Broadband Pilot Program-ReConnect Program, 16839-16840 [2019-08176]

Download as PDF jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 78 / Tuesday, April 23, 2019 / Notices Washington, DC 20250, Telephone: 202–690–4492, email: thomas.dickson@ 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 Rural Development is submitting to OMB for extension. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the 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 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 respondents, 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, Rural Development Innovation Center—Regulatory, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, STOP 1522, South Building, Washington, DC 20250– 1522. Telephone: (202) 690–4492. Email Thomas.dickson@usda.gov. Title: Debt Settlement-Community and Business Programs. OMB Number: 0575–0124. Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection. Abstract: The following Community and Direct Business Programs loans and grants are debt settled by this currently approved docket (0575–0124). The Community Facilities loan and grant program is authorized by Section 306 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to make loans to public entities, nonprofit corporations, and Indian tribes through the Community Facilities program for the development of essential community facilities primarily serving rural residents. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, Title 3, authorizes Economic Opportunity Cooperative loans to assist incorporated and unincorporated associations to provide low-income rural families essential processing, VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:49 Apr 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 purchasing, or marketing services, supplies, or facilities. The Food Security Act of 1985, Section 1323, authorizes loan guarantees and grants to Nonprofit National Corporations to provide technical and financial assistance to forprofit or nonprofit local businesses in rural areas. The Business and Industry program is authorized by Section 310 B of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act to improve, develop, or finance business, industry, and employment and improve the economic and environmental climate in rural communities, including pollution abatement control. The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Section 310 B(c), authorizes Rural Business Enterprise Grants to public bodies and nonprofit corporations to facilitate the development of private businesses in rural areas. The Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, Section 310 B(f)(i), authorized Rural Cooperative Development Grants to nonprofit institutions for the purpose of enabling such institutions to establish and operate centers for rural cooperative development. The purpose of the debt settlement function for the above programs is to provide the delinquent client with an equitable tool for the compromise, adjustment, cancellation, or charge-off of a debt owed to the Agency. The information collected is similar to that required by a commercial lender in similar circumstances. Information will be collected by the field offices from applicants, borrowers, consultants, lenders, and attorneys. Failure to collect information could result in improper servicing of these loans. Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 6.2 hours per response. Respondents: Public bodies and nonprofit organizations. Estimated Number of Respondents: 23. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 7.1. Estimated Number of Responses: 163. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1,005 hours. Copies of this information collections can be obtained from Diane M. Berger, Rural Development Innovation Center— PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 16839 Regulatory Team; phone—(715) 619– 3124; or email diane.berger@usda.gov. Richard A. Davis, Acting Administrator, Rural Housing Service. [FR Doc. 2019–08142 Filed 4–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Broadband Pilot Program—ReConnect Program Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture. ACTION: Notice; announcement of opening date for Rural e-Connectivity Pilot Program application windows. AGENCY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced its general policy and application procedures for funding under the eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program) in a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications on December 14, 2018 in the Federal Register and amended the application window closing dates in a notice published on February 25, 2019 in the Federal Register. The Reconnect Program will provide loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. This Notice announces the opening date for the ReConnect Program application windows. DATES: The Agency will begin accepting applications through https:// reconnect.usda.gov for all three ReConnect Program funding categories on April 23, 2019. Please note that each funding category has a different application deadline (as referenced in Section II of Supplementary Information). Please refer to the specific funding category for the appropriate application dates. ADDRESSES: Application Submission: The application system for electronic submissions is available at https:// reconnect.usda.gov. Electronic submissions: Electronic submissions of applications will allow for the expeditious review of an Applicant’s proposal. As a result, all Applicants must file their application electronically. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general inquiries regarding the ReConnect Program, contact Chad Parker, Assistant Administrator Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), email: chad.parker@wdc.usda.gov, telephone SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1 16840 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 78 / Tuesday, April 23, 2019 / Notices (202) 720–9554. You may obtain additional information regarding applications or submit requests for technical assistance at https:// www.usda.gov/reconnect/contact-us. