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                                               Notices                                                                                                       Federal Register
                                                                                                                                                             Vol. 75, No. 88

                                                                                                                                                             Friday, May 7, 2010



                                               This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER                    by the U.S. Postal Service; or (iii) A                  VI. Application Evaluation Criteria:
                                               contains documents other than rules or                  dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt             Establishes the evaluation criteria for
                                               proposed rules that are applicable to the               from a commercial carrier. Neither of                 application review.
                                               public. Notices of hearings and investigations,                                                                 VII. Award Administration Information:
                                                                                                       the following will be accepted as proof
                                               committee meetings, agency decisions and                                                                      Provides award notice information,
                                                                                                       of mailing: A private metered postmark,               administrative and national policy
                                               rulings, delegations of authority, filing of
                                                                                                       nor a mail receipt that is not dated by               requirements, terms and conditions, and
                                               petitions and applications and agency
                                               statements of organization and functions are            the U.S. Postal Service.                              other reporting requirements for award
                                               examples of documents appearing in this                   Mailing Address: One original and                   recipients.
                                               section.                                                one copy of the completed application                   VIII. Other Information: Sets forth
                                                                                                       must be mailed, shipped, or sent                      guidance on funding, compliance with
                                                                                                       overnight express to: Broadband                       various laws, confidentiality, discretionary
                                                                                                       Initiatives Program, Rural Utilities                  awards, and authorized signatures.
                                               DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
                                                                                                       Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture,              I. Overview
                                               Rural Utilities Service                                 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Stop
                                                                                                                                                                On January 22, 2010, the Rural
                                                                                                       1599, Room 2868, Washington, DC
                                               RIN 0572–ZA01                                                                                                 Utilities Service (RUS) published its
                                                                                                       20250 or hand-delivered to: Broadband
                                                                                                                                                             Second Round NOFA at 74 FR 3820,
                                               Broadband Initiatives Program                           Initiatives Program, Rural Utilities
                                                                                                                                                             identifying new funding opportunities
                                                                                                       Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture,
                                               AGENCY: Rural Utilities Service,
                                                                                                                                                             for Satellite, Rural Library Broadband,
                                                                                                       1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room
                                                                                                                                                             and Technical Assistance projects. In
                                               Department of Agriculture.                              2868, Washington, DC 20250.
                                                                                                                                                             that Second Round NOFA, the Agency
                                               ACTION: Request for proposals.                            Contact Information: For general
                                                                                                       inquiries, contact David J. Villano,                  also noted that more specific
                                               SUMMARY: The Rural Utilities Service                    Assistant Administrator                               requirements would be outlined in a
                                               (RUS) announced its general policy and                  Telecommunications Program, Rural                     future Request for Proposals (RFP). This
                                               application procedures for the second                   Utilities Service, U.S. Department of                 RFP details those requirements with
                                               round of funding under the broadband                    Agriculture (USDA), email:                            respect to application contents, as well
                                               initiatives (the Second Round NOFA),                    BroadbandUSA@usda.gov, telephone:                     as eligible expenses under each funding
                                               established pursuant to the American                    (877) 508–8364. For inquiries regarding               opportunity. Generally, the following
                                               Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009                   BIP compliance requirements, including                changes have been made to each
                                               (Recovery Act) for the Broadband                        applicable federal rules and regulations              funding opportunity:
                                               Initiatives Program (BIP), on January 22,               protecting against fraud, waste and                   Satellite
                                               2010 at 74 FR 3820. In that Second                      abuse, contact
                                                                                                                                                                For Satellite projects, there have been
                                               Round NOFA, RUS announced the                           bipcompliance@wdc.usda.gov. You may
                                                                                                                                                             no major changes to the information
                                               opening of a future window for specific                 obtain additional information regarding
                                                                                                                                                             required in the application except for
                                               grants for Satellite, Rural Library                     applications for BIP via the Internet at
                                                                                                                                                             the proposed amount per subscriber that
                                               Broadband, and Technical Assistance,                    http://www.broadbandusa.gov.
