On today’s show, we talk about USAC’s rural health program and the process that healthcare providers must undertake to receive subsidies for critical telecommunications links to rural facilities. Even if you work in a large metropolitan area, if your hospital or clinic is partnering with smaller facilities or has outreach facilities located in rural parts of the country, you should listen to today’s show. The potential to have the cost between the rural rate and the urban rate for telecommunications and Internet service for healthcare providers is substantial. The services that USAC commonly subsidizes are ATM, Centrex, DSL, Ethernet, Fiber, Fractional T1′s, Frame Relay, Internet, ISDN, Mileage related charges, MPLS, Network Reconfiguration Services (NRS), OC-1, OC-3, Redundant Circuits, Satellite Services, Telephony Services, T1′s, T3′s, and DS3′s.
The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) funds the FCC’s Universal Service Fund. There are four programs that USAC administers, the high cost program, the low income program, the E-Rate program for schools and libraries, and the rural health program. You can find out how much money was disbursed to telecommunication providers in various states in 2010 here.
Important information about how to go about applying for universal service fund subsidies, as well as information essential to developing a selection process is available in the podcast, as well as in the links below.
I hope this short primer on USAC helps some of you gain access to funds that may help you improve the healthcare infrastructure of your rural and outreach facilities. If you have any questions, or if you have additional tips, you are welcome to add them here, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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