Rural Development

News & Analysis as of

FCC Adopts Plan to Distribute Additional Universal Service Subsidies to Rural Telecom Carriers

On March 30, the FCC released an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking announcing $2 billion in new financial support to rural incumbent telecommunications carriers (so-called rate of return carriers) willing to deploy...more

CFPB issues second rule to implement the HELP Act, expanding Qualified Mortgage coverage for lenders lending in rural and...

As we have addressed, Congress passed the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities Act of 2015 (HELP Act) on December 4, 2015, in efforts to expand the designation of additional areas as being “rural” under...more

CFPB Issues Interim Final Rule, Broadens Small Creditors’ Eligibility to Originate Certain Mortgages

On March 22, the CFPB issued an interim final rule to implement the Helping Expand Lending Practices in Rural Communities (HELP) Act by providing broader eligibility under TILA for small creditors originating balloon-payment...more

CFPB Adopts Procedural Rule Establishing Application Process for the Designation of Rural Areas

On March 3, the CFPB adopted a procedural rule to establish an application process for identifying an area as rural or underserved that the CFPB, pursuant its authority under the Dodd-Frank Act, had not yet designated as...more

CFPB invites comments on “Application Process for Designation of Rural Area under Federal Consumer Financial Law”

As we previously addressed, the CFPB issued a final rule to expand the definition of “rural areas” under Regulation Z with regard to the authority of small creditors to make certain qualified mortgage loans under the ability...more

USDA Pairs with Lean and Green Michigan to Approve First PACE Loan

Last month, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), as part of the USDA’s Rural Development mission area, announced its intention to approve a Property Assessed Clean Energy loan (“PACE” loan) to provide energy...more

FCC Releases 2016 Broadband Progress Report

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 90 percent of Americans have access to broadband Internet access service at the FCC’s benchmark speeds of 25 Mbps for downloads/3 Mbps for uploads. But the FCC also found...more

Update to the CFPB Final Rule: Amendments Relating to Small Creditors and Rural or Underserved Areas Under the Truth in Lending...

The CFPB has launched its new online tool created to assist creditors in determining whether a property is located within a rural or underserved area as defined by the CFPB....more

Government Contract: How Can a Subcontractor Get Paid?

G4S Technology LLC v. US, 779 F.3d 1337 (Fed. Cir. 2015) – A subcontractor worked on construction of wireless broadband networks for rural communities that was funded in part by a loan to the prime contractor from a US...more

Dodd-Frank News: November 2015: Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Update

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was enacted as a measure to promote financial stability and protection for consumers through increased regulation of nearly every aspect of the consumer finance...more

CFPB Publishes List of Rural Counties and Underserved Areas

We have an update to our September 23 post regarding the CFPB’s expanded definition of “small creditors” and “rural areas” for purposes of meeting the requirements of qualified mortgages. As first reported by Housing Wire,...more

Brazilian House of Representatives Will Expedite Vote to Ease Restrictions on Acquisitions and Leasing of Rural Properties by...

On September 16, the House of Representatives of the Brazilian Congress approved a request to consider legislation on an expedited basis which would ease certain restrictions imposed under existing law on the acquisition and...more

FTA Provides Notice of Expedited Public Transportation Improvement Initiative

Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) grants fund billions of transit-related projects throughout the United States. In an effort to improve the project delivery process for those projects, the FTA on September 3, 2015,...more

USDA Invests In Rural Energy For America Program

On August 7, 2015, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $63 million in loans and grants to be distributed through its Rural Energy for American Program (REAP). The $63 million is divided among 264 renewable energy and energy...more

Twelve Communities in Western Mass. on Board for Muni Broadband Project

This country was founded upon communities in New England helping themselves instead of relying on others to fix their problems, said Blair Levin, Gig.U executive director, speaking to us on municipal broadband projects. So...more

USDA Announces Energy Efficiency And Renewable Energy Grants

On April 22, 2015, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack celebrated Earth Day by announcing that USDA "is providing more than $112 million in loans and grants to help rural communities build and upgrade...more

House passes regulatory reform bills

Earlier this week, the House of Representatives, in bi-partisan votes, passed the following regulatory reform bills: The “Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act, H.R. 601, would create an exemption from the Gramm-Leach-Bliley...more

CFPB posts 2015 final lists of rural and rural or underserved counties

The CFPB has posted its 2015 final lists of Rural and Rural or Underserved Counties on its website. The CFPB has previously posted lists of such counties for calendar years 2011-2014....more

Lawmakers Hold Hearing on Improving Broadband Access in Rural Areas

The U.S. House Agricultural Committee's subcommittee on Livestock, Rural Development, and Credit, recently held a hearing to examine ways to improve and expand broadband in rural areas and to coordinate future investments...more

USDA Awards Funds To Promote Development Of Rural Wood-To-Energy Projects—15 States To Benefit

On July 15, 2014, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced grant awards to support the development of wood energy projects. According to the press release, the federal funds will leverage more than $4.5 million in...more

FCC Initiates Rural Broadband Experiments Program: $100 Million to be Disbursed to Winning Bidders

On July 14, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its latest Connect America Fund Order, which sets forth the parameters of its planned “rural broadband experiments” program. As detailed below, the...more

FCC Allocates $100 Million for Rural Broadband Experiments –Agency Will Reward Providers That Can Deliver Broadband at Speeds up...

On Friday, July 11, 2014 the FCC adopted an order implementing its planned “Rural Broadband Experiments”—a test-case program for disbursing subsidies to competitive providers that can deploy broadband to unserved areas. Our...more

Federal Appeals Court Upholds New FCC Rules Revamping Rural Telephone Rate Structures and Directing Expansion of Rural Broadband...

In a pair of opinions issued late last week, a federal appeals court in Denver affirmed in its entirety a landmark Federal Communications Commission rulemaking that expands the availability of broadband internet access in...more

USDA Offering Funding For Energy Efficiency Improvements

USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) is providing funding for rural small business owners and farmers to make energy efficiency improvements or to install energy systems and is currently accepting applications for...more

House Passes Electrify Africa Act

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Electrify Africa Act of 2014, approving a plan to bring power to over 50 million Africans and further open the door for U.S. investors in the continent's development and...more

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