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.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
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