Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program, 20614-20615 [2016-08040]

Download as PDF 20614 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 68 / Friday, April 8, 2016 / Notices discriminatory act, event, or in the case of a personnel action. Additional information can be found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_ filing_file.html. If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form (PDF), found online at https://www.ascr.usda. gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632–9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250– 9410, by fax (202) 690–7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities and you wish to file either an EEO or program complaint please contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339 or (800) 845– 6136 (in Spanish). Persons with disabilities, who wish to file a program complaint, please see information above on how to contact us by mail directly or by email. If you require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) please contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Dated: April 4, 2016. Samuel Rikkers, Administrator, Rural Business—Cooperative Service. [FR Doc. 2016–08028 Filed 4–7–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–XY–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA). AGENCY: ACTION: 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) 2016 for the Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee program (the Broadband Program). In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the minimum and maximum amounts for broadband loans for FY 2016. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Apr 07, 2016 Jkt 238001 Applications under this NOSA will be accepted immediately and must be submitted through the Agency’s online application system no later than July 7, 2016 to be eligible for FY 2016 broadband loan funding. Applications are subject to the requirements of the interim final regulation published in the Federal Register at Vol. 80, No. 146 on Thursday, July 30, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact Shawn Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Loan Originations and Approval Division, Rural Utilities Service, STOP 1597, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250–1597, Telephone: (202) 720–0800, or email: Shawn.Arner@wdc.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: General Information The Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (the Broadband Program) is authorized by the Rural Electrification Act (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.), as amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. L. 113– 79) also referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill. During FY 2016, loans will be made available for the construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment to provide service at the broadband lending speed for eligible rural areas. Applications must be submitted in accordance with the interim final rule published July 30, 2015. For questions about the requirements of completing an application please use the RUS contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this notice. Application requirements: All requirements for submission of an application under the Broadband Program have been set forth in the interim regulation published July 30, 2015. Application Materials: Application materials for the Broadband Program are available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/ programs-services/farm-bill-broadbandloans-loan-guarantees. Application Submission: All applications must be submitted through the Agency’s online application system located at https://www.rd.usda.gov/ programs-services/rd-apply. Paper applications will not be accepted. Minimum and Maximum Loan Amounts Loans under this authority will not be made for less than $100,000. The maximum loan amount that will be considered for FY 2016 is $10,000,000. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Required Definitions for Broadband Program Regulation The interim regulation for the Broadband Program requires that certain definitions affecting eligibility be revised and published from time to time by the agency in the Federal Register. For the purposes of this NOSA, the agency will be revising the definition of Broadband Service established therein, such that for applications under this window, existing Broadband Service shall mean the minimum rate-of-data transmission of ten megabits downstream and one megabit upstream for both fixed and mobile broadband service. On the other hand, the rate at which applicants must propose to offer new broadband service, the Broadband Lending Speed, will be a minimum bandwidth of ten megabits downstream and one megabit upstream for both fixed and mobile service to the customer. Priority for Approving Loan Applications Applications for FY 2016 will be accepted from April 8, 2016 through July 7, 2016. Although review of applications will start when they are submitted, all applications submitted by July 7, 2016, will be evaluated and ranked together on the basis of the number of unserved households in the proposed funded service area. Subject to available funding, eligible applications that propose to serve the most unserved households will receive funding offers before other eligible applications that have been submitted. Applications will not be accepted after July 7, 2016, until a new funding window has been opened with the publication of an additional NOSA in the Federal Register. Paperwork Reduction Act In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the information collection requirements associated with Broadband loans, as covered in this NOSA, have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0572–0130. USDA Non-Discrimination Statement In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/ E:\FR\FM\08APN1.SGM 08APN1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 68 / Friday, April 8, 2016 / Notices parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing deadlines vary by program or incident. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible Agency or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877–8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English. To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD– 3027, found online at https://www.ascr. usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632–9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by: (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20250–9410; (2) Fax: (202) 690–7442; or (3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov. USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. Dated: March 30, 2016. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2016–08040 Filed 4–7–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–15–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Information Collection Activity; Comment Request Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: ACTION: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested. DATES: Comments on this notice must be received by June 7, 2016. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:48 Apr 07, 2016 Jkt 238001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1522, Room 5164 South Building, Washington, DC 20250–1522. Telephone: (202) 690–4492; Email: Thomas.Dickson@wdc.usda.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104–13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Thomas P. Dickson, Acting Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., STOP 1522, Washington, DC 20250–1522. FAX: (202)720–8435, Email: Thomas.Dickson@wdc.usda.gov. Title: Preloan Procedures and Requirements for Telecommunications Program. OMB Control Number: 0572–0079. Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection. Abstract: The burden required by this collection consists of information that will allow the Agency to determine an applicant’s eligibility to borrow from the Agency under the terms of the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936 as amended (U.S.C. 912). This information is also used by the Agency to determine that the Government’s security for loans made by the Agency is reasonably adequate and that the loans will be repaid within the time agreed. PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 20615 Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 9.17 hours per response. Respondents: Business or other forprofit; not-for-profit organizations. Estimated Number of Respondents: 40. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 8.79. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 3,224. Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Rebecca Hunt, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 205–3660, FAX: (202) 720–8435, Email: Rebecca.Hunt@ wdc.usda.gov. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record. Dated: March 30, 2016. Brandon McBride, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2016–08037 Filed 4–7–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Notice of Public Meeting of the Texas State Advisory Committee U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. ACTION: Announcement of public meeting. AGENCY: Friday, May 6, 2016. Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (CT). SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that a meeting of the Texas State Advisory Committee (Committee) to the Commission will be held at 11:00 a.m. (Central Time) Friday, May 6, 2016, for the purpose of discussing plans to hold a briefing meeting assessing the impact of a 2012 study by the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University and the Council of State Governments Justice Center that found ethnic and racial disparities in school discipline in Texas. This meeting is available to the public through the following toll-free call-in number: 888–395–3227; when prompted, please provide conference ID number: 4227309. Any interested member of the public may call this number and listen to the meeting. An open comment period will be provided to allow members of the public to make a statement at the end of the meeting. DATES: E:\FR\FM\08APN1.SGM 08APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 68 (Friday, April 8, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 20614-20615]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-08040]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice of Solicitation of Applications (NOSA).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

