The Obama administration is looking to issue $400 million in loans to entities willing to roll out broadband services in rural areas.
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and his head of the Rural Utilities Service Jonathan Adelstein, are now working to issue the new funding now that six months have passed since RUS issued the last of its broadband stimulus awards. The funding, however, would only be in the form of loans, not grants.
According to a press release issued by Vilsack's office last week, the funding notice for the broadband loans "is being issued prior to passage of the final appropriations act to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. Upon completion of a 2011 Appropriations Act, RUS will publish a subsequent notice identifying the amount of funding available for broadband loans."
The loans will come with new rules than what were instituted during the broadband stimulus awards. Proposals that include higher broadband data speeds will receive competitive incentives. In addition, the proposed service areas of applicants cannot be adjacent to urban areas with populations greater than 500,000.
- see this Stimulatingbroadband.com article
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