Who is Eligible?

In Rural areas:

  • Post-secondary teaching institutions and medical schools offering healthcare instruction
  • Local health departments or agencies
  • Community mental health centers
  • Rural health clinics
  • Hub hospitals (less than 400 beds)
  • School based clinics
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Mobile health clinics

In Non-rural areas (unserved and underserved) Same eligibility as for Rural areas, but in addition:

  • Community Health Clinics with HRSA designation as FQHC
  • Must be member of a Consortium
  • (Hub) Hospitals – may have more than 400 beds
    – $30,000/year in recurring charges
    – $70,000 non-recurring charges spread over 5 years

What is a Consortium?

An HCF Consortium is:

  • A non-profit organization
  • Lead by a grant non-participant
  • More than 50% of its members are located in rural areas (U.S. Census rural tracts)

Why Join a Consortium?

Advantages of being a member of a Qualified and Approved Consortium:

  • Can obtain 2:1 funding match from USAC/FCC HCF
    – 35% of cost paid by member HCPs for installation costs, Network Management software,
    and monthly recurring expenses
    – 65% of cost supplied by the USAC from the HCF
  • Grant funding for non-rural areas (low income, high unemployment, high non-English speaking, and high percentage of elderly)
  • Expanded eligible list of services and equipment (only available to Consortium members)
  • Upgrade of Internet Access facilities (not including internal network facilities)

Group Eligibility

To be Eligible, Rural HCF applicants:

  • Must be non-profit
  • May file an individual application, in which case must also file all administrative requirements for the 8 years of the program
  • Will receive listed services except for:
    – Network Management equipment
    – Upgrade to existing Internet Access facilities

To be Eligible, Non-rural HCF Consortium applicants:

  • Must be non-profit
  • Consortium files all applications and administrative requirements for 8 years for all members
  • Will receive listed services plus:
    – Network Management software
    – Upgrade to existing Internet Access facilities
  • Does benefit from RFP generated bulk purchase of services
  • All members have physical connection to all other members on the Consortium network

Non-eligible HCF Consortium members:

  • May be for-profit
  • Do not receive HCF subsidy
  • Do benefit from RFP generated bulk purchase of services
  • Has physical connection to all members on the Consortium network