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The Healthcare Connect Fund

Broadband Discounts for the Country and the City:

This might sound crazy, but thanks to the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF), a 65% discount on broadband connectivity and the equipment required to manage broadband services, could soon be available for your non-profit or public hospital.

The HCF was born out of the FCC’s reform of the congressionally created Rural Health Care Fund, which was written into the universal service section of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. That fund provided subsidies to rural public/non-profit hospitals which allowed healthcare providers to purchase telecommunications services for roughly the same cost as their urban counterparts.

Perhaps because the Rural Health Care Fund never grew to the point where it distributed its annual maximum of $400 million in subsidies, it was substantially revamped in 2012. Among other reforms, the commission created the HCF.


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