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10/17/2014Invitation to FCC-USAC HCF Program Webinar


Join USAC and the FCC for a webinar about the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program. Topics include a first year retrospective of the HCF Program, updates that USAC is implementing, and a question and answer session.

Register here
: FCC-USAC HCF Program Webinar 
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
2:00 to 3:00 PM EDT

We encourage participants to submit questions in advance using the webinar registration form. If you think of a question after you register, please send it to RHC Program Outreach.

Webinar Topics
USAC and the FCC will present updates and best practices for the HCF Program. Webinar participants will learn about:
  • HCF Program first year retrospective overview
  • Best practices
  • My Portal update
  • Customer service

After the discussion of agenda items, staff will answer questions from the audience. We welcome suggestions for additional topics to RHC Program Outreach.

Need Help?
More information about HCF Program events is available on the Trainings & Outreach page of the RHC Program website.

If you have difficulty connecting to the webinar on October 28, contact USAC Outreach. For questions about the HCF Program, contact HCF staff via email or call the HCF Program Help Desk at (800) 453-1546.

10/8/2014RESOLVED - USAC's Customer Service Line Is Currently Down


The issue with USAC's Customer Service Line has been resolved.

Original Message
USAC's Customer Service Line (888) 641-8722 is currently down. Please contact via email at Customer Support until this issue is resolved. Thank you!

10/6/2014Monthly Updates on Progress Towards Annual Funding Cap


The Rural Health Care Program has an annual cap of $400 million in total support available for telecommunications and broadband funding for the Telecommunications and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) programs. As part of the total funding cap, there is also a $150 million cap for upfront payments and multi-year commitments. Requests for funding for both the Telecommunications and HCF programs may be submitted beginning during the initial funding request filing period, March 1 – May 30 prior to the beginning of the funding year, and through the end of funding year. USAC will process all requests until funding is exhausted.

In order to keep you informed about progress towards reaching the funding caps for Funding Year (FY) 2013 and FY2014, RHC Program staff will continue to update this funding cap progress report. Estimated commitments are based on HCP funding requests, and are subject to change after USAC review of forms.

$400 million Cap for Total RHC Program Funding

FY2013

FY2014

Total Commitment Requests Received

$236,462,091

$60,510,951

Total Commitment Made

$140,430,986

$11,663,470


Commitment Requests Received (Telecom Program)

$147,382,965

$41,293,314


Commitments Made (Telecom Program)

$100,531,099

$3,265,844


Commitment Requests Received (HCF Program – Consortia)

$64,844,965

$12,765,895


Commitments Made (HCF Program – Consortia)

$27,264,941

$8,340,701


Commitment Requests Received (HCF Program – Individual HCPs)

$24,234,161

$6,451,742


Commitments Made (HCF Program – Individual HCPs)

$12,634,946

$56,925



$150 million Cap for Upfront Payments and Multi-year Commitments

FY2013

FY2014

Total Commitment Requests Received

$70,142,094

$16,526,885

Total Commitment Made

$32,006,830

$8,006,096


Total Commitment Requests Received (Consortia)

$59,785,230

$12,425,197


Total Commitment Made (Consortia)

$26,042,826

$8,006,096


Total Commitment Requests Received (Individual HCPs)

$10,383,863

$4,101,688


Total Commitment Made (Individual HCPs)

$5,964,004

$0


Note: All data for estimated commitments and commitments made are through September 30, 2014.

10/3/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, October 9


The Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal will be unavailable due to system maintenance on Thursday, October 9, from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/30/2014Third Quarter 2014 RHC Circuit Issued


The 3Q2014 RHC Circuit has been issued. To subscribe, please visit our subscription center.

9/30/2014My Portal Outage Due to Scheduled System Maintenance


The Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal will be unavailable Tuesday, September 30, from 5:00-5:30 PM EDT, for system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/25/2014HCF Program Resources, Updates, and More for RHC Pilot Projects


The webinar "HCF Program Resources, Updates, and More for RHC Pilot Projects" is only a week away. If you haven't registered already, sign up today!

