Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai circulated a draft order for implementing a $200 million telehealth program in line with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which President Donald Trump recently signed into law. The FCC hopes to start distributing awards within the month for projects that would help patients receive health services remotely under the COVID-19 program. Also in the draft order is final language for a pilot program that would make $100 million available for telehealth projects from the Universal Service Fund.
State officials tasked with overseeing expansion of broadband to their residents say it is paramount to have accurate information about where infrastructure and service is lacking. But because connectivity data collected by the Federal Communications Commission often overestimates broadband’s reach, many states are trying to gather their own data, sometimes going door-to-door to query residents, to better understand service gaps. States are increasingly under pressure to make available more grant funding to pay for broadband infrastructure in rural communities.