Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program
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) 2018 for the Rural Broadband Access Loans and Loan Guarantees Program (the Broadband Program). RUS will publish on its website https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices- solicitation-applications-nosas the amount of funding received through the final appropriations act. Since the passage of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (2014 Farm Bill), RUS has only accepted applications according to discrete application windows as identified in notices published in the Federal Register. However, based on a review of the applications submitted since the implementation of the 2014 Farm Bill, RUS has determined that the use of application windows has not effectively supported the Agency's mission to finance improved broadband service in rural areas. As a result, RUS is accepting applications on a rolling basis throughout FY 2018. This will give RUS the ability to request additional information and modifications to a submitted application whenever necessary. Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis. Every ninety (90) days, RUS will conduct an evaluation of the submitted applications. During the evaluation period, applications will be ranked based on the percentage of unserved households that the applicant proposes to serve. RUS anticipates that it will conduct at least two evaluation periods for FY 2018. Because the Agency will receive applications throughout the fiscal year, subsequent evaluation periods can alter the ranking of applications. In addition to announcing its acceptance of FY 2018 applications, RUS revises the minimum and maximum amounts for broadband loans for the fiscal year.
Truth in Lending-Real Estate Settlement Procedures
The Rural Housing Service (RHS or Agency) will obsolete (and reserve) the Truth in LendingReal Estate Settlement Procedures regulation to ensure compliance with the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Integrated Mortgage Disclosures rule, commonly referred to as the TRID rule. This direct final rule will eliminate the functionally obsolete regulation in order to ensure compliance with the TRID rule, as the standard to follow.
Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations; Corrections
On June 3, 2016, the Rural Business-Cooperative Service promulgated changes to its Guaranteed Loanmaking and Servicing Regulations. Following final implementation of this final rule, RBS found two technical corrections that are necessary.
Announcement of Grant Application Deadlines and Funding Levels
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), herein referred to as RUS or the Agency, announces its Community Connect Grant Program application window for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. In addition, this NOSA announces the minimum and maximum Community Connect grant amounts, the funding priority, the application submission dates, the agency contact information, and the procedures for submission of paper and electronic applications. This notice is being issued prior to passage of a final appropriations act to allow potential applicants time to submit proposals and give the Agency time to process applications within the current fiscal year. The Agency will publish the amount of funding received in any continuing resolution or the final appropriations act on its website at https://www.rd.usda.gov/newsroom/notices- solicitation-applications-nosas. Expenses incurred in developing applications will be at the applicant's risk.
Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program
The Rural Utilities Service (RUS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), hereinafter referred to as RUS or the Agency, is confirming the final rule published in the Federal Register on November 27, 2017, which amends its regulation for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program.