As part of the federal government's efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic, significant additional funding will soon be available for telecommunications infrastructure and services supporting telemedicine and distance learning.
More specifically, the CARES Act funded a $200 million COVID-19 Telehealth Program for health care providers to purchase telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to furnish telehealth services. The FCC is expected to adopt rules soon to administer the $200 million Telehealth Program. Separately, the FCC Chairman has circulated an order to establish the Connected Care Pilot program, which will provide $100 million of universal service support to defray health care providers' costs of providing telehealth services to patients at their homes or mobile locations.
Finally, the CARES Act provides an additional $25 million for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program to support telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas.