The FCC has extended the deadline for its telehealth program recipients to use their money to buy eligible devices and services to the end of the year.
The FCC has given out $200 million in CARES Act telehealth subsidies for healthcare providers to purchase tablets and smart phones and other telehealth provision tech, as well as broadband service.
The FCC stopped accepting applications July 8 because the money had run out.
Recipients had until Sept. 30 to spend the money, but the FCC's Wireline Competition Bureau said Monday (Sept. 28) that it had received numerous requests for extensions citing, among other things, state procurement requirements, and COVID-19- and hurricane-related delays.
The bureau said it expected others could have similar issues.
"Based on the number of extension requests the Bureau has received and the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau believes that extending the purchase/implementation deadline until December 31, 2020, for all COVID-19 Telehealth Program funding recipients is reasonable under the circumstances and is also consistent with the purpose of the CARES Act," the bureau said.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.