PRESS RELEASE: SHLB Coalition Extremely Disappointed with RHC Funding Reductions March 16, 2018
The FCC announced a pro-rata reduction of funding for Individual applicants of over 15% and an astounding 25% reduction for consortium applicants. Below is a statement from John Windhausen, Jr. Executive Director of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition:
"The SHLB Coalition is extremely disappointed with the funding reductions for Rural Health Care (RHC) applicants announced today. These reductions are significantly higher than the 7.5% reduction in funding for the prior funding year. At a time when rural Americans are struggling to obtain high-quality Internet connections and are also suffering from the closure of rural hospitals, the announced funding reductions -- which will lead to price increases for health care providers across the country -- will have a devastating impact on the quality of rural healthcare. Congress wisely created this RHC program to bring high-quality telehealth care to rural America. Rural telehealth providers need higher-capacity broadband to handle electronic health records, address the needs of skilled nursing facilities, and facilitate telestroke, telepsychiatry and other essential services, but the current RHC program has not kept up pace with these changes in the telehealth marketplace. We hope that the FCC will take the SHLB Coalition's comments to heart and substantially increase the funding cap for this vitally important program before the next round of RHC applications are filed for FY2018."
The SHLB Coalition is a broad-based coalition of non-profit and for-profit organizations that share the goal of ensuring open, affordable, high-quality broadband for anchor institutions and their communities. Enhancing the broadband capabilities of community anchor institutions promotes economic growth and enables the most vulnerable segments of our population to be equal participants in the 21st century society and economy.
For further information, please contact, John Windhausen, Jr. Executive Director of the SHLB Coalition, at (202) 256-9616 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us at www.shlb.org.