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) 2016 for the Rural Broadband Access 
Loan and Loan Guarantee program (the Broadband Program).
    In addition to announcing the application window, RUS announces the 
minimum and maximum amounts for broadband loans for FY 2016.

DATES: Applications under this NOSA will be accepted immediately and 
must be submitted through the Agency's online application system no 
later than July 7, 2016 to be eligible for FY 2016 broadband loan 
funding. Applications are subject to the requirements of the interim 
final regulation published in the Federal Register at Vol. 80, No. 146 
on Thursday, July 30, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact Shawn 
Arner, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Loan Originations and Approval 
Division, Rural Utilities Service, STOP 1597, 1400 Independence Avenue 
SW., Washington, DC 20250-1597, Telephone: (202) 720-0800, or email: 
Shawn.Arner@wdc.usda.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

General Information

    The Rural Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program (the 
Broadband Program) is authorized by the Rural Electrification Act (7 
U.S.C. 901 et seq.), as amended by the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Pub. 
L. 113-79) also referred to as the 2014 Farm Bill.
    During FY 2016, loans will be made available for the construction, 
improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment to provide 
service at the broadband lending speed for eligible rural areas. 
Applications must be submitted in accordance with the interim final 
rule published July 30, 2015.
    For questions about the requirements of completing an application 
please use the RUS contact listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 
CONTACT section of this notice.
    Application requirements: All requirements for submission of an 
application under the Broadband Program have been set forth in the 
interim regulation published July 30, 2015.
    Application Materials: Application materials for the Broadband 
Program are available at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/farm-bill-broadband-loans-loan-guarantees.
    Application Submission: All applications must be submitted through 
the Agency's online application system located at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rd-apply. Paper applications will not 
be accepted.

Minimum and Maximum Loan Amounts

    Loans under this authority will not be made for less than $100,000. 
The maximum loan amount that will be considered for FY 2016 is 
$10,000,000.

Required Definitions for Broadband Program Regulation

    The interim regulation for the Broadband Program requires that 
certain definitions affecting eligibility be revised and published from 
time to time by the agency in the Federal Register. For the purposes of 
this NOSA, the agency will be revising the definition of Broadband 
Service established therein, such that for applications under this 
window, existing Broadband Service shall mean the minimum rate-of-data 
transmission of ten megabits downstream and one megabit upstream for 
both fixed and mobile broadband service. On the other hand, the rate at 
which applicants must propose to offer new broadband service, the 
Broadband Lending Speed, will be a minimum bandwidth of ten megabits 
downstream and one megabit upstream for both fixed and mobile service 
to the customer.

Priority for Approving Loan Applications

    Applications for FY 2016 will be accepted from April 8, 2016 
through July 7, 2016. Although review of applications will start when 
they are submitted, all applications submitted by July 7, 2016, will be 
evaluated and ranked together on the basis of the number of unserved 
households in the proposed funded service area. Subject to available 
funding, eligible applications that propose to serve the most unserved 
households will receive funding offers before other eligible 
applications that have been submitted.
    Applications will not be accepted after July 7, 2016, until a new 
funding window has been opened with the publication of an additional 
NOSA in the Federal Register.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
information collection requirements associated with Broadband loans, as 
covered in this NOSA, have been approved by the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) under OMB Control Number 0572-0130.

USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

    In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its 
Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or 
administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on 
race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including 
gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital 
status, family/

[[Page 20615]]

parental status, income derived from a public assistance program, 
political beliefs, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights 
activity, in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA (not 
all bases apply to all programs). Remedies and complaint filing 
deadlines vary by program or incident.
    Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of 
communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, 
audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible 
Agency or USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or 
contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. 
Additionally, program information may be made available in languages 
other than English.
    To file a program discrimination complaint, complete the USDA 
Program Discrimination Complaint Form, AD-3027, found online at https://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html and at any USDA office or 
write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the 
information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint 
form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA 
by:
    (1) Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant 
Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, 
DC 20250-9410;
    (2) Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
    (3) Email: program.intake@usda.gov.
    USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender.

    Dated: March 30, 2016.
Brandon McBride,
Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2016-08040 Filed 4-7-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-15-P