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e-CFR data is current as of January 14, 2021

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart G → §54.621


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 54—UNIVERSAL SERVICE
Subpart G—Universal Service for Rural Health Care Program


§54.621   Filing window for requests and prioritization of support.

(a) Filing window for requests. (1) The Administrator shall open an initial application filing window with an end date no later than 90 days prior to the start of the funding year (i.e., no later than April 1). Prior to announcing the initial opening and closing dates, the Administrator shall seek the approval of the proposed dates from the Chief of the Wireline Competition Bureau.

(2) The Administrator, after consultation with the Wireline Competition Bureau, may implement such additional filing periods as it deems necessary. To the extent that the Administrator opens an additional filing period, it shall provide notice and include in that notice or soon thereafter the amount of remaining available funding.

(3) The Administrator shall treat all health care providers filing an application within a filing window period as if their applications were simultaneously received. All funding requests submitted outside of a filing window will not be accepted unless and until the Administrator opens another filing window.

(b) Prioritization of support. The Administrator shall act in accordance with this section when a filing window period for the Telecommunications Program and the Healthcare Connect Fund Program, as described in paragraph (a) in this section, is in effect. When a filing period described in paragraph (a) in this section closes, the Administrator shall calculate the total demand for Telecommunications Program and Healthcare Connect Fund Program support submitted by all applicants during the filing window period. If the total demand during the filing window period exceeds the total remaining support available for the funding year, then the Administrator shall distribute the available funds consistent with the following priority schedule:

Table 1 to Paragraph (b)—Prioritization Schedule

Health care provider site is located in:In a medically
underserved
area/population (MUA/P)
Not in MUA/P
Extremely Rural Tier (counties entirely outside of a Core Based Statistical Area)Priority 1Priority 4.
Rural Tier (census tracts within a Core Based Statistical Area that does not have an urban area or urban cluster with a population equal to or greater than 25,000)Priority 2Priority 5.
Less Rural Tier (census tracts within a Core Based Statistical Area with an urban area or urban cluster with a population equal to or greater than 25,000, but where the census tract does not contain any part of an urban area or urban cluster with population equal to or greater than 25,000)Priority 3Priority 6.
Non-Rural Tier (all other non-rural areas)Priority 7Priority 8.

(1) Application of prioritization schedule. The Administrator shall fully fund all eligible requests falling under the first prioritization category before funding requests in the next lower prioritization category. The Administrator shall continue to process all funding requests by prioritization category until there are no available funds remaining. If there is insufficient funding to fully fund all requests in a particular prioritization category, then the Administrator will pro-rate the available funding among all eligible requests in that prioritization category only pursuant to the proration process described in paragraph (b)(2) in this section.

(2) Pro-rata reductions. The Administrator shall act in accordance with this section when a filing window period for the Telecommunications Program and the Healthcare Connect Fund Program, as described in paragraph (a) in this section, is in effect. When a filing window period described in paragraph (a) in this section closes, the Administrator shall calculate the total demand for Telecommunications Program and Healthcare Connect Fund Program support submitted by all applicants during the filing window period. If the total demand during a filing window period exceeds the total remaining support available for the funding year, the Administrator shall take the following steps:

(i) The Administrator shall divide the total remaining funds available for the funding year by the demand within the specific prioritization category to produce a pro-rata factor;

(ii) The Administrator shall multiply the pro-rata factor by the total dollar amount requested by each applicant in the prioritization category; and

(iii) The Administrator shall commit funds to each applicant for Telecommunications Program and Healthcare Connect Fund Program support consistent with this calculation.

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