FCC Evaluates Rural Health Broadband Efforts

John Commins, August 15, 2012

It's been six years since the federal government provided $418 million in grant money to the Rural Health Care Pilot Program as part of an effort to bring broadband to rural providers.

This week the Federal Communications Commission issued an upbeat and somewhat obvious 98-page report that highlights the progress made by the pilot project since its inception in 2006, offers obvious commentary on the benefits of telemedicine, and details the lessons learned.

A brief history: The pilot program was created as part of the FCC's statutory mandate to implement universal communications services to rural providers.  The idea was to improve access to quality care and reduce costs for rural providers by giving them remote access to the broader array of services and resources available to many urban providers.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.


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