Key Takeaways

  • The Telehealth Framework is comprised of three critical areas: telecom services infrastructure, IT & medical tools, and clinical services
  • There is no telehealth or telemedicine without robust, reliable broadband access and telecom networks
  • The Universal Service Fund consists of four programs: Lifeline, High Cost, Schools & Libraries (E-rate) and the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program
  • The RHC Program allocates $400 million annually to ensure rural health care providers can obtain telecom and Internet services at rates comparable to urban providers
  • The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation designated by the FCC to administer support for all 4 programs
  • The RHC Program consists of two programs- the Telecommunications Program (funds difference between rural and urban service rates) and the Healthcare Connect Fund (funds services at a flat 65%)
  •  In order to be eligible, health care providers must be one of the FCC-approved entities, must be a non-for-profit or public entity, and must be located on an FCC-approved rural location
  • Any telecommunications service which is used primarily for the provision of healthcare is eligible for funding

Next Steps 

Where do you go from here? Follow these next steps to get you and your organization on the path to broadband funding. 

Determine your eligibility. This is accomplished in three easy steps, visit to help you answer the following questions:

a. Is your healthcare organization one of the eligible health care provider types?   

b. Is your healthcare organization non-for-profit or a public entity?

c. Is your healthcare organization located in an FCC-approval rural location? Use this rural search tool for this determination.  


Familiarize yourself with the funding year deadlines and important dates for Funding Year 2018.

Funding Year 2018 runs from July 1, 2018-June 30, 2019. 


Set a time to file the appropriate paperwork so your organization doesn't miss out on 2018 Funding!


If you are looking to get more from your broadband services, call us today and we can work on a design that allows for the biggest bandwidth bang for your funded dollar.  We want to work with you on ensuring your organization is up to speed with the best and most reliable broadband products there are, even in your most remote/rural locations.

Contact us today and one of our friendly associates will help you get started on the path to a faster, more efficient telecommunications network.

Have further questions about the funding program, eligibility, deadlines, etc.? Contact USAC’s Rural Health Care department at or call (202) 776-0200.