Register here: HCF Program Resources, Updates, and More for RHC Pilot Projects
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
2:00 to 3:00 PM ET

We encourage participants to submit questions in advance using the webinar registration form. If you think of a question after you register, please send it to RHC Program Outreach.

Presentation Topics
This webinar will be tailored to Pilot projects who would like to learn more about making a successful transition to the HCF Program, and will also feature processing updates and information about USAC resources. Webinar participants will learn about:
  • Recent customer service enhancements and how to reach USAC staff to get more information and provide suggestions
  • What you can do to prepare for HCF Program success
  • HCF Program best practices
  • RHC Program news including the waived FY2013 annual reporting requirement and the updated rural areas list
  • Funding and processing statistics
  • Training and communication about the HCF Program

After the discussion of agenda items, RHC Program staff will answer questions from the audience. Please send suggestions for additional topics to RHC Program Outreach.

Need Help?
More information about HCF Program events is available on the Trainings & Outreach page of the RHC Program website.

If you have difficulty connecting to the webinar on September 30, contact USAC Outreach.

For questions about the HCF Program, contact HCF Program staff via email or call the HCF Program Help Desk at (800) 453-1546.

9/18/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, September 18


The Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal will be unavailable Thursday, September 18, from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/9/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, September 11


USAC's E-File system, including the Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal system, will be unavailable Thursday, September 11, from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

9/4/2014Annual Reporting Waived for Funding Year 2013


Per the FCC’s release of Public Notice DA 14-853 on June 19, 2014, the annual reporting requirement for Rural Health Care (RHC) Pilot Program and Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program consortium leaders has been waived for Funding Year (FY) 2013 (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014).

Beginning in FY2014, annual reports will be used to collect data based on the three performance goals stated in the HCF Order:
  1. to increase access to broadband for health care providers;
  2. to foster the development and deployment of broadband health care networks; and
  3. to minimize the burden on the federal universal service fund by ensuring cost-effectiveness of the program.

The FCC will review comments submitted in response to the Public Notice about how to best measure performance goals and how to structure these reports for FY2014 and beyond.

Need Assistance?
For more information about annual reports, contact the RHC Help Desk via email or by phone at (800) 453-1546.

As a reminder, the "RHC-Admin(at)usac(dot)org" email address and (800) 229-5476 phone number are no longer valid. Please view the HCF Program Contact Us page to ensure that you reach the right RHC Program team members.

Other HCF Program Outreach and Training Opportunities
Stay in touch with the RHC Program to learn more about the application process:
  • Subscribe to the RHC Circuit quarterly newsletter,
  • Participate in the HCF Program quarterly webinar for consortium leaders, held the second Tuesday of the month,
  • Make a one-on-one appointment at the ATA Fall Forum, the American Telemedicine Association's Annual Conference in Palm Desert, CA, on September 6-9.

If you have any questions, contact us via email or call the HCF Program Help Desk at (800) 453-1546.

9/4/2014HCF Program Outreach at the 2014 ATA Fall Forum


The RHC Program team will be exhibiting at the ATA Fall Forum in Desert Springs, CA, on September 6-9, 2014. If you're attending the conference, stop by and visit us in the exhibit hall for general information about the Healthcare Connect Fund, or make an appointment for an in-depth discussion about your application.

Visit our website to learn more about the RHC Program's participation in the ATA Fall Forum.

Visit Us in the Exhibit Hall
The RHC Program staff will be available to answer general questions about the HCF and Telecommunications programs during exhibit hours at booth #306 of the Spring Ballroom. Find us listed in the directory as "Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC)."

Make a One-on-One Consortium Consultation Appointment
Current and prospective HCF Program consortium leaders, including former Pilot Program project consortia leaders, can schedule an appointment to discuss their application in depth. You can also schedule an appointment during the conference by scanning the QR code at the USAC exhibit booth (#306).

If you would like to speak with a staff member about issues related to consortia and cannot find a time that is convenient for you, or if you're not attending the ATA Fall Forum, email us to schedule a call after the conference.

About the ATA Fall Forum
The ATA Fall Forum is the American Telemedicine Association's annual conference. To learn more about the conference, visit the 2014 ATA Fall Forum website.

