Step 1: Determine Eligibility of Your Site
You are eligible to receive funding from the Telecom Program if you meet all of the following criteria.
- Must be a non-profit entity or a public entity.
- Must be located in a rural area as defined by the FCC. You can determine the rurality of your site using the Eligible Rural Areas Search Tool.
- Must be one of the following types of facilities:
- A post-secondary educational institution offering health care instruction, such as a teaching hospital or medical school,
- A community health center or health center providing health care to migrants,
- A local health department or agency,
- A community mental health center,
- A not-for-profit hospital,
- A rural health clinic,
- A Dedicated emergency departments of a rural for-profit hospitals,
- A part-time eligible entity located in a facility that is ineligible,
- A Skilled Nursing Facility, or
- A consortium of health care providers consisting of one or more entities described in (a) through (-ih) above.
Note: The FCC considers each health care site or location as an individual HCP for purposes of calculating support under the RHC Program. Therefore, each HCP must demonstrate that, by itself, it is an eligible entity.
FCC Form 465
USAC determines the eligibility of your site with the FCC Form 465 (Description of Services Requested and Certification Form), which you can submit via My Portal at any time. The FCC Form 465 is also used to request bids from service providers through competitive bidding. If you are also using the FCC Form 465 to request services in addition to determining eligibility, you can submit as early as 180 days before the start of the funding year. Learn more about requesting services in Step 2.
This process differs from the HCF Program, where eligibility and requests for services are completed through separate forms (FCC Form 460 and 461). If you are planning on applying to both programs, USAC recommends that you submit the FCC Form 460 first to establish your eligibility and have an HCP number assigned to your site before requesting services with the FCC Form 465 in the Telecom Program. More about the FCC Form 460 and HCF Program eligibility can be found here.
You must submit an FCC Form 465 even if your site is already approved as eligible in the HCF Program. For the purpose of eligibility, you can submit the FCC Form 465 at any time during the funding year. If you are using a consultant, submit your signed third party authorizations (TPAs) with the FCC Form 465.
The material on these webpages 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.