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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 12, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart F → §54.603


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 54—UNIVERSAL SERVICE
Subpart F—Universal Service Support for Schools and Libraries


§54.603   Consortia, telecommunications services, and existing contracts.

(a) Consortia. (1) Under the Telecommunications Program, an eligible health care provider may join a consortium with other eligible health care providers; with schools, libraries, and library consortia eligible under subpart F of this part; and with public sector (governmental) entities to order telecommunications services. With one exception, eligible health care providers participating in consortia with ineligible private sector members shall not be eligible for supported services under this subpart. A consortium may include ineligible private sector entities if such consortium is only receiving services at tariffed rates or at market rates from those providers who do not file tariffs.

(2) For consortia, universal service support under the Telecommunications Program shall apply only to the portion of eligible services used by an eligible health care provider.

(b) Telecommunications services. Any telecommunications service that is the subject of a properly completed bona fide request by a rural health care provider shall be eligible for universal service support. Upon submitting a bona fide request to a telecommunications carrier, each eligible rural health care provider is entitled to receive the most cost-effective, commercially-available telecommunications service, and a telecommunications service carrier that is eligible for support under the Telecommunications Program shall provide such service at the urban rate, as defined in §54.604.

(c) Existing contracts. A signed contract for services eligible for Telecommunications Program support pursuant to this subpart between an eligible health care provider, as defined under §54.600, and a service provider shall be exempt from the competitive bid requirements as set forth in §54.622(i).

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart F → §54.603



§54.603   Competitive bidding and certification requirements.

(a) Competitive bidding requirement. To select the telecommunications carriers that will provide services eligible for universal service support to it under the Telecommunications Program, each eligible health care provider shall participate in a competitive bidding process pursuant to the requirements established in this section and any additional and applicable state, Tribal, local, or other procurement requirements.

(b) Posting of FCC Form 465. (1) An eligible health care provider seeking to receive telecommunications services eligible for universal service support under the Telecommunications Program shall submit a completed FCC Form 465 to the Administrator. FCC Form 465 shall be signed by the person authorized to order telecommunications services for the health care provider and shall include, at a minimum, that person's certification under oath that:

(i) The requester is a public or non-profit entity that falls within one of the seven categories set forth in the definition of health care provider, listed in §54.600(a);

(ii) The requester is physically located in a rural area;

(iii) [Reserved]

(iv) The requested service or services will be used solely for purposes reasonably related to the provision of health care services or instruction that the health care provider is legally authorized to provide under the law in the state in which such health care services or instruction are provided;

(v) The requested service or services will not be sold, resold or transferred in consideration of money or any other thing of value; and

(vi) If the service or services are being purchased as part of an aggregated purchase with other entities or individuals, the full details of any such arrangement, including the identities of all co-purchasers and the portion of the service or services being purchased by the health care provider.

(2) The Rural Health Care Division shall post each FCC Form 465 that it receives from an eligible health care provider on its website designated for this purpose.

(3) After posting an eligible health care providers FCC Form 465 on the Rural Health Care Corporation website, the Rural Health Care Division shall send confirmation of the posting to the entity requesting services. The health care provider shall wait at least 28 days from the date on which its FCC Form 465 is posted on the website before making commitments with the selected telecommunications carrier(s).

(4) After selecting a telecommunications carrier, the health care provider shall certify to the Rural Health Care Division that the provider is selecting the most cost-effective method of providing the requested service or services, where the most cost-effective method of providing a service is defined as the method that costs the least after consideration of the features, quality of transmission, reliability, and other factors that the health care provider deems relevant to choosing a method of providing the required health care services. The health care provider shall submit to the Administrator paper copies of the responses or bids received in response to the requested services.

(5) The confirmation from the Rural Health Care Division shall include the date after which the requester may sign a contract with its chosen telecommunications carrier(s).

[62 FR 32948, June 17, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 41304, Aug. 1, 1997; 63 FR 2131, Jan. 13, 1998; 68 FR 74502, Dec. 24, 2003; 78 FR 13983, Mar. 1, 2013]

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