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Posted on: September 14, 2020

USDA Expands Access to Broadband Infrastructure for Rural Business and Resident

USDA Expands Access to Broadband Infrastructure for Rural Businesses and Residents Under Select Rural Development Programs

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand announced that USDA released a final rule to allow the use of funds under select programs to help expand access to broadband services for America’s rural businesses and residents.

Effective immediately, entities may be eligible to use up to 10 percent of a loan, grant or loan guarantee to build, improve or acquire rural broadband facilities and equipment in areas not served by a minimum acceptable level of broadband service which is 25 megabits downstream and 3 megabits upstream for both mobile and fixed service.


Eligible programs are:

 Electric Infrastructure Loans and Loan Guarantees
Water and Waste Disposal Loans Guarantees
 Water and Waste Disposal Loan and Grant Program
Revolving Funds for Financing Water and Wastewater Projects
Community Facilities Direct Loan and Grant Program
Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program
Multi-Family Housing Direct Loans and Grants
 Multi-Family Housing Loan Guarantees
Intermediary Relending Program
Business and Industry Loan Guarantees
Biorefinery, Renewable Chemical, and Biobased Product Manufacturing Assistance Loans
Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant
Rural Energy for American Program
Rural Business Development Grants

 

This final rule is authorized by Section 6210 of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (The 2018 Farm Bill). Interested parties may submit comments on this regulation at www.regulations.gov by Nov. 16, 2020.


Additional information is available in the Federal Register. USDA encourages applications that will support recommendations made in the Report to the President of the United States from the Task Force on Agriculture and Rural Prosperity

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