Rural eConnectivity Program; Correction

CourtRural Utilities Service
Citation87 FR 9567
Published date22 February 2022
Record Number2022-03716
Federal Register, Volume 87 Issue 35 (Tuesday, February 22, 2022)
[Federal Register Volume 87, Number 35 (Tuesday, February 22, 2022)]
                [Notices]
                [Page 9567]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
                [FR Doc No: 2022-03716]
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                DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                Rural Utilities Service
                [Docket No. RUS-22-TELECOM-0009]
                Rural eConnectivity Program; Correction
                AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service, Department of Agriculture.
                ACTION: Notice; correction and amendment to Funding Opportunity
                Announcement (FOA).
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                SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) published a Funding
                Opportunity Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the
                Federal Register on October 25, 2021, entitled Rural eConnectivity
                Program (ReConnect Program), announcing its general policy and
                application procedures for funding under the ReConnect Program
                established pursuant to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018
                (which became law on February 15, 2019) which provides loans, grants,
                and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural
                areas. The purpose of this notice is to inform the public of changes
                made to the ReConnect program and to correct the October notice. The
                two changes are extending the application window until 11:59 a.m..
                Eastern on March 9, 2022 and potentially increasing total level of
                funding.
                DATES: Actions described in this notice take effect February 22, 2022.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For general inquiries regarding the
                ReConnect Program, contact Laurel Leverier, Assistant Administrator
                Telecommunications Program, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of
                Agriculture (USDA), email: [email protected], telephone (202)
                720-9554. For inquiries regarding eligible service areas, please
                contact ReConnect Program Staff at https://www.usda.gov/reconnect/contact-us.
                SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                Background
                 On October 25, 2021, RUS published a Funding Opportunity
                Announcement (FOA) and solicitation of applications in the Federal
                Register at 86 FR 58860. The FOA provided the policy and application
                procedures for the ReConnect Program. In support of the ReConnect
                Program, the agency identified the application closing date and funding
                amount for each category.
                 Since the publication of the FOA, the Agency's application system
                has been experiencing some issues that have hampered applicants from
                being able to complete applications. To allow the Agency sufficient
                time to address all the system issues and to give the applicants
                adequate time to complete their applications, the Agency has determined
                that an extension of the current period for submitting applications
                warranted. The actions taken in this notice will extend the application
                window until 11:59 a.m. Eastern on March 9, 2022. These actions are
                being taken by the Agency to ensure a successful third round of funding
                under the ReConnect Program.
                 There has also been a variety of new funding sources that meet the
                goals and purposes of this program. Therefore, to minimize the notices
                required, RUS may, at its discretion, increase the total level of
                funding available in this funding round or in any category in this
                funding round from any available source provided the awards meet the
                requirements of the statute which made the funding available to the
                agency.
                Summary of Changes
                 The FOA published in the Federal Register on October 25, 2021, FOA
                must be corrected in regard to the application window being expanded
                from 11:59 a.m. Eastern on February 22, 2022 to 11:59 a.m. Eastern on
                March 9, 2022. The FOA must also be corrected to allow RUS at its
                discretion to increase the total level of funding available.
                Corrections
                 In FR Doc. 2021-23128 appearing on page 58860 in the Federal
                Register of Monday, October 25, 2021, the following corrections are
                made:
                 1. On page 58860, second column, under DATES, correct ``11:59 a.m.
                Eastern on February 22, 2022'' to read ``11:59 a.m. Eastern on March 9,
                2022''.
                 2. On page 85560, third column, under Overview, in the Dates
                section:
                 i. Correct ``11:59 a.m. Eastern on February 22, 2022'' to read
                ``11:59 a.m. Eastern on March 9, 2022''; and
                 ii. Correct the sentence ``Applications will not be accepted after
                February 22, 2022 until a new application opportunity has been opened
                with the publication of an additional FOA in the Federal Register'' to
                read ``Applications will not be accepted after March 9, 2022 until a
                new application opportunity has been opened with the publication of an
                additional FOA in the Federal Register''.
                 3. On page 58861, first column, at the end of the first full
                paragraph, add the sentence ``RUS may at its discretion, increase the
                total level of funding available in this funding round or in any
                category in this funding round from any available source provided the
                awards meet the requirements of the statute which made the funding
                available to the agency.''
                Christopher A. McLean,
                Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
                [FR Doc. 2022-03716 Filed 2-17-22; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 3410-15-P
                

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