The Rural Health Care Program of the Universal Service Fund

The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program provides reduced rates to eligible rural health care providers (HCPs) for telecommunications and Internet services used for the provision of health care so they pay no more than their urban counterparts for the same or similar services. The program offers discounts on services such as basic telephone service, Internet access, advanced telecom services, and wireless services.

Congress directed the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to enhance access to advanced telecommunications and information services for HCPs through the Universal Service Fund (USF). The Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) was designated by the FCC to administer the USF. USAC is responsible for reviewing and processing eligible HCPs' applications for support, ensuring compliance with program rules, and issuing commitments (source).

Universal Service and NARBHAnet:
NARBHA telemed staff file for Universal Service rebates each year on behalf of all eligible NARBHAnet circuits.

NARBHA Consortium Universal Service Rebates
by Funding Year
July 1, 1998 - June 30, 2014

Total NARBHA Consortium Savings,
July 1998 - June 2014:

$3,029,418.93