Telehealth can save rural diabetes patients almost $4,000 per year, according to a pilot program sponsored by broadband infrastructure finance firm CoBank.
The Federal Communications Commission's proposal to cap Universal Service Funds (USF) prompted a flurry of comments from organizations ranging from operators to libraries, schools to healthcare providers. It also generated input from CoBank, which works with a number of smaller and regional operators looking to finance infrastructure deployments.
On Sept. 17, Ted Koerner, senior vice president of Communications Banking Group and Sarah Tyree, vice president of Policy and Public Affairs at CoBank, met with Joseph Calascione, legal advisor to Commissioner Brendan Carr, to discuss the creation of the Rural Telehealth Initiative to duplicate the Georgia pilot program, wrote Tyree. In addition to providing continuous care and improving relationships between patients and providers, broadband-powered telemedicine reduces costs, the program found.
"The first pilot concludes that rural patients with Type 2 diabetes can reduce federal healthcare costs by up to $3,855 per patient, per year using telehealth," Tyree said in the letter.
The finance firm is teaming up with the WTA Foundation and Perry Health on Rural Telehealth Initiative pilots in other rural areas, the ex parte communication said.
FCC announces agenda
In related news, the FCC today shared the agenda for its Sept. 26 public meeting, set to begin at 10:30 am ET.
Topics include The Uniendo a Puerto Rico Fund and the Connect USVI Fund, Auction of Priority Access Licenses for the 3550-3650 MHz Band and consideration of a Report and Order that would align the Direct Broadcast Satellite licensing procedures with those of the geostationary orbit fixed-satellite service satellites.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.