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Authority: This solicitation is issued pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, Public Law 115–141, and the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq. jbell on DSK3GLQ082PROD with NOTICES Overview Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Funding Opportunity Title: Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program). Announcement Type: Announcement of Opening Date for Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program Application Windows (FOA published in the Federal Register on December 14, 2018.) Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program)—10.752. I. Background On March 23, 2018, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2018, which established a broadband loan and grant pilot program, the ReConnect Program. One of the essential goals of the ReConnect Program is to expand broadband service to rural areas without sufficient access to broadband, defined as 10 megabits per second (Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. For this purpose, Congress provided RUS with $600 million and expanded its existing authority to make loans and grants. On December 14, 2018, RUS published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the Federal Register at 83 FR 64315. The FOA provided the policy and application procedures for the ReConnect Program. On February 25, 2019, RUS published a notice announcing the application deadlines in the Federal Register at 84 FR 5981. The agency is publishing this notice to provide the date that the application windows will open. Since the publication of the December 14, 2018 FOA, the 2019 Appropriations Act became law on February 15, 2019. The 2019 Appropriations Act requires that the Agency shall, in determining whether an entity may overbuild, or duplicate broadband expansion efforts made by any entity that has received a broadband loan from RUS, not consider loans that were rescinded or defaulted on, or whose loan terms and conditions were not met, if the new entity under consideration has not previously VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:49 Apr 22, 2019 Jkt 247001 defaulted on, or failed to meet the terms and conditions of, an RUS loan or had an RUS loan rescinded. To address these issues, the actions taken in the Notice published in the Federal Register (84 FR 14911) on April 12, 2019: (1) Revises the definition of Broadband loan in the FOA, as published in the Federal Register on December 14, 2018, as required by the 2019 Appropriations Act; (2) describes any changes to the data used in the protected broadband service areas mapping layer and, (3) announces the criteria by which applicants may challenge the determination of service area eligibility. These actions were taken by the Agency to ensure that all eligible service areas receive fair consideration for funding under the ReConnect Program. Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for funding through the ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that do not have sufficient broadband service. Funds will be awarded to projects that have financially sustainable business models that will bring high-speed broadband to rural homes, businesses, farms, ranches and community facilities, such as first responders, health care sites, and schools. The ReConnect Program enables USDA to create and implement innovative solutions to rural connectivity by providing various financial options to our partners and customers. II. Funding Categories and Application Submission Dates A. Funding Categories Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from April 23, 2019 through July 12, 2019. If two loan applications are received for the same proposed funded service area, the application that arrives first will be considered first. 2. 50 Percent Loan/50 Percent Grant Combination Applications will be accepted from April 23, 2019 through June 21, 2019. Notwithstanding overlapping applications, generally all eligible applications will be scored and the applications with the highest score will receive an award offer until all funds are expended for this category. Scoring criteria was established in the Federal Register FOA on December 14, 2018 and can also be found on the website https:// reconnect.usda.gov. Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Applications will be accepted from April 23, 2019 through May 31, 2019. Notwithstanding overlapping applications, generally all eligible applications will be scored and the applications with the highest score will receive an award offer until all funds are expended for this category. Scoring criteria was established in the FOA, published in Federal Register on December 14, 2018, and can also be found on the website https:// reconnect.usda.gov. B. Available Funds USDA is making available up to $200 million in in program level for grants, $200 million in program level for loan and grant combinations, and $200 million in program level for low-interest loans. RUS retains the discretion to divert funds from one funding category to another. III. Program Requirements To be eligible for an award, applications must meet all the requirements contained in the FOA published in the Federal Register on December 14, 2018 at 83 FR 64315. Information can also be found at https:// reconnect.usda.gov. Chad Rupe, Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2019–08176 Filed 4–22–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [A–570–097 and C–570–098] 1. 100 Percent Loan PO 00000 3. 100 Percent Grant Polyester Textured Yarn From the People’s Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determinations of Critical Circumstances in the Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Investigations Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce (Commerce) preliminarily determines that critical circumstances exist with respect to all imports of polyester textured yarn (yarn) from the People’s Republic of China (China). DATES: Applicable April 23, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: George Ayache, AD/CVD Operations, Office VIII, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue AGENCY: E:\FR\FM\23APN1.SGM 23APN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 78 (Tuesday, April 23, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 16839-16840]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-08176]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Broadband Pilot Program--ReConnect Program