Need Additional Assistance?
For more information about this event, visit the ATA 2014 Exhibit and Appointments page on our website or contact USAC Training with questions.

8/26/2014Update: Rescheduled to September 3 - HCF Program Quarterly Webinar for Individual HCPs


This month's Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program quarterly webinar has been rescheduled to Wednesday, September 3, 2014. The webinar was originally scheduled for August 13 and rescheduled for August 27.

We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to seeing you at the webinar later this month. We will send a reminder email with the agenda one week in advance.

Visit the HCF Program Quarterly Webinar for Individual HCPs information page to view more information about this event and sign up.

Need Help?
For event-related assistance, contact RHC Help Desk. For information about joining the event, visit the HCF Program Quarterly Webinar for Individual HCPs page.

8/18/2014Rural Areas List Updated


Per the Federal Communications Commission's Rural Areas List Order (DA 14-1042 ), the Eligible Rural Areas Search tool on the USAC website has been updated to reflect the latest decennial census and most recent nationwide Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) designations, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.

The Rural Health Care Program’s definition of "rural area" has not changed, but some program participants that were previously determined to be rural may become non-rural as a result of the update to the Rural Areas List used to populate the Eligible Rural Areas Search tool.

Refer to the August 6, 2014 Latest News article "FCC Issues Order Updating Rural Areas List," for information about the impact of the update to the Rural Areas List on HCPs. For questions about eligibility or rurality, contact the RHC Help Desk by email or by phone at (800) 453-1546 by choosing option 2 and then 1.

8/11/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, August 14


USAC's E-File system, including the Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal, will be unavailable Thursday, August 14, from 9:00-11:59 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

8/7/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, August 8


The Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal will be unavailable Friday, August 8, from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for health care providers or service providers. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

8/6/2014FCC Issues Order Updating Rural Areas List


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Rural Areas List Order (DA 14-1042) announcing an update to the Rural Areas List. This update reflects the latest decennial census and most recent nationwide Core Based Statistical Area (CBSA) designations, as defined by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program’s definition of "rural area" has not changed, but some program participants that were previously determined to be rural may become non-rural as a result of the update to the Rural Areas List used to populate the Eligible Rural Areas Search tool.

The FCC recognizes that impacted health care providers (HCPs) play an important role in delivering health care to medically-underserved communities, and that they will need time to address the implications of the status change in their business operations. For this reason, the FCC will grant a limited waiver of the rural eligibility requirement for HCPs that have already received an eligibility determination for the RHC Program and whose status changes from rural to non-rural as a result of updating the Rural Areas List. This waiver will temporarily allow those HCPs to seek funding for the remainder of the funding year that the update was made and the following funding year as they transition to the new status. For example, formerly rural sites that are determined to be non-rural after USAC updates the Rural Areas List with the 2010 census data and CBSA data in Funding Year (FY) 2014 will be eligible to seek support for the remainder of FY2014 (until June 30, 2015) and the following funding year, FY2015 (from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016).

Refer to the table below to learn more about the impact of the update to the Rural Areas List on HCPs. HCPs that have had their status change to non-rural as a result of the update will be informed by email.

Individual HCP Applicants

To determine program eligibility:
  • Applicants that were previously determined to be rural and had their status change to non-rural as a result of the update will be considered rural and can seek funding for the remainder of FY2014 and the following funding year, FY2015. 
  • Applicants that received a multi-year funding commitment before the Rural Areas List update and had their status change from rural to non-rural as a result of the update will be considered rural for the duration of the commitment. Applicants that have sought but have not yet received a multi-year funding commitment before the Rural Areas List update and had their status change from rural to non-rural as a result of the update can receive funding as rural for the term of the multi-year commitment.

Consortia Applicants

To calculate the distribution of rural and non-rural sites participating in a consortium:
  • Member HCPs that received a funding commitment as part of a consortium before the Rural Areas List update and had their status change from rural to non-rural as a result of the update will be considered rural for the remainder of FY2014 and the following funding year, FY2015.
  • Member HCPs that have not sought a funding commitment before the Rural Areas List update and had their status change from rural to non-rural as a result of the update will be considered non-rural.
  • Member HCPs that received a multi-year funding commitment as a Pilot Program or Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program consortium member and had their status change from rural to non-rural as a result of the Rural Areas List update will be considered rural until the expiration of the funding commitment.
  • Non-rural Pilot Program sites that were grandfathered by the Healthcare Connect Fund Order (FCC 12-150) may continue to receive support as long as they meet the terms outlined in the order. 

