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Healthcare Connect Fund and Remote Areas Fund Chris Barron Alexicon.

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Presentation on theme: "Healthcare Connect Fund and Remote Areas Fund Chris Barron Alexicon."— Presentation transcript:

1 Healthcare Connect Fund and Remote Areas Fund Chris Barron Alexicon

2  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

3  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

4  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

5  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

6  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

7  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?

8  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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