The RHC Program provides funding to eligible public or non-profit health care providers for broadband and telecommunications services necessary for the provision of health care. RHC Program support is provided on a funding year basis. Funding years run from July 1 through June 30 of the subsequent year.
The RHC Program provides funding through two programs: the Telecommunications (Telecom) Program and the Healthcare Connect Fund Program. The Telecom Program ensures that rural health care providers pay no more than their urban counterparts for eligible telecommunications services. The Healthcare Connect Fund Program, established in 2012, provides a flat 65% discount on an array of communications services to both individual rural health care providers and consortia, which can include non-rural health care providers (if the consortium has a majority of rural sites). These services include Internet access, dark fiber leases, business data, traditional DSL, and private carriage services, among others, along with funding for construction of health care provider-owned communications facilities.