New Applicants

Applicants who are new to the RHC Program after the posting of the updated Rural Areas List will have their rural or non-rural status determined by referencing the updated list.

The Rural Areas List will be updated within 60 days of the release of the Rural Areas List Order to reflect the 2010 decennial census data and most recent OMB CBSA designations, and will be updated as necessary when new data and designations are released in the future.

For questions about eligibility or rurality, contact the RHC Help Desk by email or by phone at (800) 453-1546 by choosing option 2 and then 2.

7/31/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, July 31


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT Thursday, July 31, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

7/16/2014Submit Comments on HCF Program Annual Reporting Requirement


The FCC seeks comment on the annual report data collection proposals to measure the progress of consortia participating in the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program and on how to best obtain information for measuring performance goals:

Performance Goal

Proposed Data Collection

Increase access to broadband for health care providers

  • Extent to which program participants subscribe to higher levels of broadband over time;
  • Participation in the HCF Program, relative to the universe of eligible participants; and
  • Bandwidths obtained by different types of health care providers (HCPs) and whether those bandwidths are sufficient for their needs.

Specific data points include:

  • Anticipated increases in bandwidth or service level upgrades for HCPs on their networks and whether service agreements allow for such increases;
  • The average bandwidth obtained per HCP site and price paid per megabyte, categorized by HCP type;
  • Potential growth of the network categorized by number and type of HCPs;
  • The number of outages and duration of time when service in unavailable, to the extent that data is already being collected; and
  • The types of technologies consortia use to receive service (e.g., fiber, coaxial cable, copper, wireless, or satellite.

Foster the development and deployment of broadband health care networks

  • The extent to which eligible HCPs participating the HCF Program are connected to other HCPs through broadband health care networks;
  • The reach of broadband health care networks supported by the RHC Program, including connections to those networks by eligible and non-eligible HCP sites; and
  • How program participants use their broadband connections to deliver health care, including whether and to what extend HCPs are engaging in telemedicine, exchanging electronic health records (EHRs), or participating in health information exchanges, remote training, and other telehealth applications.

Maximize the cost-effectiveness of the HCF Program

  • The cost of administering the program as compared to funds disbursed to program participants;
  • The prices and speeds of the broadband connections supported by the HCF Program; and
  • The number and nature of all responsive bids received through the competitive bidding process, as well as an explanation of how each winning bid was chosen.

In addition to the proposed collections listed above, the FCC welcomes comments on other data points that would be most useful in measuring performance goals for the HCF Program, especially quantitative data that can be collected through My Portal. The FCC is also interested in hearing about how easily HCPs or consortium leaders can provide the proposed data, and how to minimize any burden imposed on filers.

To read the complete public notice and submit comments, view Public Notice DA 14-853 for comments regarding the HCF Program consortium annual report. Follow the instructions on page 3, or view the Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) Guide to submit your comments.

7/16/2014My Portal Monthly Software Update


The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program deploys software updates to improve usability and functionality in My Portal, the RHC Program's online application management system.

These updates include features that will expedite the application review process and help applicants maintain Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program compliance. Many enhancements are based on feedback from applicants.

Telecommunications Program Updates

Document Tree Bug Resolved
All folders in the document tree are now expandable.

Contract Expiration Date
Funding Commitment Letters (FCL) associated with a contract will now show the contract expiration date.

View Information Requests in New Tab
A new tab called, “All Information Requests” shows all information requests for the HCPs for which a user has access. Use the “Status” dropdown to sort information requests by status. There are three status options: “Replied,” “Expired,” and “Pending.” Pending information requests are listed first, in ascending order of the response deadline.

Select Buttons to Populate HCP Circuit Start and End Location Addresses
The Circuit Start Location and Circuit Termination Location are located on FCC Form 466, Lines 26 and 27.