                                                                                                                                                             is requested in federal assistance
                                               and that any requirements would be                        Authority: This notice is issued pursuant           (‘‘Proposed Subscriber Amount’’). This
                                               outlined in the Request for Proposals                   to the American Recovery and Reinvestment             amount represents the Applicant’s bid
                                               (RFP). This RFP outlines those                          Act of 2009, Pub. L. 111–5, 123 Stat. 115
                                                                                                                                                             to provide the required terms of service,
                                               requirements.                                           (2009) and the Rural Electrification Act of
                                                                                                       1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.                            in addition to any other proposed terms,
                                               DATES: Applications for Satellite, Rural                                                                      to any unserved premises in the
                                                                                                       SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                                               Library Broadband, and Technical                          Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance              Satellite Region. The eligible costs
                                               Assistance Projects will be accepted                    (CFDA) Number: Broadband Initiatives                  provision has correspondingly been
                                               from May 7, 2010, until June 7, 2010.                   Program (BIP)—10.787.                                 modified to reflect that such costs will
                                                  Application Submission: The                                                                                be reimbursed on the proposed
                                               application packages for all programs                   Additional Items in Supplementary                     subscriber amount agreed to by the
                                                                                                       Information
                                               are available at http://                                                                                      Agency. How a successful Applicant
                                               www.broadbandusa.gov. Applications                         I. Overview: Describes the purposes of the         applies the grant funds per subscriber
                                               for Satellite, Rural Libraries Broadband,               Recovery Act and the changes in BIP from              shall be at its discretion. In addition, the
                                               and Technical Assistance projects must                  the First Round NOFA.                                 requirement that an Applicant offer a
                                                                                                          II. Definitions: Sets forth the key statutory
                                               be submitted in paper format by June 7,                 terms and other terms.
                                                                                                                                                             reduced service package of at least 25
                                               2010.                                                      III. Funding Opportunity Description:              percent of its December 2009 published
                                                  Paper Format: Paper applications                     Describes funding categories, requirements,           rates has been eliminated. Upon
                                               must include proof of mailing consisting                and the amount of funds available for each            reflection, the Agency has determined
                                               of one of the following: (i) A legibly                  category.                                             that such a requirement may not
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                                               dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.                        IV. Eligibility Information: Establishes           accomplish the desired effect, given that
                                               Please note that the U.S. Postal Service                eligibility criteria, eligibility factors, eligible   some providers may already offer better
                                               does not uniformly provide a dated                      and ineligible costs, and other eligibility           rates than other discounted rates, and
                                                                                                       requirements.
                                               postmark. Before relying on this                           V. Application and Submission                      that such an aggressive discount may
                                               method, Applicants should check with                    Information: Provides information regarding           not be feasible. Moreover, imposition of
                                               their local post office; (ii) A legible mail            how to apply, application materials, and the          the requirement would be unfair to
                                               receipt with the date of mailing stamped                application process.                                  existing companies given that new


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                                               25186                             Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices

                                               entrants or consortiums would not have                  the timing of this RFP, all Awardees                  Register on January 22, 2010 at 75 FR
                                               existing rates. As such, the Agency is                  under the Second Round NOFA have                      3792.
                                               eliminating the 25 percent discount                     not been determined. As such, Round                      CALEA means the Communications
                                               requirement, but now requires that the                  Two Applicants that have not yet been                 Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, 47
                                               cost of its Basic Service Package, as                   notified of the status of their application           U.S.C. 1001 et seq.
                                               defined in this RFP, not exceed $50 per                 may submit an application for Rural                      Commercial Service Package means
                                               month.                                                  Library Broadband and Technical                       the provision of Satellite Broadband
                                                  The Agency will accept National                      Assistance projects at their own risk.                Service at speeds of at least 2 megabits
                                               Applications which cover at least six of                                                                      per second (Mbps) downstream and
                                               the eight Satellite Regions, in addition                Satellite, Rural Library Broadband and                greater than 200 kbps upstream to end
                                               to Regional Applications that cover one                 Technical Assistance                                  users.
                                               or more Satellite Regions. However, if                     Some definitions have been added to                   Critical community facilities means
                                               an applicant chooses to submit a                        effectuate the requirements of Satellite,             public facilities that provide community
                                               National Application, it must submit                    Rural Library Broadband, and Technical                services essential for supporting the
                                               one national proposed subscriber                        Assistance projects.                                  safety, health, and well-being of
                                               amount, whereas Regional Applications                      Based on the number of estimated                   residents, including, but not limited to,
                                               may contain distinct regional proposed                  applicants the Agency expects to receive              emergency response and other public
                                               subscriber amounts in their regional                    for all three projects, it has determined             safety activities, hospitals and clinics,
                                               break out. An applicant may submit                      that the cost of developing an online                 libraries and schools.
