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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of January 15, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart G → §54.619


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 54—UNIVERSAL SERVICE
Subpart G—Defined Terms and Eligibility


§54.619   Cap.

(a) Amount of the annual cap. The aggregate annual cap on federal universal service support for health care providers shall be $571 million per funding year, of which up to $150 million per funding year will be available to support upfront payments and multi-year commitments under the Healthcare Connect Fund Program.

(1) Inflation increase. In funding year 2018 and subsequent funding years, the $571 million cap on federal universal support in the Rural Health Care Program shall be increased annually to take into account increases in the rate of inflation as calculated in paragraph (a)(2) in this section. In funding year 2020 and subsequent funding years, the $150 million cap on multi-year commitments and upfront payments in the Healthcare Connect Fund Program shall also be increased annually to take into account increases in the rate of inflation as calculated in paragraph (a)(2) in this section.

(2) Increase calculation. To measure increases in the rate of inflation for the purposes of paragraph (a)(1) in this section, the Commission shall use the Gross Domestic Product Chain-type Price Index (GDP-CPI). To compute the annual increase as required by paragraph (a)(1) in this section, the percentage increase in the GDP-CPI from the previous year will be used. For instance, the annual increase in the GDP-CPI from 2017 to 2018 would be used for the 2018 funding year. The increase shall be rounded to the nearest 0.1 percent by rounding 0.05 percent and above to the next higher 0.1 percent. This percentage increase shall be added to the amount of the annual Rural Health Care Program funding cap and the internal cap on multi-year commitments and upfront payments in the Healthcare Connect Fund Program from the previous funding year. If the yearly average GDP-CPI decreases or stays the same, the annual Rural Health Care Program funding cap and the internal cap on multi-year commitments and upfront payments in the Healthcare Connect Fund Program shall remain the same as the previous year.

(3) Public notice. After calculating the annual Rural Health Care Program funding cap and the internal cap on multi-year commitments and upfront payments in the Healthcare Connect Fund Program based on the GDP-CPI, the Wireline Competition Bureau shall publish a public notice in the Federal Register within 60 days announcing any increase of the annual funding cap based on the rate of inflation.

(4) Amount of unused funds. All unused collected funds shall be carried forward into subsequent funding years for use in the Rural Health Care Program in accordance with the public interest and notwithstanding the annual cap. The Administrator, on a quarterly basis, shall report to the Commission on unused Rural Health Care Program funding from prior years.

(5) Application of unused funds. On an annual basis, in the second quarter of each calendar year, all unused collected funds from prior years shall be available for use in the next full funding year of the Rural Health Care Program notwithstanding the annual cap as described in paragraph (a) in this section. The Wireline Competition Bureau, in consultation with the Office of the Managing Director, shall determine the proportion of unused funding for use in the Rural Health Care Program in accordance with the public interest to either satisfy demand notwithstanding the annual cap, reduce collections for the Rural Health Care Program, or to hold in reserve to address contingencies for subsequent funding years. The Wireline Competition Bureau shall direct the Administrator to carry out the necessary actions for the use of available funds consistent with the direction specified in this section.

(b) [Reserved]

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