Rural Health Care

Funding Request Filing Window Periods

A filing window period is a fixed period of time when all funding requests received during a specific period are treated as though they were received at the same time.If funding remains after the close of a filing window period, USAC may open another filing window period for that funding year.

No additional funding requests will be accepted for Funding Year 2016 (FY2016) (which started on July 1, 2016 and ends on June 30, 2017). However, you can start preparing for Funding Year 2017 (FY2017) and begin submitting your funding requests for the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) (FCC Form 462) and the Telecommunications Programs (FCC Form 466) on March 1, 2017, during the initial filing window period for FY2017. Funding Year 2017 starts on July 1, 2017 and ends on June 30, 2018.

FY2016 Filing Window Periods

The second and final filing window period for FY2016 was September 1 – November 30, 2016. Current projections show that the total dollar value of qualifying funding requests received will be close to or slightly exceed the total remaining funds available for the RHC Program (HCF and Telecommunications Programs). Due to this extraordinarily high demand for RHC Program funds in FY2016, there will not be a third filing window period for FY2016, and USAC will not accept any more funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) for FY2016.

What This Means to Applicants

All qualifying requests filed prior to the second filing window period will receive 100% of the requested funding.

For all qualifying funding requests filed by the close of the second filing window period for FY2016, there are two funding scenarios possible:

  • If the final total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests does not exceed the remaining total funds available by the close of the second filing window for FY2016, all qualifying requests will receive 100% of the requested funding.
  • If the final total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests exceeds the total remaining funds available by the close of the second filing window period for FY2016, all qualifying funding requests will receive a pro-rated percentage of the total funds available by the close of the second filing window period, based on the total amount of qualifying funding requested by the close of the second filing window.

We will update the progress toward the $400M cap per funding year on the Funding Information page in the upcoming weeks.

FY2017 Filing Window Period

The initial filing window period for FY2017 will take place from March 1 – June 30, 2017. This means that you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 or 466) as early as March 1, and no later than June 30, 2017, 11:59 PM EDT for the initial filing window period. You can, however, submit other application forms for FY2017 (FCC Forms 460, 461, or 465) prior to March 1 to begin the application process and we strongly encourage you to do so.

If the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests received by the close of the initial filing window period for FY2017 does not exceed the annual $400M cap per funding year for the RHC Program (HCF and Telecommunications Programs), we will determine the timing and duration associated with any subsequent filing window periods for FY2017, based on our assessment of the total qualifying funding requested by the close of the initial filing window period and the amount of available funding still remaining. If the total demand exceeds the program cap by the close of the initial filing window period, we will pro-rate funding pursuant to the FCC's rules and there will be no further filing window periods for FY2017.

Note: Applicants that submitted an FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 but did not submit a corresponding FCC Form 462 or FCC Form 466 for FY2016 will need to submit a new FCC Form 461 or FCC Form 465 for FY2017 if they do not meet an HCF Program competitive bidding exemption.

How Pro-Rated Funding Works

For each discrete filing window period, if the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests exceeds the total remaining funding available for the funding year, USAC will:

  1. Divide the total funds available for the funding year by the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests for that filing window period to produce a pro-rata factor;
  2. Multiply the pro-rata factor by the total qualifying amount of support requested by each applicant that has filed by the close of the specific filing window period; and
  3. Commit funds to each eligible applicant consistent with this calculation.

For example, if at the close of a filing window period, the total dollar value of all qualifying funding requests is $125 million and there is $100 million remaining in RHC Program support, USAC will calculate the pro-rata factor by dividing $100 million by $125 million to produce a factor of four-fifths (.8). We will then multiply the total qualifying funding amount for each applicant that filed during the specific filing window period by .8 and commit such reduced dollar amount to each applicant.

If an applicant's qualifying funding amount was $5,000, that applicant's pro-rated commitment amount would be:

The pro-rata factor for each filing window period and committed funding amount (after the pro-rata factor has been applied) will be listed on Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs).

Questions?

We know new processes can be confusing, but we are here to answer your questions and help you through the application process. Contact our RHC Help Desk by email at RHC-Assist@usac.org or (800) 453-1546.