The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB or Bureau) has released a Public Notice requesting comment on how it should administer its second round of the COVID-19 Telehealth Program, which has recently received an additional $249.95 million in support from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The COVID-19 Telehealth Program, established on April 2, 2020 and initially allocated $200 million in support, provides funding to eligible health care providers in order to aid them in offering telehealth and connected care services to patients in response to the pandemic.
The Bureau now seeks comment on how the Commission should evaluate applications for this newly appropriated funding. Specifically, it seeks comment on how it should address applications that did not receive funding in the initial funding window, how to target funding to areas “hardest hit” by the pandemic and any lessons learned from the first round of funding. Comments on this Public Notice are due January 19, 2021.