Rural healthcare providers have more time to apply for telecom subsidies. The FCC extended the application window for its Rural Health Care Program until June 30.
The program provides funding to eligible health care providers for telecommunications and broadband services. It subsidizes the difference between urban and rural rates for telecommunications services.
In addition to extending the application window, the Commission eased competitive bidding requirements for health care providers with expiring evergreen contracts. The agency also extended deadlines for responses to inquiries from the Universal Service Administrative Company, filing invoices, and filing appeals, among other deadlines.
“The disruption to health care providers throughout the country as a result of this pandemic is indisputable and the FCC, alongside other federal agencies, is working to address these challenges head on,” said Chairman Ajit Pai. “Telemedicine continues to play a significant role in combating the ongoing pandemic, especially in rural areas. Today’s changes will allow health care providers to focus their attention on their immediate task at hand—addressing the influx of patients associated with the COVID-19 outbreak and continuing critical care for existing patients, thereby helping to control the spread of this serious pandemic.”
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