The Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Health Care Program will carry forward up to $197.98 million in unused funds from prior years to increase available funding for 2020 to $802.74 million if needed, the agency announced yesterday.
The commission in 2018 established a process to carry forward past unused funds to meet growing demand for access to health care broadband services, particularly in rural areas. It also increased the program’s annual funding cap and decided to adjust it annually for inflation.
“And now, more than ever, our foresight is fortuitous, as telehealth is proving to be critical in our fight against COVID-19,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Today’s announcement speaks to the FCC’s commitment to ensuring that rural health care providers can continue to serve their communities during this difficult time and well into the future.”