The HCP location as shown on Block 1 of the FCC Form 465 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form) will populate with either the circuit start (FCC Form 466, Line 26) or the circuit termination location (FCC Form 466, Line 27) by selecting the appropriate radio button. The corresponding address is also required, and must be typed into the form.

Find Urban Rate Information
Urban rate information for Funding Year 2014, which is required for Line 41 of the FCC Form 466 (Monthly Urban Rate), is now available on the Urban Rates Search page of the USAC website.

Service Providers Updates
All invoicing screens will now consistently display the correct amount available for invoicing.

7/8/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, July 11


USAC’s E-File system, including Rural Health Care’s My Portal, will be unavailable Friday, July 11, from 9:00 PM to 11:59 PM EDT for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, and Rural Health Care programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online.

6/30/2014Update - My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Tuesday, July 1


Update: The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT Tuesday, July 1, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

6/30/2014Last Chance to Submit FY2013 Funding Requests


The deadline to submit a funding request for Funding Year (FY) 2013 of the Rural Health Care Program is Monday, June 30, 2014, by 11:59 PM EDT. You must submit a funding request form by this time to receive funding for FY2013 (July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014).

The following funding request forms are available for the RHC Program:
After the deadline, all draft forms of FY2013 funding requests will be deleted from My Portal.

How to Submit
All FCC forms and supporting documentation must be submitted in My Portal, the Rural Health Care Program's online application management system.

Funding request forms and instructions are available online on the Telecom Program Forms page and the HCF Program Forms page.

Contact Us
If you have any questions or encounter problems in My Portal, contact us:
  • Email the RHC Help Desk, or
  • Call the RHC Help Desk at (800) 453-1546 between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM ET.

A new Contact Us link is now available in the left-hand navigation menu of every page of the RHC Program website providing specific contact information for the Telecom, HCF, and Pilot programs.

To learn more about the RHC Program, visit our website.

6/26/2014Changes to the RHC Program Contact Information


In order to better serve you, the Rural Health Care (RHC) Program has centralized our channels of communication into a single, enhanced RHC Help Desk for the Healthcare Connect Fund, Telecommunications, and Pilot programs.

This streamlined system of communication eliminates several email addresses and phone numbers for different RHC programs, and helps ensure that your questions are answered directly by the staff member who has both the knowledge and immediate availability to assist you.

How to Contact the RHC Program
All RHC Program participants should use this information to contact the RHC Help Desk:
  • Email us at rhc-assist@usac.org, or
  • Call us at (800) 453-1546 between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM ET.

The following email addresses and phone numbers for the RHC Help Desk will be discontinued in the near future: rhc-admin@usac.org, rhc-outreach@usac.org, and (800) 229-5476.

For more information on how to navigate the new Help Desk phone system, please visit the Rural Health Care Program Contact Us page.

6/20/2014Technical Difficulties in My Portal


Applicants may be experiencing technical difficulties when attempting to submit Healthcare Connect Fund Program application forms through My Portal.

Under the "Certifications" tab, after selecting "Certify," applicants may receive an "Incorrect Signature" error message, which will prevent form submission. To certify and submit a form, you will need to clear the auto-populated text in the "Signature" field and enter the password you use to sign into My Portal.

We are working to correct the certification function and hope it will be updated soon.

6/20/2014June Software Update for My Portal


The Rural Health Care (RHC) Program deploys software updates to improve usability and functionality in My Portal, the RHC Program's online application management system.

These updates include features that will expedite the application review process and help applicants maintain Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program compliance. Many of the enhancements are based on feedback from applicants.

Continue reading below to learn about the recent My Portal updates.

Updates for Individual HCP and Consortium Account Holders
The following updates were made to accounts with individual health care provider (HCP) or consortium leader permissions:

New FCC Form 463 Tab Added
In the "forms" tabs, account holders will see the new "463" tab and will be able to submit the form for approved funding requests. The "total invoice amount" column will be blank if there is $0.00 available for invoicing.

