Saturday, March 24, 2012

Rural Networks Issued RFPs

The FCC supports the Rural Health Care Program (RHCP) and the Rural Health Care Pilot Program (RHCPP) of the Universal Service Fund administered by the Universal Service Administrative Company. Since the first of the year, several RFPs were issued in selected states that included Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and New York State. In addition, an RFP was issued by the Southwest Telehealth Access Grid and an RFP was issued by the Virginia Acute Stroke Telehealth Project.

The Illinois Rural HealthNet Consortium (IRHN) was created to deploy high speed networking to rural hospitals, clinics, and mental health facilities to connect to larger facilities to have the ability to deliver telemedicine and telehealth services. The IRHN Consortium includes behavioral and medical health service and higher education organizations, along with existing health, education, and research networks.

When completed, the IRHN will provide virtually instantaneous transfer of diagnostic images for treating cardiology, neurology, and oncology patients. The Network will also provide real-time virtual consults for trauma patients and provide psychiatric services.

The IRHN posted their RFP on January 26, 2012 and again posted an RFP on March 5, 2012 seeking bids to provide services to new locations not previously addressed. For more details, email Pat Schou at or call 815-875-2999.

The University of Missouri/Missouri Telehealth Network (MTN) on January 20, 2012 issued an RFP requesting Recurring Telecom Services. MTN has a 2 gigabit backbone infrastructure on the MOREnet network to connect major underserved population centers in the state. For more details, email Darla Higgins at

The Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network (RNHN) has recently completed a 70 mile fiber optic, privately owned, multi-gigabit Ethernet network connecting 40 hospitals and clinics in the Panhandle. RNHN posted an RFP on February 7, 2012 and an RFP on March 13, 2012, seeking to further connect their fiber network to the internet consistent with the program guidelines of the Rural Healthcare Pilot Program (RHCPP). For more details, email Kent Van Metre at

In New York State, the Adirondack-Champlain Telemedicine Information Network (ACTION) issued an RFP on March 9, 2012 requesting equipment and services. ACTION a regional initiative seeks to provide leased broadband intranet services to support new connections to the existing Network. Bidders will need to provide for a managed switch service over a secure fiber/Ethernet broadband network.

Another RFP was released on March 9, 2012 by the North Country Telemedicine Project (NCTP). This is a regional fiber optic telecommunication telemedicine network connecting 28 participating entities located at sites operating in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties in New York and four urban facilities located in Syracuse and Utica.

The Southwest Telehealth Access Grid (SWTAG) is an interstate network of networks serving New Mexico, Arizona, and the Southwest Indian Health Service Telehealth Consortium and associated tribes.

The Winslow Indian Health Care Center (WIHCC) in the region is planning to construct an interconnected broadband network to link providers. WIHCC posted an RFP on February 9, 2012 seeking a 50mbps point-to-point dedicated circuit with Ethernet handoff, preferably non-bonded broadband connectivity to support EHRs. Vendors, suppliers, and service providers are to provide the connectivity and any required edge network electronics and devices. For more information, email

The University of Virginia’s Virginia Acute Stroke Telehealth Project (VAST) sought bidders to respond to their RFP released January 31, 2012 with the contract to be awarded on April 16, 2012. The contract will enable VAST to build their telecommunications backbone so that healthcare providers will be able to use telemedicine and telehealth to support stroke care and health IT. The three health system hubs in the system include the University of Virginia Health System, Culpeper Regional Hospital System and Eastern Shore Rural Health System. For more information, email Michael Warlick at

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