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Funding Available to Expand Broadband

Friday August 16th, 2019
Townships in rural areas that want to expand higher-speed broadband service may apply for loans through the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program from USDA Rural Development. The deadline for applications is September 30.
Eligible service areas must be completely within a rural area as defined in the application guidelines or composed of multiple rural areas and meet the following criteria:
• At least 15 percent of the households are unserved by high-speed broadband;
• No part of the funded service area has three or more existing service providers; and
• No part of the funded service area overlaps with the service area of current Rural Utilities Service (RUS) borrowers or the service areas of grantees that were funded by RUS.
Broadband loans and loan guarantees provide funding to finance:
• the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities required to provide high-speed broadband service, including those required for providing other services through the same facilities;
• the cost of leasing facilities required to provide high-speed broadband service if the lease qualifies as a capital lease under generally accepted accounting principles;
• an acquisition under certain conditions;
• the refinancing of an outstanding telecommunications loan under certain conditions; or
• the reimbursement of pre-loan expenses in an amount not to exceed 5 percent of the broadband loan, excluding amounts requested to refinance outstanding telecommunication loans.
For more information about the loan program, go to USDA's broadband loan program webpage. Questions may be directed to the general field representative for Pennsylvania, Richard Jenkins, at (681) 318-3236 or