Presentation on theme: "Healthcare Connect Fund and Remote Areas Fund Chris Barron Alexicon."— Presentation transcript:
Healthcare Connect Fund and Remote Areas Fund Chris Barron Alexicon
Replaces portions of the current Rural Health Care (RHC) program Replaces Internet Access program Retains telecommunications component (i.e., voice) Encourages formation of Rural Healthcare Provider (HCP) consortiums Non-rural HCPs can participate, but only as part of consortiums w/ predominantly rural HCPs Retains current $400m total annual support cap Allows HCPs to purchase services or build facilities Creates new Pilot Program for Skilled Nursing Facilities $50m over three years
Funding 2 for 1 match for cost of broadband services or facilities 35% HCP contribution Begins January 1, 2014 (July 1, 2013 for existing pilot projects) Primary focus – encourage “the growth or formation of statewide, regional, or Tribal broadband health care networks...” (para. 45) Program to support cost of: Broadband and other advanced services Upgrading existing facilities to higher bandwidth Equipment necessary to create networks of HCPs, as well as equipment necessary to receive broadband services HCP-owned infrastructure where shown to be the most cost- effective option
Supported entities: Health Care Providers Public or not-for-profit Hospitals, rural health clinics, community health centers, health centers service migrants, community mental health centers, local health departments or agencies, post-secondary education institutions/teaching hospitals/medical schools, consortia of the above
For all applicants Broadband services Reasonable and customary installation charges Equipment necessary to make service functional Connections to off-site administrative offices and data centers Connections to research and education networks Consortium Applicants Equipment necessary for a network Upfront charges for deployment of new or upgraded facilities, including dark fiber HCP constructed and owned facilities, if shown to be the most cost-effective option
Remote Areas Fund (RAF) – adopted in original FCC “Transformation” Order Allocated budget: $100 million (annual) Purpose: To ensure those living in remote areas, where the cost of providing terrestrial broadband service is “extremely high”, can obtain broadband service Remote Areas Terrestrial Extremely high Aimed at 4 meg / 1 meg speeds
FCC Initial Proposal: A portable consumer subsidy Each consumer receives a fixed amount Used to cover upfront charges or for a discount on monthly service rates Subsidy provided to companies, who pass it directly through to customers (like Lifeline) One time - $200? Monthly retail discount = difference between price of “basic” satellite service and a reference price Basic - $50? Reference - $37?
Consumer Eligibility Single subsidy per household or residence Same definition as in Lifeline program Service Providers Must be ETCs Issues to be addressed about new ETC applications directly related to the RAF Will be required to provide voice service
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