RUPRI Health Panel Releases Comment Letter to Federal Communications Commission RFI on Promoting Telehealth in Rural America. April 2022

Click Here for Comment Letter on 47 CFR Part 54

The Panel is encouraged by the efforts of the FCC to increase broadband access for rural providers. We encourage FCC to lead an effort to quantify the actual costs of connecting and operating broadband capacity supporting access to healthcare services. With that information subsidies could be prioritized to reduce the cost burden among providers based on the amount needed, not a specific location. We also underscore the importance of concurrently developing a consumer-based strategy. Increased access and availability to broadband will not be beneficial on a patient-level if the services are not affordable or available. While actions to assure access to affordable broadband in multiple settings and circumstances, including homebased services, is beyond the scope of the authority of the FCC in this rule, the Panel wishes to be clear that resolving access issues in rural America will require more support to extend broadband into patient homes.