More Drop-Down Options Added
More drop-down options for FCC Form 462 supporting documentation were added. Account holders can now select "Cost Allocation," "Cost-effectiveness Evaluation," and "Eligible Usage Calculation" supporting documentation options from the drop-down menu. In addition to these options, consortium leader account holders can select "Network Plan" and "Sustainability Plan."

Versions of the Network Cost Worksheet Now Viewable
Account holders with multiple expenses can now view submitted or approved versions of the Network Cost Worksheet (NCW) in the "462" tab. After the NCW is approved, only the approved version will be available to view in the "Download" column for each form.

PDF Versions of Submitted or Approved Forms Now Viewable
Account holders can now view PDF versions of all submitted or approved FCC forms. Once USAC approves the form, the submitted version will be replaced and the approved version will be available to view in the "Download" column for each form. Withdrawn, duplicate, or denied forms will not be available to view.

Learn More, Receive Assistance
Stay in touch with the HCF Program to learn about future enhancements to My Portal and other information.

For immediate assistance about the HCF Program, submit questions via email.

6/9/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Wednesday, June 11


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT Wednesday, June 11, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/30/2014Certain Online Forms Unavailable Due to System Maintenance: Friday, May 2 through Saturday, May 3


Certain online forms will be unavailable beginning Friday, May 2 at 8:00 PM through Saturday, May 3 at 5:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Including forms in the:
  • High Cost Program system,
  • Lifeline Program system,
  • Rural Health Care Program My Portal system, and
  • Schools and Libraries Program Apply Online system.
These online forms will not be accessible for eligible telecommunications carriers, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, search for certain forms online, and use online applications or tools.

The FCC Forms 499-A/Q, FCC Form 498, and the NLAD system will still be available. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/16/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, April 17


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT Thursday, April 17, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/7/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Monday, April 7


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 6:00-9:00 PM EDT Monday, April 7, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/3/2014Certain Online Forms Unavailable Due to System Maintenance: Saturday, April 5


Certain online forms will be unavailable Saturday, April 5, from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Including forms in the:

  • High Cost Program system,
  • Lifeline Program system,
  • Rural Health Care Program My Portal system, and
  • Schools and Libraries Program Apply Online system. 

These online forms will not be accessible for eligible telecommunications carriers, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, search for certain forms online, and use online applications or tools.

The FCC Forms 499-A/Q and FCC Form 498 will still be available.

We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/3/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Friday, April 4


The E-File system, including the Rural Health Care Program’s My Portal, will be unavailable Friday, April 4, from 9:00-11:00 PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/3/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, April 3


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-7:00 PM EDT Thursday, April 3, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

4/1/20142013 USAC Annual Report Now Available


USAC's 2013 Annual Report highlights USAC's efforts to provide support and guidance for program participants as they navigate ongoing changes in the landscape of universal service. With responsiveness and flexibility, USAC worked in 2013 to show beneficiaries a clear path towards affordable access to telecommunications and Internet services.

3/20/2014E-File Outage Due to System Maintenance: Thursday, March 20


The E-File system, including Rural Health Care’s My Portal, will be unavailable Thursday, March 20, from 10:00-11:59PM EDT, for system maintenance. Online forms will not be accessible for contributors, service providers, or participants in the High Cost, Lifeline, Rural Health Care, and Schools and Libraries programs. During this time, users may be unable to file, certify, and search for certain forms online. We apologize for any inconvenience.

3/18/2014My Portal Outage Due to System Maintenance: March 18


The My Portal system will be unavailable from 5:00-6:00 PM EDT Tuesday, March 18, 2014, due to system maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2/25/2014Skilled Nursing Facility Pilot Program Deferred


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced the deferral of the Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Pilot Program, originally expected to be implemented in Funding Year 2014. The SNF Pilot Program, introduced in the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Order (FCC 12-150), was intended to support broadband connections for skilled nursing facilities using telehealth applications that improve the quality and efficiency of health care delivery.

The FCC is reviewing comments solicited in the Technology Transitions Order Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) and is considering using part of the $50 million set aside for the SNF Pilot Program for consumer-oriented rural broadband experiments that would improve patient access to health care.

Updates about the SNF Pilot Program will be announced in the Rural Health Care Program’s Latest News and the RHC Circuit newsletter.