FCC Adopts Order Waiving Telehealth Rates Database for Rural Alaska

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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has waived the requirement to use the Rates Database to calculate rural rates for healthcare providers in Alaska.  Due to anomalies in Alaska’s geography leading to anomalies in the rate calculations in the state of Alaska, the FCC reexamined its Rates Database, adopted in August 2019, for the Rural Health Care Program’s Telecommunications Program.  The FCC recognized that the rural rates determined in the Rates Database in Alaska might have led to inadequate and inconsistent support for Alaskan telecommunications service providers. Thus, the Commission has waived the rural rates requirement for Alaska for the next two funding years, 2021 and 2022, unless the Commission takes further action to address the petitions for reconsideration filed by several carriers participating in the Telecom Rates Program in Alaska.  This waiver does not apply to urban rates in Alaska as that requirement is still in force.

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