On this page of the MiCTA Web Site both Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) and Health Care Connect Fund (HCF) members will be provided current information on the two programs via links listed below. The MiCTA Board and its diverse membership have supported its USF members for many years by providing competitive “best practices” conducted RFP Telecommunications programs, on-going information, and training related to the USF funding process.
MiCTA will continue to support the (E-Rate) and new 461 (Health Care Connect Fund) forms allowing you more time to concentrate on filing you “Request for Service” form 471 (E-Rate) or 462 (Health Care Connect Fund) by taking advantage of the results of MSA’s (Master Service Agreements) MiCTA provides to you our E-Rate and HCP members. In working closely with FCC and USAC officials, MiCTA is attempting to both, create uniformity wherever possible in process and procedural rules, and technically advance “Eligible Services” for both programs.
In recent years the current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and legal staff have worked diligently to reform both the E-Rate and Rural Health Care (RHC) funding Programs. In 2010, the E-Rate funding program was overhauled by the FCC creating new process procedures with the introduction of less cumbersome Forms 470 and 471, eliminated the need for technology plans for Priority 1 Telecommunication/Internet Services, and strengthened procedural rules. These changes have had a major impact on the increased level of participation in the E-Rate Program.
After many “change in rules/eligible services” filing requests with the FCC, MiCTA was pleased with the Commission’s passage of Order 12-150 on December 12, 2012, creating the Healthcare Connect Fund under the existing RHC Telecommunications Program. This new “Broadband” driven program seeks to enhance the capability of Rural HCPs to deliver a higher level of quality health care through the funding of “Advanced Broadband” services and stimulation of “HCP Consortiums” allowing “Non-Rural” HCPs to participate for the first time adding expertise to the diagnostic and treatment process.
On March 1, 2014 the initial 462 “Funding Request” application process opened and closes May 30, 2014. However, the FCC form 462 and supporting documentation may also be filed through the end of the funding year which will end on June 30, 2015. This extended 462 filing process provides the opportunity for qualified applicants to still receive funding within annual July 1 to June 30 funding cycle.
Gary Green - MiCTA Consultant for USF E-Rate/Healthcare Connect Fund