FCC to Strengthen Rural Health Care Program Rules February 18, 2022
For Immediate Release
Washington, D.C. (February 18, 2022) - Today the Federal Communications Commission adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) intended to strengthen its Rural Health Care (RHC) Program. The Commission seeks comment on rules for both the Telecommunications (Telecom) Program and the Healthcare Connect Fund.
John Windhausen Jr., executive director of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband (SHLB) Coalition made the following statement:
“We are extremely pleased that the FCC has unanimously proposed measures to enhance the accuracy and efficiency of the RHC Program. SHLB members file well over half of all RHC applications, and they see first-hand how the administration of the program affects healthcare providers and their patients. We particularly appreciate the questions raised in the FNPRM about the Telecom Program’s Rates Database and the internal cap in the Healthcare Connect Fund. Further, we applaud Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s statement that the FNPRM will also examine the overall funding cap and ways to streamline the processing of RHC applications, as SHLB requested in a letter filed last week. We look forward to continued collaboration with the Commission and the Universal Service Administrative Company to maximize RHC's success.”
The FCC previously granted a SHLB Coalition petition to waive the implementation of the Rates Database for funding years 2021 and 2022.
The SHLB Coalition is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) advocacy organization that supports open, affordable, high-quality broadband connections for anchor institutions and their surrounding communities. The SHLB Coalition is based in Washington, D.C. and has a diverse membership of commercial and non-commercial organizations from across the United States. To learn more, visit www.shlb.org.