Healthcare Connect Fund Program

Federal Communications Commission, Universal Service Administrative Company

Program Type:

Subsidy

Eligible Geography:

Nationwide

Summary:

The Healthcare Connect Fund (fund) provides support for high-capacity broadband connectivity to eligible health care providers (HCPs) and encourages the formation of state and regional broadband HCP networks. Under the program, eligible rural HCPs, and those non-rural HCPs that are members of a consortium that has a majority rural HCP sites, can receive a 65 percent discount from the fund on all eligible expenses. HCPs are required to contribute the remaining 35 percent to participate in the program.

The Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program provides a 65% discount on eligible broadband connectivity expenses for eligible rural health care providers (HCPs).

Eligible Recipients:

Anchor Institution; For-Profit Business; Local Government; Non-Profit Organization

Eligible Recipients Detail:

Public or non-profit entity and be a post-secondary educational institution offering healthcare instruction; community health center; local health department or agency; community mental health center; not-for-profit hospital; rural health clinic; emergency room of a for-profit hospital; skilled nursing facility; consortium of health-care providers with one of the previous facilities.

Eligible Purpose:

Broadband Enabled Devices (Healthcare); Building Connectivity; Anchor Institution Connectivity

Eligible Purpose Detail:

Eligible Services include:

Reasonable & Customary Installation Charges (<= $5,000 undiscounted cost); Lit Fiber Lease; Dark Fiber (recurring charges and upfront payments); connections to research and education networks; HCP connections between off-site data centers & administrative offices; upfront charges for deployment of new or upgraded facilities; HCP-constructed and owned facilities; Eligible equipment (equipment necessary to make broadband service functional & Equipment necessary to manage, control, or maintain broadband service or dedicated health care broadband network). Broadband connections to off-site data centers and administrative offices that your facility uses for healthcare purposes are eligible for funding. Specifically, subject to the conditions and restrictions set forth below, we provide support for connections used by eligible HCPs: (i) between eligible HCP sites and off-site data centers or off-site administrative offices, (ii) between two off-site data centers, (iii) between two off-site administrative offices, (iv) between an off-site data center and the public Internet or another network, and (v) between an off-site administrative office and an off-site data center or the public Internet or another network.

Other Eligibility Criteria:

Must be in a rural location as defined by the FCC. If your site is not located in a rural area, it still may be eligible to apply to the HCF Program as part of a consortium. You can apply as an individual health care provider or as a consortium, i.e., a group of HCPs that can be both rural and non-rural.

Funding Match/Terms:

An HCP’s 35 percent contribution requirement can come from any eligible source. Eligible sources include the applicant or eligible HCP participants; state grants, funding, or appropriations; federal funding, grants, loans, or appropriations; Tribal government funding; and other grant funding, including private grants. Other sources of funding outside of this list are not eligible sources of funding. Examples of ineligible sources include (but are not limited to) in-kind or implied contributions; a local exchange carrier (LEC) or other telecom carrier, utility, contractor, consultant, vendor, or other service provider; other universal service funding; and for-profit entities.

Note/Additional Resources:

https://www.fcc.gov/general/healthcare-connect-fund-frequently-asked-questions#:~:text=1%2D10.-,What%20is%20the%20purpose%20of%20the%20Healthcare%20Connect%20Fund%3F,networks%20linking%20health%20care%20providers.