Federal Internet Law & Policy
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Federal Funding for Information Technology Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY
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- - - - Erate Guide
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- - - Rural Utility S

USDA Rural Utility Service

  • Mandatory funding
  • budget authority
  • FY02-05 $20 m per year
  • FY 6-7: $10 m per year
  • FY 07 $438 m
  • FY 09 $594 m
  • Estimated loan amounts:
  • Funding 2003 and beyond
  • Guaranteed loans $80m
  • Direct 4% loands $80 m
  • Direct Treasury Rate Loans at least $1.295 billion
  • Types of loans
  • Direct Treasury Rate Loans - bear interest at the cost of money to thhe treasury for comparable maturities (approx 4.5%) - the interest rate is set at the time of each advance of funds
  • Direct 4% loans
  • Are made to serve communities that are underserved, have a pop less than 2,5000 and are located in a county w a per cap income less than 25% national average, are made to service areas with max pop desity of 10 persons per square mile
  • Loan Guarantees
  • Bear interest at a rate set by the lender; and (the interest rate must be fixed and must be the same for the guaranteed and unguaranteed portion of the loan) are made for no more than 80 percent of the amount of principle.
  • Loan term and conditions
  • The min amount of loan that RUS will consider is 100K
  • first lien on asset generally
  • A successful application
  • Know your proposed service territory
  • perform a market survey
  • develop a business plan and
  • develop a feasible engineering design
  • Funding reserves
  • Each state is allocated funding at the beginning of the fiscal year based on the number of communities in the state w a pop of 2,500 or less compared w the total number of communities of 2,500 or less in all states.  Whatever the percentage, that percentage is set aside for applications in that state.
  • FCC AND USDA TO HELP CREATE WIRELESS BROADBAND MODEL COMMUNITIES IN RURAL AMERICA. News Release. News Media Contact: Lauren Patrich at 7944, email: Lauren.Patrich WTB. Contact Nancy Plon at 2899, FCC 10/19/2004
  • USDA Revamps Rural Broadband Program - After Congressional scolding..., Broadband Reports 5/15/2007
  • How to Apply for Workshop: USDA Rural Broadband Access Loan Program Dec 8, Montana, USDA 11/16/2004
  • The Texas broadband follies, CNET 10/19/2004
  • Bush asks for Agriculture IT funding, FCW 11/7/2003
  • USDA Airs Rural Broadband Grants, Internet News 5/19/03
  • Community Connect Broadband Grant Program [website]
  • Derived From: Lennard Kruger, CRS Report to Congress, Broadband Loan and Grant Programs in the USDA's Rural Utilities ServicePDF (May 15, 2008)

    "The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-199) appropriated $9 million "for a grant program to finance broadband transmission in rural areas eligible for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program benefits authorized by 7 U.S.C. 950aaa." On July 28, 2004, RUS published its final rule on the broadband grant program, called the Community Connect Grant Program (7 C.F.R. part 1739, subpart A).22 Essentially operating the same as the pilot broadband grants, the program provides grant money to applicants proposing to provide broadband on a "community-oriented connectivity" basis to currently unserved rural areas for the purpose of fostering economic growth and delivering enhanced health care, education, and public safety services.

    "Funding for the broadband grant program is provided through annual appropriations in the Distance Learning and Telemedicine account within the Department of Agriculture appropriations bill. Table 2 shows a history of appropriations for the Community Connect Broadband Grants (including the pilot grants of FY2002 and FY2003).

    Table 2. Appropriations for the Community Connect Broadband Grants

    Fiscal Year Appropriation
    FY2002 $20 million
    FY2003 $10 million
    FY2004 $9 million
    FY2005 $9 million
    FY2006 $9 million
    FY2007 $9 million
    FY2008 $13.5 million
    FY2009 (req) 0

    "Eligible applicants for broadband grants include incorporated organizations, Indian tribes or tribal organizations, state or local units of government, cooperatives, private corporations, and limited liability companies organized on a for profit or notfor- profit basis. Individuals or partnerships are not eligible.

    "Funded projects must: serve a rural area of 20,000 population or less23 where broadband service does not exist, serve one and only one single community, deploy free basic broadband service (defined as 200 kbps in both directions) for at least two years to all community facilities, offer basic broadband to residential and business customers, and provide a community center with at least ten computer access points within the proposed service area while making broadband available for two years at no charge to users within that community center.

    "Since the inception of the RUS broadband grant program, $65.4 million in grant money has been awarded to 141 awardees. Awardees must contribute a matching contribution equal to 15% of the requested grant amount.

    "RUS typically publishes an annual Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) in the Federal Register, which specifies the deadline for applications, the total amount of funding available, and the maximum and minimum amount of funding available for each grant. Further information, including application materials and guidelines, is available at []."