                                               both a National Application and a                       intake system would not be an effective                  Current ratio means the current assets
                                               Regional Application covering the same                  use of Agency resources. Therefore, all               divided by the current liabilities.
                                               Satellite Regions for consideration.                    applications under this RFP must be                      Economic life means the estimated
                                                  In addition, the Agency has                          submitted in paper format.                            useful service life of an asset as
                                               determined that reaching hard to serve                                                                        determined by RUS.
                                               unserved rural premises may best be                     II. Definitions                                          End-user equipment means, excluding
                                               served by awarding more than one                           The terms and conditions provided in               desktop or laptop computers, computer
                                               Regional or National applicant for the                  this Request For Proposals (RFP) are                  hardware and software (including anti-
                                               same Satellite Region, depending on the                 applicable to, and for the purposes of,               virus, anti-spyware, and other security
                                               proposals it receives.                                  this RFP only. Unless otherwise                       software), audio or video equipment,
                                                                                                       provided in the award documents, all                  computer network components,
                                               Rural Library Broadband                                                                                       telecommunications terminal
                                                                                                       financial terms not defined herein shall
                                                 For Rural Library Broadband projects,                 have the meaning as defined by                        equipment, inside wiring, interactive
                                               there also have been no changes to the                  Generally Accepted Accounting                         video equipment, or other facilities
                                               requirements of the application, but the                Principles.                                           required for the provision and use of
                                               scope of eligible costs has been                           Administrator means the RUS                        broadband transmission services.
                                               amplified to encompass associated costs                 Administrator, or the Administrator’s                    Expanded Service Package means the
                                               with hardware and software to connect                   designee.                                             provision of Satellite Broadband Service
                                               the Rural Libraries. Connecting the                        Applicant means an entity requesting               at speeds of at least 1.5 Mbps
                                               Rural Library to a broadband network                    an award under this RFP, and where                    downstream and greater than 200 kbps
                                               without the necessary equipment to that                 applicable, the First Round NOFA or                   upstream to end users.
                                               connection would not serve the                                                                                   First Round NOFA means the NOFA
                                                                                                       Second Round NOFA.
                                               purposes of the program.                                                                                      published in the Federal Register, Vol.
                                                                                                          Award means a grant made under this
                                                                                                                                                             74, No. 130, Thursday, July 9, 2009 at
                                               Technical Assistance                                    RFP.
                                                                                                                                                             FR 33104.
                                                  For Technical Assistance projects, the                  Awardee means a grantee under this                    GAAP means generally accepted
                                               requirements of the application have                    RFP, unless otherwise specified.                      accounting principles.
                                               been clarified with respect to the                         Basic Service Package means Satellite                 Grant agreement means the agreement
                                               objective of the plan. Moreover, Indian                 Broadband Service offered at no greater               between RUS and the Awardee for
                                               tribes are not required to receive a BIP                than $50 per month to the end user.                   grants awarded under this RFP,
                                               or BTOP award in order to be eligible                      BIP means the Broadband Initiatives                including any amendments thereto,
                                               to receive a grant for Technical                        Program, administered by the RUS,                     available for review at http://
                                               Assistance.                                             under the Recovery Act.                               www.broadbandusa.gov.
                                                  Eligible costs also have been modified                  Broadband means providing two-way                     Grant documents mean the grant
                                               to include up to five percent of pre-                   data transmission with advertised                     agreement and security documents
                                               application expenses so that Applicants                 speeds of at least 768 kilobits per                   between the RUS and the Awardee and
                                               may adequately lay out their proposal in                second (kbps) downstream and at least                 any associated documents pertaining to
                                               sufficient detail.                                      200 kbps upstream to end users, or                    the grant.
                                                                                                       providing sufficient capacity in a                       Grant funds mean federal funds
                                               Rural Library Broadband and Technical                   middle mile project to support the                    provided pursuant to a grant made
                                               Assistance                                              provision of broadband service to end                 under this RFP.
