On May 20, 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released FCC Order 19-45 affecting Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) Program participants with multi-year and upfront payment funding requests. For FY2018, multi-year and upfront payment funding requests exceeded the $150M cap; in the Order, the Commission takes necessary steps to fully fund these requests by directing USAC to process these as single year funding requests. Without such direction, the multi-year funding requests were facing a significant proration.
To mitigate any additional administrative burden on affected applicants expecting a three year commitment, all FY2018 FCC Forms 461 will be rolled over so FY2018 competitive bidding can be used for FY2019 requests. Additionally, the contracts associated with these funding requests that met evergreen requirements have been designated as such. More information about completing your FY2019 funding request is below.
The Order also extends the FY2019 filing window for affected HCF Program applicants to Sunday, June 30, 2019.
On Wednesday, May 29, all account holders of affected HCPs will receive their FY2018 Funding Commitment Letter (FCL). The FCL will reflect a single year of funding for FY2018.
Please use the following lookup tool to identify if a Funding Request Number (FRN) for your HCP is affected: FY2018 FRN Look-up Tool. Please disregard the redacted columns, in the interest of time, only HCP Number, FRN, and Line Item Number are included in the spreadsheet.
As a courtesy to applicants impacted by this change, USAC will be placing an FY2019 Funding Request draft in your My Portal queue for easy review and submission. This FY2019 draft will contain the remaining funding periods and funding amounts from your original FY2018 request, so all you have to do is review, certify, sign and submit. Please make sure to review the draft carefully prior to certifying and submitting.
On June 25, 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an Order that adopts rules to: (1) increase the annual RHC Program funding cap to $571 million and apply it to FY2017; (2) annually adjust the RHC Program funding cap for inflation, beginning with FY2018; and (3) establish a process to carry-forward unused funds from past funding years for use in future funding years. As noted in the FCC's RHC 2018 Funding Cap Order, the RHC Program funding cap for FY2018 will be $581 million, adjusted for inflation.
Due to the increase in the RHC Program funding cap for FY2017, all previously approved FY2017 funding requests will receive 100% of their approved funding amount. The proration that was previously applied to FY2017 funding commitments will be removed, and revised Funding Commitment Letters (FCLs) were issued via email.
As noted in the FCC's RHC 2018 Funding Cap Order, the RHC Program funding cap for FY2018 will be $581 million, adjusted for inflation. As a reminder, the FY2018 filing window closes on Friday, June 29, 2018. To be considered eligible for funding, you must submit your funding requests (FCC Forms 462 for the HCF Program and FCC Forms 466 in the Telecom Program) by the close of the FY2018 filing window on June 29, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Funding requests submitted after the close of the FY2018 filing window will not be accepted. Submit your funding requests as soon as possible to avoid experiencing any last-minute challenges.