    "The notice announces a pilot grant  program for the provision of broadband transmission service in rural America. For fiscal year 2002, $20 million in grants will be made available through a national competition to applicants proposing to provide broadband transmission service on a "community-oriented connectivity" basis. The "community-oriented connectivity" approach will target rural, economically-challenged communities and offer a means for the deployment of broadband transmission services to rural schools, libraries, education centers, health care providers, law enforcement agencies, public safety organizations as well as residents and businesses. This all-encompassing connectivity concept will give small, rural communities a chance to benefit from the advanced technologies that are necessary to foster economic growth, provide quality education and health care opportunities, and increase and enhance public safety efforts.
    Applications for grants will be accepted as of the date of this notice through November 5, 2002. All applications must be delivered to RUS or bear postmark no later than November 5, 2002.
    Notice of Funds Availability: [.doc] [.pdf]
    Application Guide: [.doc] [.pdf]"
    $20 million FY2003?  Schools get 2 years of free service?
    FY 07 $15 M funding
    FY 09 $13 M funding

  • USDA Airs Rural Broadband Grants, Internet News 5/19/03
  • Local Dial-Up Internet Program Grant Application Guide      [website]
  • ¨The Local Dial-Up Internet Grant Program is designed to provide  financing to furnish, in rural areas, local dial-up Internet access where it does not currently exist. Grant funds may be utilized for the acquisition, construction, and installation of equipment, facilities and systems. Grants will be awarded, on a competitive basis, to entities serving communities of up to 20,000 inhabitants to ensure rural consumers enjoy the same quality and range of telecommunications service as are available in urban and suburban communities. Download Application Guide:[ .doc  | .pdf ] .¨ Applications for grant funds will be accepted through August 20, 2002.
  • Rural Telephone Bank
  • Website
  • "The Telephone Bank and RUS telecommunications program have been building the foundation for the information superhighway in rural America for 50 years. With the assistance of the Telephone Bank and RUS, rural telecommunications companies have been able to obtain financing for the improvement and expansion of telecommunications service in rural areas. In addition to providing financing, RUS also establishes standards that are not only used by its borrowers but by the industry worldwide. With over 45 years of management and technical experience in rural telecommunications, the Telephone Bank and RUS have together acted as the Government's arm in representing rural America in telecommunications.
  • Infrastructure Loan
  • Program Loans to local telephone companies for improving telecommunications service in rural communities.
  • RUS's Adelstein Highlights Challenges to Rural Broadband Adoption, Nextgenweb 6/17/2010
  • NASA

    Institute of Museum and Library Services

  • The Library Services and Technology Act
  • Program: Grants  Deadline: New Five-Year Plans due July 31, 2002  Eligible: State Library Agencies  Contact  Jane C. Heiser, Director of State Grants Phone: 202/606-5252 E-mail: jheiser@imls.govWebsite: Institute of Museum and Library Services Website
  • "The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) of 1996 [P.L. 104-208], a section of the Museum and Library Services Act, promotes access to learning and information resources of all types of libraries for individuals of all ages. Through the legislation, IMLS provides funds to State Library Agencies using a population-based formula. State Libraries may use the appropriation to support statewide initiatives and services; they may also distribute the funds through competitive subgrant competitions or cooperative agreements to public, academic, research, school, and special libraries in their state. LSTA outlines two broad priorities for this funding. The first is for activities using technology for information sharing between libraries and between libraries and other community services. The second is for programs that make library resources more accessible to urban, rural, or low-income residents, and others who have difficulty using library services. "  Source: Institute of Museum and Library Services Website
  • "The Library Services and Technology Act ("LSTA"), Subchapter II of the Museum and Library Services Act, 20 U.S.C. § 9101 et seq., was enacted by Congress in 1996 as part of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Pub. L. No. 104-208.  The LSTA establishes three grant programs to achieve the goal of improving library services across the nation.  Under the Grants to States Program, LSTA grant funds are awarded, inter alia, in order to assist libraries in accessing information through electronic networks and pay for the costs of acquiring or sharing computer systems and telecommunications technologies.  See 20 U.S.C. § 9141(a).  Through the Grants to States program, LSTA funds have been used to acquire and pay costs associated with Internet-accessible computers located in libraries. "  ALA v. United States, CA 01-1303, Sec. II.A.1 (ED PA May 31, 2002) (challenging CIPA)
  • ALA Washington Office: Library Services and Technology Act: Basic Questions and Answers October 1996
  • The LSTA "builds on the strengths of previous federal library programs, but has some major advantages and differences.  LSTA retains the state-based approach, but sharpens the focus to two key prioritties for libraries: (1) Information access through technology (2) Information empowerment through special services."
  • "The Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) has distributed more than $883 million alone to libraries since 1998."  ALA News Release, ALA Applauds federal court ruling on CIPA (May 31, 2002)
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