USDA Seeks Applicants for Rural Broadband Access Loans

As announced by the Benton Foundation…

The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces that it is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program (the Broadband Program). Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis. Every ninety (90) days, RUS will conduct an evaluation of the submitted applications.

Here’s more info from the Federal Register...

SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA),
announces that it is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2018 for the Rural Broadband Access Loans and
Loan Guarantees Program (the Broadband Program). RUS will publish on its website  
the amount of funding received through the final
appropriations act.
Since the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), RUS has only accepted applications according to discrete application windows as identified in notices published in the Federal Register. However, based on a
review of the applications submitted since the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, RUS has determined that the use of application windows has not
effectively supported the Agency’s mission to finance improved broadband service in rural areas. As a result, RUS is accepting applications on a rolling basis throughout FY 2018. This will give RUS the ability to request additional
information and modifications to a submitted application whenever necessary.
Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis. Every ninety (90) days, RUS will conduct an
evaluation of the submitted applications. During the evaluation period, applications will be ranked
based on the percentage of unserved households that the applicant proposes to serve. RUS anticipates that it will
conduct at least two evaluation periods for FY 2018. Because the Agency will receive applications throughout the
fiscal year, subsequent evaluation periods can alter the ranking of applications.
In addition to announcing its acceptance of FY 2018 applications, RUS revises the minimum and
maximum amounts for broadband loans for the fiscal year.
DATES: Applications under this NOSA will be accepted immediately through September 30, 2018. RUS will process
loan applications as they are received.

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About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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