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USDA/RUS RIN: 0572-AC41 Publication ID: Fall 2019 
Title: Servicing Regulation for the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) Telecommunications Programs 
Abstract:

The regulation will cover servicing actions associated with the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program, Broadband Access Loan and Loan Guarantee Program, Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, and Broadband Initiatives Program (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "RUS Telecommunications Programs").

 
Agency: Department of Agriculture(USDA)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: Not subject to, not significant 
CFR Citation: 7 CFR 1782   
Legal Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301    7 U.S.C. 1981    16 U.S.C. 1005   
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need:

The RUS Telecommunications Programs provide loan funding to build and expand broadband service into unserved and underserved rural communities, along with very limited funding to support the costs to acquire equipment to provide distance learning and telemedicine service. This action will provide servicing actions available for the loan portfolio and will enable the Agency to quickly and consistently address servicing actions and improve customer service.

Summary of the Legal Basis:

This action is required by statute, the Agricultural Act of 2014 amendment to section 601 of the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 (7 USC 950bb). This section requires the Secretary to establish written procedures for all broadband programs to recover funds from loan defaults.

Alternatives:

The agency considered using other existing RD agency regulations, however it was determined that other regulations would not significantly cover needed special servicing actions.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits:

There are no anticipated costs. The rule will ensure recipients comply with the established objectives and requirements for loans, repaying loans on schedule and acting in accordance with any necessary agreements, ensure serving actions are handled consistently, and protect the financial interest of the Agency.

Risks:

N/A

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Final Rule  12/00/2019 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Laurel Leverrier
Deputy Assistant Administrator, Telecommunications Program
Department of Agriculture
Rural Utilities Service
1400 Independence Ave. SW,
Washington, DC 20250
Phone:202 720-3416
Email: laurel.leverrier@wdc.usda.gov