Stakeholder Announcement: USDA New Rule Expands Access to Broadband Funds

Name
Kelly Clark
Phone
City
Carson City, Nevada
Release Date
Sep 14, 2020

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Bette Brand today 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:

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 (PDF, 5.4 MB).