                                                 For both Rural Library Broadband and                  users.                                                   Indian tribe means, as provided in
                                               Technical Assistance projects, eligible                    BTOP NOFA means the Notice of                      section 4 of the Indian Self-
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                                               entities have been amended to clarify                   Funds Availability issued under the                   Determination and Education
                                               that in addition to the Awardees under                  Broadband Telecommunications                          Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C. 450b, any
                                               the First Round NOFA and Second                         Opportunity Program (BTOP)                            Indian tribe, band, nation, or other
                                               Round NOFA, only Applicants for the                     administered by the National                          organized group or community,
                                               Second Round NOFA that ultimately                       Telecommunications and Information                    including any Alaska Native village or
                                               receive an Award under that NOFA will                   Administration of the Department of                   regional or village corporation as
                                               be considered for these projects. Given                 Commerce and published in the Federal                 defined in or established pursuant to the


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                                                                                 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices                                              25187

                                               Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, 43                 entities, and critical community                      equipment CPE (including no
                                               U.S.C.A. § 1601 et seq., which is                       facilities).                                          installation, activation, or other fees) for
                                               recognized as eligible for the special                     Satellite Region means any of the                  all packages offered. In addition, the
                                               programs and services provided by the                   eight regions available for a satellite               Basic Service Package must be offered at
                                               United States to Indians because of their               project, identified in Section IV.C.1(a).             a rate no higher than $50 per month for
                                               status as Indians.                                         Second Round NOFA means the                        at least one year with no length of
                                                  National Application shall mean a                    NOFA published in the Federal                         service requirements, unless the
                                               Satellite application covering at least six             Register, Vol. 75, No. 14, Friday,                    Applicant offers the Basic Service
                                               of the Satellite Regions, and shall be                  January 22, 2010 at FR 3820.                          Package at less than $40 per month. In
                                               treated as a single application.                           Telecommunications terminal                        such case, the Applicant may propose a
                                                  Proposed Subscriber Amount means,                    equipment means telecommunications                    one-year contract requirement, if an
                                               for a Satellite Project, the amount which               equipment at the end of a circuit or path             unconditional 30-day cancellation
                                               the Applicant proposes to accept in                     of a signal, including but not limited to             clause is provided. There are no length
                                               federal assistance as payment in                        facilities that receive or transmit over              of service requirements or price
                                               exchange for providing broadband                        the air broadcast, satellite, and                     requirements for Expanded Service
                                               service, on the terms as identified in its              microwave, normally located on the                    Packages or Commercial Service
                                               proposal and as required in this RFP, to                premises of the end user, that interface              Packages.
                                               each eligible unserved, rural premises.                 with telecommunications transmission
                                                                                                                                                                If no applications are received for a
                                                                                                       facilities, and that is used to modify,
                                                  RE Act means the ‘‘Rural                                                                                   given Satellite Region, the
                                                                                                       convert, encode, or otherwise prepare
                                               Electrification Act of 1936,’’ as amended                                                                     Administrator may request applications
                                                                                                       signals to be transmitted via such
                                               (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.).                                                                                       for that Satellite Region from existing
                                                                                                       telecommunications facilities, or that is
                                                  Recovery Act means the American                                                                            Applicants under this RFP. Moreover, if
                                                                                                       used to modify, reconvert, or carry
                                               Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,                                                                        the Administrator determines that no
                                                                                                       signals received from such facilities, the
                                               Public Law 111–5, 123 Stat. 115 (2009).                                                                       applications are acceptable for a
                                                                                                       purpose of which is to accomplish the
                                                  Region means either multi-                                                                                 Satellite Region, the Agency may
                                                                                                       goal for which the circuit or signal was
                                               jurisdictional areas, as proposed by an                                                                       request Applicants that submitted
                                                                                                       established.
                                               Applicant, within a state, territory, or                   USDA Region means either multi-                    applications for that Satellite Region to
                                               Federally-designated tribal land or an                  jurisdictional areas, as designated or                submit amended applications. If the
                                               area that crosses state, territory, or tribal           defined by the Secretary of Agriculture,              Agency is still unable to receive an
                                               boundaries.                                             within a state, territory, or Federally-              acceptable application from such
                                                  Regional Application shall mean a                    designated tribal land or an area that                Applicants, then the Administrator
                                               Satellite application for one or more                   crosses state, territory, or tribal                   reserves the right to request applications
                                               Satellite Regions, which shall be treated               boundaries.                                           from Applicants for other Satellite
                                               as a separate application for each of the                                                                     Regions, or not to award the Satellite
                                               Satellite Regions being applied for.                    III. Funding Opportunity Description                  Region.
