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FCC Broadband Plan to Increase Rural Healthcare Access

July 19, 2010
by root
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The Federal Communications Commission last Thursday took steps to make additional spectrum available for new investment in mobile broadband networks by promoting flexible use and removing barriers, while ensuring robust mobile satellite service capabilities.

Mobile broadband is emerging as one of America’s most dynamic, innovative and economically viable communications platforms. The National Broadband Plan calls for an additional 500 MHz of spectrum for broadband services.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that the Commission adopted last week outlines two proposals that would remove regulatory barriers to terrestrial (i.e. land-based) use and promote additional investments in the MSS bands, while retaining sufficient market-wide MSS capability. The National Broadband Plan includes recommendations designed to unleash increased use, private sector investment, and innovation in healthcare sector. They include the following:

• Help ensure healthcare providers have access to affordable broadband by transforming the FCC’s Rural Health Care Program.
• Create incentives for adoption by expanding reimbursement for e-care.
• Remove barriers to e-care by modernizing regulations like device approval, credentialing, privileging, and licensing.
• Drive innovative applications and advanced analytics by ensuring patients have control over their health data and ensuring interoperability of data.

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