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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of November 14, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart F → §54.607


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


§54.607   Eligible recipients.

(a) Rural health care provider site—individual and consortium. Under the Healthcare Connect Fund Program, an eligible rural health care provider may receive universal service support by applying individually or through a consortium. For purposes of the Healthcare Connect Fund Program, a “consortium” is a group of two or more health care provider sites that request support through a single application. Consortia may include health care providers who are not eligible for support under the Healthcare Connect Fund Program, but such health care providers cannot receive support for their expenses and must participate pursuant to the cost allocation guidelines in §54.617(d).

(b) Limitation on participation of non-rural health care provider sites in a consortium. An eligible non-rural health care provider site may receive universal service support only as part of a consortium that includes more than 50 percent eligible rural health care provider sites. The majority-rural consortia percentage requirement will increase by 5 percent for the following funding year (up to a maximum of 75 percent) if the Commission must prioritize funding for a given year because Rural Health Care Program demand exceeds the funding cap.

(c) Limitation on large non-rural hospitals. Each eligible non-rural public or non-profit hospital site with 400 or more licensed patient beds may receive no more than $30,000 per year in Healthcare Connect Fund Program support for eligible recurring charges and no more than $70,000 in Healthcare Connect Fund Program support every five years for eligible nonrecurring charges, exclusive in both cases of costs shared by the network.

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart F → §54.607



§54.607   Determining the rural rate.

(a) The rural rate shall be the average of the rates actually being charged to commercial customers, other than health care providers, for identical or similar services provided by the telecommunications carrier providing the service in the rural area in which the health care provider is located. The rates included in this average shall be for services provided over the same distance as the eligible service. The rates averaged to calculate the rural rate must not include any rates reduced by universal service support mechanisms. The “rural rate” shall be used as described in this subpart to determine the credit or reimbursement due to a telecommunications carrier that provides eligible telecommunications services to eligible health care providers.

(b) If the telecommunications carrier serving the health care provider is not providing any identical or similar services in the rural area, then the rural rate shall be the average of the tariffed and other publicly available rates, not including any rates reduced by universal service programs, charged for the same or similar services in that rural area over the same distance as the eligible service by other carriers. If there are no tariffed or publicly available rates for such services in that rural area, or if the carrier reasonably determines that this method for calculating the rural rate is unfair, then the carrier shall submit for the state commission's approval, for intrastate rates, or the Commission's approval, for interstate rates, a cost-based rate for the provision of the service in the most economically efficient, reasonably available manner.

(1) The carrier must provide, to the state commission, or intrastate rates, or to the Commission, for interstate rates, a justification of the proposed rural rate, including an itemization of the costs of providing the requested service.

(2) The carrier must provide such information periodically thereafter as required, by the state commission for intrastate rates or the Commission for interstate rates. In doing so, the carrier must take into account anticipated and actual demand for telecommunications services by all customers who will use the facilities over which services are being provided to eligible health care providers.

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