                                                  Rural area means any area, as                        A. Funding Categories                                 2. Rural Library Broadband Grants
                                               confirmed by the latest decennial
                                               census of the Bureau of the Census,                     1. Satellite Projects                                    Awardees under the First Round
                                               which is not located within: (1) A city,                   Applicants must propose to serve                   NOFA or Second Round NOFA, or
                                               town, or incorporated area that has a                   only unserved rural premises in any of                Applicants under the Second Round
                                               population of greater than 20,000                       the Satellite Regions listed in Section               NOFA may submit a grant request for
                                               inhabitants; or (2) an urbanized area                   IV.C.1(a) of this RFP. Applicants may                 providing a broadband connection to
                                               contiguous and adjacent to a city or                    propose to serve more than one Satellite              any rural library in their proposed
                                               town that has a population of greater                   Region by submitting a Regional                       funded service area that was
                                               than 50,000 inhabitants. For purposes of                Application which is broken out for                   constructed or to be constructed with
                                               the definition of rural area, an urbanized              each Satellite Region it proposes to                  funding from USDA’s Community
                                               area means a densely populated                          serve, and/or by submitting a National                Facilities program of the Rural Housing
                                               territory as defined in the latest                      Application covering at least six of the              Service and that is without broadband
                                               decennial census of the Bureau of the                   Satellite Regions. National Applications,             service. The grant request must include
                                               Census.                                                 however, must contain only one                        the broadband connection to such rural
                                                  Rural Library means a library in a                   national proposed subscriber amount,                  library. Such costs need not have been
                                               rural area.                                             whereas Regional Applications broken                  addressed in the original application
                                                  RUS Accounting Requirements shall                    out for each Satellite Region may                     submitted under the First Round NOFA
                                               mean compliance with U.S. GAAP,                         contain distinct proposed subscriber                  or Second Round NOFA. If the costs
                                               acceptable to RUS, as well as                           amounts. One or two Applicants may be                 were addressed, however, in the original
                                               compliance with the requirements of the                 selected to serve each Satellite Region.              application, the Applicant may request
                                               applicable regulations: 7 CFR 3015,                     Funds will be disbursed among the                     that such costs be converted to grant
                                               3016, or 3019 or the system of accounts                 eight Satellite Regions listed in Section             funds. Rural libraries that already have
                                               prescribed by RUS Bulletin 1770B–1.                     IV.C.1(a), as the Agency determines is                a broadband connection are ineligible
                                                  Satellite Broadband Service means                    necessary to promote geographic                       for this program.
                                               broadband that is delivered to the end                  diversity of funding throughout each                     In addition to the connection to these
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                                               user through a satellite based system                   Satellite Region, and funds will be                   unserved rural libraries, Applicants may
                                               and not an ancillary or terrestrial based               divided within the same Satellite                     also request funds to accommodate up
                                               system.                                                 Region, if two awardees are chosen,                   to 10 workstations, as well as critical
                                                  Satellite Project means any project to               based on the strength of each proposal.               End-user Equipment and
                                               provide Satellite Broadband Service to                     At a minimum, an application for                   Telecommunications Terminal
                                               unserved rural premises (including                      Satellite projects must commit to                     Equipment, as defined herein, to ensure
                                               households, businesses, public safety                   providing no cost customer premise                    that broadband service is not only


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                                               25188                             Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices

                                               available, but can be used by the                       leveraging State and Federal Department               a. Satellite Projects
                                               residents of the community to be served.                of Transportation resources for road
                                                 If the Applicant will not be solely                                                                           Up to $100,000,000 is available for
                                                                                                       construction, broadband infrastructure
                                               responsible for grant assets located in                                                                       grants for Satellite projects.
                                                                                                       loans and grant from the RUS, and
                                               the rural library, then the rural library               resources from Health and Human for a                 b. Rural Library Broadband Projects
                                               must be a co-applicant for the grant.                   regional hospital and business models                   Up to $2,000,000 is available for
                                               3. Technical Assistance Grants                          to attract new businesses to the area.                grants for Rural Library Broadband
                                                                                                       The goal being to develop                             projects.
                                                  Awardees under the First Round                       comprehensive plans that foster
                                               NOFA or Second Round NOFA,                              collaboration and leveraging of                       c. Technical Assistance Projects
                                               Applicants under the Second Round                       resources between local, state and
                                               NOFA, or Indian Tribes may submit an                                                                            Up to $3,000,000 is available for
                                                                                                       federal agencies and focus on wealth                  grants for Technical Assistance projects.
                                               additional grant request for funding                    and job creation through the use of
                                               regional broadband development                          broadband. Regional broadband                         3. Award Period
                                               planning activities associated with                     development strategy proposals may be
                                               regions or USDA Regions in rural areas.                                                                         All awards must be made and funding
                                                                                                       used by Awardees and regionally-based                 obligated by September 30, 2010.
                                               In order to leverage these grants with                  community leaders to support
                                               the Rural Business Opportunity Grants                   applications for other local, federal and             4. Type of Funding Instrument
                                               (RBOG) of USDA’s Rural Business—                        state programs in order to meet the
                                               Cooperative Service (RBS), see 75 FR                                                                            The funding instruments will be
                                                                                                       overall objectives of the plan.                       grants.
                                               15406 (Mar. 29, 2010), RUS is likewise
                                               encouraging applications that are                          By fostering the development of
                                                                                                       rigorous regional broadband strategies,               5. Additional Available Funding From
                                               designed to help rural areas in the                                                                           the First and Second Round NOFAs
                                               region create wealth so that they are                   RUS anticipates that Technical
                                               self-sustaining, repopulating, and                      Assistance Awardees will also be able to                 Funding that remains available from
                                               thriving economically. Applicants must                  submit more focused applications in the               the First Round NOFA or the Second
                                               specifically address the following RBOG                 future to RUS’ Infrastructure                         Round NOFA may be used to provide
                                               key strategy: Use of broadband and                      Telecommunications, Rural Broadband                   additional funding for the categories
                                               other critical infrastructure as a strategy             Access, Community-Oriented                            listed above in Section III.B.2.
                                               to facilitate local entrepreneurship and                Connectivity Broadband, and Distance
                                                                                                       Learning and Telemedicine grant and                   IV. Eligibility Information
                                               expansion of market opportunities for
                                               small businesses. Similar to the RBOG                   loan programs. As such, Applicants are                A. General
                                               program, RUS also seeks applications                    encouraged to consider the creation of a
                                                                                                                                                                Applicants must satisfy the following
                                               that attempt to promote broadband                       market study, an engineering plan for a
                                                                                                                                                             eligibility requirements to qualify for
                                               strategies through a regional approach.                 broadband network, and a pro forma
                                                                                                                                                             funding.
                                               Regions can be either multi-                            financial analysis of any potential loan.
                                               jurisdictional areas within a state,                       Applicants are encouraged to consider              B. Eligible Entities
                                               territory, or Federally-designated tribal               all available resources in their                      1. Satellite Projects
                                               land or can cross state, territory, or                  geographic area that can contribute to
                                               tribal boundaries, either defined by the                supporting this broadband strategy.                      a. A satellite Internet Service Provider
                                               applicant or defined or designated by                   After selection, in addition to grant                 (ISP);
                                               the Secretary.                                          funding under this RFP, grantees may be                  b. A reseller of satellite ISP service;
                                                  Regional applications should focus on                provided with targeted technical                         c. A distributor or dealer of satellite
                                               the broadband-related outcomes that                     assistance by USDA or other federal                   ISP service; and
                                               promote economic integration and                        agencies as available and appropriate.                   d. A consortium of a, b, or c above,
                                               cohesion of their self-defined                          To ensure that a broad range of                       except for a consortium of more than
                                               geographic area. This approach is                       communities have the opportunity to                   one satellite ISP.
