Rural Health Care

Step 4 Prepare for Competitive Bidding

Evergreen Contracts

A contract is considered evergreen when it includes more than one funding year and is endorsed as evergreen by USAC. If USAC designates a multi-year contract as evergreen, applicants do not need to annually rebid the service or post an FCC Form 461 for the life of the contract.

Evergreen contracts will likely benefit applicants by affording them lower prices due to longer contract terms and reduced administrative burdens due to fewer required FCC Forms 461.

USAC reviews every contract to determine whether it is evergreen. Evergreen contracts are required to be multi-year contracts and must meet the following criteria:

  • Signed by the applicant
  • Specifies the service type, bandwidth, and quantity
  • Specifies the term of the contract
  • Specifies the cost of services to be provided
  • Includes the physical addresses or other identifying information of the applicant purchasing from the contract

USAC will notify the applicant whether its contract is deemed evergreen in the Funding Commitment Letter (FCL).

Existing Evergreen Contracts

Applicants that had a contract designated as evergreen in the Pilot Program may seek funding for services provided in accordance with that evergreen contract through the Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program without undergoing additional competitive bidding.

Voluntary Extensions

Applicants may exercise voluntary options to extend an evergreen contract without undergoing additional competitive bidding if the:

  • Voluntary extension(s) is memorialized in the evergreen contract;
  • Decision to extend the contract occurs before the applicant files the FCC Form 462, Funding Request Form, for the funding year when the contract would otherwise expire; and
  • Voluntary extension(s) do not exceed five years in the aggregate.