Step 4: Submit Funding Requests
Once you select the most cost-effective method of providing the requested services, you will then submit the FCC Form 466 (Funding Request and Certification Form). The FCC Form 466 provides information to USAC about the type of service(s) ordered, rates, service provider, and date of service provider selection. It also certifies that the bid you selected was the most cost-effective bid that you received. You must use one FCC Form 466 for each service/circuit.
On the FCC Form 466, you may request Telecom Program support based on the difference between the cost for services at the HCP’s location and what the same service would cost in a city with a population of 50,000 or more in the your site’s state.
Program rules prohibit duplicative funding for the same service for the same sites from more than one FCC program. This includes the RHC programs (HCF and Telecom), the COVID-19 Telehealth Program and the Connected Care Pilot Program.
Things to Know
Documentation: You may need to work with your service provider to obtain the information and documentation necessary to complete the FCC Form 466. For example, the service provider may need to provide detailed circuit information, a circuit diagram, invoices for a service, or contract information.
Information Requests: As you submit your FCC Form 466, please upload all required documentation with your form. If USAC doesn’t receive sufficient documentation, RHC program reviewers will reach out to account holders with a request for more information (“Information Request”). Reviewers send Information Requests to collect any missing documentation, address deficiencies, or ask clarifying questions about the FCC form. If you receive an Information Request, you must respond to it within 14 calendar days. Failure to respond within 14 calendar days will result in a denial.
When to Submit FCC Form 466
You must submit your funding request during a filing window for funding consideration. Filing windows are fixed periods during which all submitted requests are treated as having been received at the same time. USAC will make funding decisions after the close of each filing window. For specific filing window dates, visit the funding year overview page.
Resubmitting recalled forms: If you recall an FCC Form 466 during the filing window, you can resubmit during that same filing window. If you recall an FCC Form 466 after the filing window closes, you will not be able to resubmit it unless another filing window opens.
All funding year FCC Forms 466 must be submitted by the close of the filing window to be considered for funding.
Urban/Rural Rate Information and Documentation
On January 26, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an Order on Reconsideration, Second Report and Order, Order, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking strengthening the procedures for the Rural Health Care (RHC) program.
Instead of using the Rates Database, for FY2023, HCPs and their service providers can:
- use rates approved under Method 1, 2, or 3 to calculate rural rates, or
- use the most recently-approved rural rate within the past five funding years for the same service to the same facility or, if there is no approved rate, an approved rural rate for the same or similar services to a facility with the same or similar geographic characteristics.
NOTE: For all previously approved urban and rural rates, applicants must provide USAC with the previous FRN associated with that approved rate and submit all documentation associated with that rate.
Calculating Rural Rates
For FY2023, instead of using the Rates Database, health care providers (HCPs) and their service providers can continue to use rates approved under Method 1, 2, or 3 to calculate rural rates HCPs and service providers may use either the most recently-approved rural rate for FY2018, FY2019, FY2020, FY2021, or FY2022 for the same service to the same facility or, if there is no approved rate, an approved rural rate for the same or similar services to a facility with the same or similar geographic characteristics. For more information on how to submit an FCC Form 466 using these methods please watch the Telecom Funding Request Webinar that was held on November 16, 2022 and posted on the Webinars webpage.
HCPs will enter this rural rate in Block 6 of the FCC Form 466 and upload supporting documentation, for example, a Funding Commitment Letter or rates approval letter for FY2018, FY2019, FY2020, FY2021, or FY2022.
Calculating Urban Rates
For FY2023, instead of using the Rates Database, HCPs should use an urban rate that has been previously approved for the same service at the same facility within the past five funding years. The urban rate must be the most recently approved rate for that facility/service combination. If there is no approved urban rate for a particular facility/service combination, the HCP may use an urban rate approved for the same or similar services to a facility with the same or similar geographic characteristics.
HCPs should upload to their FCC Form 466 documentation substantiating their urban rate, whether it be documentation supporting a previously approved urban rate such as a Funding Commitment Letter or documentation substantiating their urban rate under the preexisting rule.
Calculating Rural and Urban Rates – FY2024 and Forward
Beginning in FY2024, rules requiring rural rates to be calculated using Method 1, 2, or 3 and the pre-Rates Database calculation method for urban rates will be reinstated with the following minor changes:
- For FY2024 and 2025, service providers will be permitted to use previously approved rates for rural rates that would otherwise be calculated under Method 3.
- If there are no comparable rural rates within 30 percent of the speed of the requested service, service providers may use the rate for a higher bandwidth service that is otherwise similar to the requested service to justify a rural rate.
- Similarly, if there are no comparable urban rates within 30 percent of the speed of the requested service, health care providers may use the rate for a higher bandwidth service that is otherwise similar to the requested service to justify an urban rate.
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.