Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program, 20240 [2020-07741]

Download as PDF 20240 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 70 / Friday, April 10, 2020 / Notices beliefs, exclude from participation in, deny the benefits of, or subject to discrimination any person in the United States under any program or activity conducted by the USDA. How To File a Complaint of Discrimination To file a complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which may be accessed online at http:// www.ocio.usda.gov/sites/default/files/ docs/2012/Complain_combined_6_8_ 12.pdf, or write a letter signed by you or your authorized representative. Send your completed complaint form or letter to USDA by mail, fax, or email. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250–9410. Fax: (202) 690–7442, Email: program.intake@usda.gov. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720–2600 (voice and TDD). Done at Washington, DC, on April 6, 2020. Mary Lowe, U.S. Manager for Codex Alimentarius. [FR Doc. 2020–07538 Filed 4–9–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Rural Utilities Service Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program Rural Utilities Service, USDA. Notification. AGENCY: ACTION: On December 12, 2019, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, hereinafter referred to as the Agency, published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications for the Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program in the Federal Register. On March 31, 2020, the Agency published a Notice in the Federal Register to extend the application window to April 15, 2020. This notice supplements the prior notice of March 31, 2020, and informs the public that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides an additional $100 million for ReConnect grants to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus. lotter on DSKBCFDHB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: DATES: This policy is effective April 10, 2020. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:00 Apr 09, 2020 Jkt 250001 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurel Leverrier, Acting Assistant Administrator Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), email: laurel.leverrier@wdc.usda.gov, telephone (202) 720–9554. For general inquiries regarding the ReConnect Program Staff at https://www.usda.gov/ reconnect/contact-us. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the Federal Register on Thursday, December 12, 2019 (84 FR 67913), announcing its general policy and application procedures for funding under the broadband pilot program (ReConnect Program) established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (which became law on February 15, 2019). The ReConnect Program provides loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. On Monday, March 30, 2020, the Agency published a notice in the Federal Register amending the FOA for the second round of the ReConnect Program to inform the public of an extension of the application window until April 15, 2020 (85 FR 17530). Purpose of This Notice On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Section 11004 of the CARES Act provides an additional $100,000,000 for grants under the ReConnect Program to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus. The additional funding remains available until September 30, 2021. The Agency will establish a set-aside for the $100 million for priority processing for applicants that submitted a 100% grant application during the first round of funding. For the application to be eligible for priority processing, the round one application must have been unsuccessful due to there being limited access to broadband in the proposed service area. Applicants are required to reapply during the second round of funding, which closes on April 15, 2020. The application must be for the same service area proposed by the applicant in the first round of funding to receive the prioritization, and the application must meet all other eligibility requirements. Applications already submitted during the second round of funding that meet these requirements will receive the priority consideration. The CARES Act also PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 requires that at least 90 percent of the households to be served by a project receiving a grant shall be in a rural area without sufficient access to broadband. The CARES Act defines a rural area without sufficient access to broadband as 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream. This definition will be reevaluated and redefined, as necessary, on an annual basis by the Secretary of Agriculture. In accordance with the CARES Act, an entity to which a grant is made under the ReConnect Program shall not use a grant to overbuild or duplicate broadband expansion efforts made by any entity that has received a broadband loan from the Agency. Chad Rupe, Administrator, Rural Utilities Service. [FR Doc. 2020–07741 Filed 4–8–20; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; State and Local Government Finance and Public Employment and Payroll Forms The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act. Agency: U.S. Census Bureau. Title: State and Local Government Finance and Public Employment and Payroll Forms. OMB Control Number: 0607–0585. Form Number(s): E–1, E–2, E–3, E–4, E–5, E–6, E–7, E–8, E–9, E–10, F–5, F– 11, F–12, F–13, F–28, F–29, F–32. Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection. Number of Respondents: 73,508. Average Hours per Response: 1.69 hours. Burden Hours: 123,999. Needs and Uses: The Census of Governments—Finance and its related Annual Surveys of State and Local Government Finances are comprised of the Annual Survey of State Government Finances, Annual Survey of Local Government Finances, Annual Survey of State Tax Collections and Annual Survey of Public Pensions. These surveys collect data on state government finances; estimates of local government revenue, expenditure, debt, and assets; and pension systems nationally and within state areas. The Census of Governments—Employment and E:\FR\FM\10APN1.SGM 10APN1

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[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 70 (Friday, April 10, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Page 20240]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-07741]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Rural Utilities Service


Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program

AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notification.

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SUMMARY: On December 12, 2019, the Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a 
Rural Development agency of the United States Department of 
Agriculture, hereinafter referred to as the Agency, published a Funding 
Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications for the 
Broadband Pilot (ReConnect) Program in the Federal Register. On March 
31, 2020, the Agency published a Notice in the Federal Register to 
extend the application window to April 15, 2020. This notice 
supplements the prior notice of March 31, 2020, and informs the public 
that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) 
provides an additional $100 million for ReConnect grants to prevent, 
prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

DATES: This policy is effective April 10, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Laurel Leverrier, Acting Assistant 
Administrator Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. 
Department of Agriculture (USDA), email: [email protected], 
telephone (202) 720-9554. For general inquiries regarding the ReConnect 
Program Staff at https://www.usda.gov/reconnect/contact-us.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

    The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Funding Opportunity 
Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the Federal 
Register on Thursday, December 12, 2019 (84 FR 67913), announcing its 
general policy and application procedures for funding under the 
broadband pilot program (ReConnect Program) established pursuant to the 
Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (which became law on February 15, 
2019). The ReConnect Program provides loans, grants, and loan/grant 
combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. On 
Monday, March 30, 2020, the Agency published a notice in the Federal 
Register amending the FOA for the second round of the ReConnect Program 
to inform the public of an extension of the application window until 
April 15, 2020 (85 FR 17530).

Purpose of This Notice

    On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus 
Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Section 11004 of 
the CARES Act provides an additional $100,000,000 for grants under the 
ReConnect Program to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the 
coronavirus. The additional funding remains available until September 
30, 2021. The Agency will establish a set-aside for the $100 million 
for priority processing for applicants that submitted a 100% grant 
application during the first round of funding. For the application to 
be eligible for priority processing, the round one application must 
have been unsuccessful due to there being limited access to broadband 
in the proposed service area. Applicants are required to reapply during 
the second round of funding, which closes on April 15, 2020. The 
application must be for the same service area proposed by the applicant 
in the first round of funding to receive the prioritization, and the 
application must meet all other eligibility requirements. Applications 
already submitted during the second round of funding that meet these 
requirements will receive the priority consideration. The CARES Act 
also requires that at least 90 percent of the households to be served 
by a project receiving a grant shall be in a rural area without 
sufficient access to broadband. The CARES Act defines a rural area 
without sufficient access to broadband as 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps 
upstream. This definition will be reevaluated and redefined, as 
necessary, on an annual basis by the Secretary of Agriculture. In 
accordance with the CARES Act, an entity to which a grant is made under 
the ReConnect Program shall not use a grant to overbuild or duplicate 
broadband expansion efforts made by any entity that has received a 
broadband loan from the Agency.

Chad Rupe,
Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2020-07741 Filed 4-8-20; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE P