Foundation / Corporation
Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) - Rural Health Care (RHC) Program
05/31/19 11:59 PM EDT
Grants to USA nonprofit health care organizations for reduced connectivity costs for a variety of telecommunications services. Eligible organizations will be located in rural areas. Funding is intended to support health care providers in bringing quality medical care to rural areas through increased connectivity.
The Telecommunications (Telecom) Program funds the up to the difference between the urban and rural rates of telecommunications services. Eligible applicants will receive a discount based on the urban-rural price difference in their area on telecom expenses.
Eligible health care providers are permitted to apply to receive reduced rates for a variety of telecommunications services. Health care providers may seek support for multiple telecommunications services of any bandwidth.
Eligible telecommunications services and charges include, but are not limited to:
- ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)
- Fractional T1
- Frame relay
- Mileage-related charges*
- NRS – Network Reconfiguration Service
- Redundant circuit
- Satellite service
- Telephone service
- T3 or DS3
*Under current guidance, carriers may choose whether to use a mileage- or non-mileage-based approach.
GrantWatch ID#: 185138
Funding Year 2019: From July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.
A multi-year contract may achieve evergreen status from USAC. This means that HCPs do not need to re-engage in competitive bidding for the life of the contract. If a multi-year contract is not deemed evergreen by USAC, HCPs must accept and evaluate bids each year.
Both the applying health care provider (HCP) and the requested services must be eligible for support.
There are three initial criteria an HCP must meet to participate in the Rural Health Care Program:
1. HCP must be a non-profit entity or a public entity
2. HCP must be located in a rural area as defined by the FCC (to determine if your entity is in an eligible rural location, see link in Additional Geographic Information below)
3. HCP must be one of the following types of entities:
- Post-secondary educational institutions offering health care instruction, such as teaching hospitals and medical schools,
- Community health centers or health centers providing health care to migrants,
- Local health departments or agencies,
- Community mental health centers,
- Not-for-profit hospitals,
- Rural health clinics,
- Dedicated emergency departments of rural for-profit hospitals,
- Part-time eligible entities located in facilities that are ineligible, or Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) (effective January 1, 2017).
Once the HCP has been established as an eligible entity, it should ensure that the services requested are eligible for support. Connectivity costs for most telecommunications services are eligible for support. Review the list of eligible and ineligible services to be certain your service needs are included.
Each HCP site or location is considered an individual HCP for purposes of calculating support under the RHC Program. Each site must thus demonstrate that by itself it is an eligible entity.
Telecommunications equipment does not qualify for support. The following examples are not eligible:
- Special construction and maintenance charges
- Zone charges
- The cost of construction or infrastructure build-out for the installation of telecommunications services is not supported. For example, if a wall must be removed, a street dug up, or a cable laid, these costs would not be eligible for support.
- Internet access is not available through the Telecommunications Program.
The FY 2019 Filing Window Period will take place from February 1, 2019 through 11:59 p.m. EDT May 31, 2019. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) as early as February 1 and no later than 11:59 p.m. ET May 31, 2019, for the initial filing window period. You are highly encouraged to submit your application forms as early as possible in the filing window period. Other application forms for FY2018 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) are accepted prior to February 1 to begin the application process.
The complete application process for a health care provider in the Rural Health Care Program:
Step 1: Determine Eligibility
Step 2: Evaluation Criteria & Service Requests
Step 3: Evaluating Bids & Selecting an SP (Service Providers)
Step 4: Submit Funding Requests
Step 5: Review, Approve, and Submit
HCF Program Applicant Updates:
Watch previous webinars:
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Apply and download documents in My Portal: https://www.usac.org/rhc/tools/applicant-login/default.aspx?pgm=telecom
Contact the RHC Help Desk at (800) 453-1546
Eligible Rural Areas: https://www.usac.org/rhc/telecommunications/tools/Rural/search/search.asp
USA: Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York City; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington, DC; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming