the total support available for FY2020 will be $802.74 million. 

Here are some RHC Program updates and events from USAC:
  • USAC Announces Important Dates for FY2021 on its website.
    • July 1st, 2020: First day applicants may submit Requests for Services (FCC Forms 461 or 465)
    • January 4th, 2021 – April 1st, 2021: Funding Request Filing Window Period (FCC Forms 462 or 466)
    • October 28th, 2022: Invoicing Deadline (FCC Form 463 and Telecom Invoice)
  • USAC hosted a FY2021 Kick Off Webinar on Wednesday, July 15th at 2PM EST, click here to view recording
    • This webinar is aimed to help new and returning HCP applicants prepare for FY2021 and cover important dates, new tools, and best practices for a successful application process.
  • USAC hosted an HCF Program FCC Form 461 Best Practices webinar on Wednesday, July 22nd at 2PM EST, click here to view recording.
    • This webinar focuses on the FCC Form 461 process and competitive bidding. 
  • USAC hosted a Telecom Program FCC Form 465 Best Practices webinar on Wednesday, July 29th at 2PM EST, click here to view recording.
    • This webinar focuses on the FCC Form 465 process and competitive bidding. 
New USAC Tools:
  • The USAC Telecom Program Rates Database is now available – As required by the 2019 FCC Report and Order, beginning in FY2021, USAC will determine the urban and rural rates for each eligible service in each state and include the rates in a database publicly available on its website. HCP’s submitting funding requests must use the urban and rural rates listed in USAC’s database.
    • USAC published a helpful “How to Use the Rates Database” handout.
  • USAC has released its Rurality Tier Search Tool – This tool can be used by HCP’s to search by HCP site location the applicable rurality tier for its HCP site(s).
    • The rurality tier is used to calculate the “rural rate” for eligible telecommunications services under the Telecom Program and, in the event eligible funding requests exceed the amount of available funding for a particular funding year, is a factor in determining the prioritization of funding.
    • USAC published a helpful “How to Use the Rurality Tier Search Tool” handout.

The ENA Healthcare team is actively reviewing both the telecom rates database and the rurality search tool and will work proactively with ENA customers using the telecom program to discuss possible impacts on 2021 funding.

ENA is committed to helping education and healthcare communities stay connected with remote services.