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture.

ACTION: Notice; announcement of opening date for Rural e-Connectivity 
Pilot Program application windows.

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SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) announced its general policy 
and application procedures for funding under the eConnectivity Pilot 
Program (ReConnect Program) in a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) 
and solicitation of applications on December 14, 2018 in the Federal 
Register and amended the application window closing dates in a notice 
published on February 25, 2019 in the Federal Register. The Reconnect 
Program will provide loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to 
facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. This Notice announces 
the opening date for the ReConnect Program application windows.

DATES: The Agency will begin accepting applications through https://reconnect.usda.gov for all three ReConnect Program funding categories 
on April 23, 2019. Please note that each funding category has a 
different application deadline (as referenced in Section II of 
Supplementary Information). Please refer to the specific funding 
category for the appropriate application dates.

ADDRESSES: Application Submission: The application system for 
electronic submissions is available at https://reconnect.usda.gov.
    Electronic submissions: Electronic submissions of applications will 
allow for the expeditious review of an Applicant's proposal. As a 
result, all Applicants must file their application electronically.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general inquiries regarding the 
ReConnect Program, contact Chad Parker, Assistant Administrator 
Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of 
Agriculture (USDA), email: [email protected], telephone

[[Page 16840]]

(202) 720-9554. You may obtain additional information regarding 
applications or submit requests for technical assistance at https://www.usda.gov/reconnect/contact-us.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority: This solicitation is issued pursuant to the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018, Public Law 115-141, and the 
Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.

Overview

    Federal Agency: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.
    Funding Opportunity Title: Rural eConnectivity Pilot Program 
(ReConnect Program).
    Announcement Type: Announcement of Opening Date for Rural e-
Connectivity Pilot Program Application Windows (FOA published in the 
Federal Register on December 14, 2018.)
    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: Rural 
eConnectivity Pilot Program (ReConnect Program)--10.752.

I. Background

    On March 23, 2018, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations 
Act 2018, which established a broadband loan and grant pilot program, 
the ReConnect Program. One of the essential goals of the ReConnect 
Program is to expand broadband service to rural areas without 
sufficient access to broadband, defined as 10 megabits per second 
(Mbps) downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. For this purpose, Congress 
provided RUS with $600 million and expanded its existing authority to 
make loans and grants.
    On December 14, 2018, RUS published a Funding Opportunity 
Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the Federal 
Register at 83 FR 64315. The FOA provided the policy and application 
procedures for the ReConnect Program. On February 25, 2019, RUS 
published a notice announcing the application deadlines in the Federal 
Register at 84 FR 5981. The agency is publishing this notice to provide 
the date that the application windows will open.
    Since the publication of the December 14, 2018 FOA, the 2019 
Appropriations Act became law on February 15, 2019. The 2019 
Appropriations Act requires that the Agency shall, in determining 
whether an entity may overbuild, or duplicate broadband expansion 
efforts made by any entity that has received a broadband loan from RUS, 
not consider loans that were rescinded or defaulted on, or whose loan 
terms and conditions were not met, if the new entity under 
consideration has not previously defaulted on, or failed to meet the 
terms and conditions of, an RUS loan or had an RUS loan rescinded. To 
address these issues, the actions taken in the Notice published in the 
Federal Register (84 FR 14911) on April 12, 2019: (1) Revises the 
definition of Broadband loan in the FOA, as published in the Federal 
Register on December 14, 2018, as required by the 2019 Appropriations 
Act; (2) describes any changes to the data used in the protected 
broadband service areas mapping layer and, (3) announces the criteria 
by which applicants may challenge the determination of service area 
eligibility. These actions were taken by the Agency to ensure that all 
eligible service areas receive fair consideration for funding under the 
ReConnect Program.
    Telecommunications companies, rural electric cooperatives and 
utilities, internet service providers and municipalities may apply for 
funding through the ReConnect Program to connect rural areas that do 
not have sufficient broadband service. Funds will be awarded to 
projects that have financially sustainable business models that will 
bring high-speed broadband to rural homes, businesses, farms, ranches 
and community facilities, such as first responders, health care sites, 
and schools. The ReConnect Program enables USDA to create and implement 
innovative solutions to rural connectivity by providing various 
financial options to our partners and customers.

II. Funding Categories and Application Submission Dates

A. Funding Categories

1. 100 Percent Loan
    Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis from April 23, 
2019 through July 12, 2019. If two loan applications are received for 
the same proposed funded service area, the application that arrives 
first will be considered first.
2. 50 Percent Loan/50 Percent Grant Combination
    Applications will be accepted from April 23, 2019 through June 21, 
2019. Notwithstanding overlapping applications, generally all eligible 
applications will be scored and the applications with the highest score 
will receive an award offer until all funds are expended for this 
category. Scoring criteria was established in the Federal Register FOA 
on December 14, 2018 and can also be found on the website https://reconnect.usda.gov.
3. 100 Percent Grant
    Applications will be accepted from April 23, 2019 through May 31, 
2019. Notwithstanding overlapping applications, generally all eligible 
applications will be scored and the applications with the highest score 
will receive an award offer until all funds are expended for this 
category. Scoring criteria was established in the FOA, published in 
Federal Register on December 14, 2018, and can also be found on the 
website https://reconnect.usda.gov.

B. Available Funds

    USDA is making available up to $200 million in in program level for 
grants, $200 million in program level for loan and grant combinations, 
and $200 million in program level for low-interest loans. RUS retains 
the discretion to divert funds from one funding category to another.

III. Program Requirements

    To be eligible for an award, applications must meet all the 
requirements contained in the FOA published in the Federal Register on 
December 14, 2018 at 83 FR 64315. Information can also be found at 
https://reconnect.usda.gov.

Chad Rupe,
Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2019-08176 Filed 4-22-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-15-P