FCC Increases Funding for Rural Health Care Program, Restoring Broadband Subsidy

By Jennifer Stoll, Vice President of Government Relations

We are very pleased to announce that the FCC has issued an order that increases funding for the FCC Rural Health Care (RHC) Program which includes the Healthcare Connect Fund. As a result, the full 65% broadband subsidy has been restored to the Healthcare Connect Fund retroactive to July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. In addition, FCC responded with additional funding for the new fiscal year starting July 1, 2018 that increases the funding cap to $571M. This new funding cap will be indexed for inflation on an ongoing basis to ensure the 65% subsidy is sustained. Lastly, the FCC’s order establishes a process to carry-forward unused funds from past funding years for use in future funding years. The USAC announcement and FCC order can be found on the Universal Service Administrative Co website.

We want to thank all of you who sent letters and emails supporting increased funding for this program. We now await the details from the FCC and USAC as to how and when the refunds will be processed. We will share this information with organizations that participate in this program as soon as it is made available to us.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss, please contact Jen Stoll, VP, Government Affairs at stollj@ochin.org or Eric Brown, President, California Telehealth Network at browne@ochin.org.