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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 → §54.615


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


§54.615   Off-site data centers and off-site administrative offices.

(a) The connections and network equipment associated with off-site data centers and off-site administrative offices used by eligible health care providers for their health care purposes are eligible for support under the Healthcare Connect Fund Program, subject to the conditions and restrictions set forth in paragraph (b) in this section.

(b) Conditions and restrictions. The following conditions and restrictions apply to support provided under this section.

(1) Connections eligible for support are only those that are between:

(i) Eligible health care provider sites and off-site data centers or off-site administrative offices;

(ii) Two off-site data centers;

(iii) Two off-site administrative offices;

(iv) An off-site data center and the public internet or another network;

(v) An off-site administrative office and the public internet or another network; or

(vi) An off-site administrative office and an off-site data center.

(2) The supported connections and network equipment must be used solely for health care purposes.

(3) The supported connections and network equipment must be purchased by an eligible health care provider or a public or non-profit health care system that owns and operates eligible health care provider sites.

(4) If traffic associated with one or more ineligible health care provider sites is carried by the supported connection and/or network equipment, the ineligible health care provider sites must allocate the cost of that connection and/or equipment between eligible and ineligible sites, consistent with the “fair share” principles set forth in §54.617(d)(1).

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 54Subpart F → §54.615



§54.615   Obtaining services.

(a) Selecting a provider. In selecting a telecommunications carrier, a health care provider shall consider all bids submitted and select the most cost-effective alternative.

(b) Receiving supported rate. Upon receiving a bona fide request, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section, from a rural health care provider for a telecommunications service that is eligible for support under the Telecommunications Program, a telecommunications carrier shall provide the service at a rate no higher than the urban rate, as defined in §54.605, subject to the limitations applicable to the Telecommunications Program.

(c) Bona fide request. In order to receive services eligible for support under the Telecommunications Program, an eligible health care provider must submit a request for services to the telecommunications carrier, signed by an authorized officer of the health care provider, and shall include that person's certification under oath that:

(1) 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 §54.601(a);

(2) The requester is physically located in a rural area, or if the requester is a mobile rural health care provider requesting services under §54.609(e), that the requester has certified that it is serving eligible rural areas;

(3) [Reserved]

(4) 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;

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

(6) 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; and

(7) The requester 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.

(d) Annual renewal. The certification set forth in paragraph (c) of this section shall be renewed annually.

[62 FR 32948, June 17, 1997, as amended at 70 FR 6373, Feb. 7, 2005; 78 FR 13984, Mar. 1, 2013]

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