Competitive Bidding Exemptions

If your site meets one of the competitive bidding exemptions below, you are not required to submit the FCC Form 461 or Form 465 and go through the competitive bidding process. You must indicate your intent to use a competitive bidding exemption when you file your funding request form.

You are exempt from competitive bidding if any of the following apply:

  1. Government Master Service Agreement (MSA): You are seeking support for services and equipment purchased from master service agreements (MSAs) negotiated by a federal, state, Tribal, or local governmental entity on the applicant’s behalf, and awarded pursuant to applicable federal, state, Tribal, or local competitive bidding requirements.
  2. Master Service Agreements Approved Under the Rural Health Care Pilot Program or HCF Program: You are opting into an existing MSA approved under the HCF Program and seeking support for services and equipment purchased from the MSA, as long as the MSA was developed and negotiated in response to an RFP or request for services that specifically solicited proposals that included a mechanism for adding additional sites to the MSA.
  3. Evergreen Contract: You have an existing contract already endorsed by USAC as evergreen.
  4. Schools and Libraries Program Master Contracts: You are an eligible HCP in a consortium with participants in the Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) program and are purchasing services and/or network equipment under a contract approved under the E-Rate program as a master contract.

If you do not meet any of the exemptions above you must submit an FCC Form 461 or Form 465 to USAC and competitively bid the requested services.

Annual Undiscounted Cost of $10,000 or Less – HCF Program Only

If you are seeking support for $10,000 or less of total undiscounted eligible expenses for a single year you may bypass the competitive bidding process.

  • For consortia applicants, this exemption is $10,000 for all funding requests submitted for the consortium.
  • Note: If you select this option on your FCC Form 462, you will not be able to request a multi-year funding commitment.
  • Telecom Applicants cannot use this exemption.


The material on these web pages is provided for general information only and should not be relied upon or used as the sole basis for making decisions without consulting the RHC program rules, orders, and other primary sources of information. Applicants and service providers are ultimately responsible for knowing and complying with all RHC program rules and procedures.