Broadband & Internet,
Telecommunications Infrastructure Loans & Loan Guarantees
This program provides financing for the construction, maintenance, improvement and expansion of telephone service and broadband in rural areas. Funds may be used to finance broadband capable telecommunications service improvements, expansions, construction, acquisitions (in some cases), and refinancing (in some cases). Several types of funding are available: Cost-of-Money Loans are direct loans from USDA Rural Utilities Service. Loan Guarantees of up to 80% allow private lenders, including the Federal Financing Bank (FFB), to extend credit to qualified borrowers in rural areas. Hardship Loans may be used, at the sole discretion of USDA Rural Utilities Service, to assist applicants in meeting financial feasibility requirements for applications to serve underserved areas
Most entities that provide telecommunications in qualified rural areas including state and local governmental entities, Federally Recognized Tribes, non-profits, including Cooperatives, and limited dividend or mutual associations, and for-profit businesses (must be a corporation or limited liability company).
Eligible areas include rural areas and towns with a population of 5,000 or less, areas without telecommunications facilities, or areas where the applicant is the recognized telecommunications provider. Check with your local RD office to determine whether the proposed service area qualifies.