                                               intended to combine the resources of                    benefit from the program, individual
                                               the Agency with those of State and local                                                                      2. Rural Library Broadband Projects
                                                                                                       grants will be limited to $200,000. The
                                               governments, educational institutions,                  amount of the request should cover the                  The following entities are eligible to
                                               and the private and nonprofit sectors to                costs of developing the plan. RUS, in its             apply for assistance:
                                               implement regional economic and                         discretion, may decrease the requested                  a. Awardees under the First Round
                                               community development strategies. In                    award amount based on its evaluation of               NOFA or Second Round NOFA; and
                                               addition, in order to effectively leverage              an application and based on the level of                b. Applicants under the Second
                                               other resources, Applicants should                      funding available for this program.                   Round NOFA.1
                                               identify other related programs such as
                                               those of the Department of                              B. Available Funds                                    3. Technical Assistance Projects
                                               Transportation, Health and Human                        1. General                                              The following entities are eligible to
                                               Services, Education, Homeland                                                                                 apply for assistance:
                                               Security, the Federal Communications                      Subject to Section III.B.5 below,                     a. Awardees under the First Round
                                               Commission (FCC), Telemedicine                          approximately $105,000,000 in funding                 NOFA or Second Round NOFA;
                                               Program of the Indian Health Service,                   has been set aside for funding
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                                               and similar State and local programs.                   opportunities under the Second Round                     1 Applicants under the Second Round NOFA that
                                               For example, a local community with                     NOFA for the following projects and                   have not yet been notified of the status of their
                                               limited broadband connectivity has                      this RFP.                                             application may apply for assistance; however, such
                                               proposed an industrial park to bring                                                                          submissions are at the applicant’s own risk. Only
                                                                                                       2. Funding Targets                                    those applicants that are ultimately selected as
                                               new jobs to the community. A regional                                                                         Awardees under the Second Round NOFA will be
                                               proposal could include the proposal for                   Award amounts under this RFP will                   eligible to receive an award for Rural Library
                                               a new industrial park identifying and                   be targeted as follows:                               Broadband projects.



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                                                                                 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices                                              25189

                                                 b. Applicants under the Second                        workstations located within the rural                 http://www.ccr.gov/
                                               Round NOFA 2; and                                       library;                                              StartRegistration.aspx. Applicants are
                                                 c. Indian Tribes                                         2. End-user equipment needed to                    encouraged to register early due to
                                               C. Eligible Grant Expenses                              carry out the project;                                potential delays in registration.
                                                                                                          3. The costs for the improvement of
                                               1. Satellite Award Expenses                                                                                   C. Contents of the Application
                                                                                                       the rural library in order to
                                               a. Unserved Rural Premises                              accommodate, if necessary, the                        1. Requirements for Applications for
                                                                                                       individual workstations; or                           Satellite Projects
                                                  Grant funds may only be expended for                    4. The cost of providing broadband
                                               eligible purposes, as provided in                                                                                A complete application will include
                                                                                                       service, free of charge, to the rural                 the following, broken out to the extent
                                               Section IV.C.1.b below, to unserved                     library for up to 2 years.
                                               rural premises in the Satellite Region(s)                                                                     possible for each Satellite Region being
                                               for which the Applicant has applied.                    3. Eligible Technical Assistance                      applied for if not a National
                                               The eight Satellite Regions encompass                   Expenses                                              Application:
                                               the following states: Region 1                                                                                   a. The identity of the Applicant or co-
                                                                                                         Award funds may be used by the                      applicants and general Applicant and
                                               Washington, Oregon, California,                         Applicant:
                                               Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Arizona; Region 2                                                                        project information including:
                                                                                                         a. To fund the proposed technical                      i. A description of the project that will
                                               Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota,                         assistance for regional broadband                     be made public consistent with the
                                               South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota,                      development planning activities                       requirements of the Recovery Act;
                                               Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois; Region 3                 associated with a region or USDA region                  ii. The Congressional District of the
                                               Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas,                           in rural areas. Such technical assistance             Applicant’s headquarters;
                                               Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas,                    must include planning, technical and                     b. An executive summary of the
                                               and Louisiana; Region 4 Michigan,                       economic expertise;                                   project, including the Satellite Region(s)
                                               Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia,                   b. To reimburse up to 5 percent of the              for which the Applicant is applying,
                                               Pennsylvania, and Virginia; Region 5                    costs of the total proposed budget for                whether it is a National Application,
                                               Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama,                        pre-application expenses incurred no                  and the number of unserved rural
                                               Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and                   earlier than the date of the publication              premises proposed to be served by the
                                               North Carolina; Region 6 Maryland,                      of the Second Round NOFA, January 22,                 applicant within the Satellite Region(s);
                                               Delaware, New Jersey, New York,                         2010;                                                    c. A description of the Applicant’s
                                               Connecticut, Rhode Island,                                c. To fund the cost of a market study               ability to cover the entire Satellite
                                               Massachusetts, New Hampshire,                           of the selected region;                               Region(s) being applied for;
                                               Vermont, and Maine; Region 7 Alaska;                      d. To fund the cost of an engineering                  d. A description of the proposed
                                               and Region 8 Hawaii.                                    design for a broadband network to cover               service offerings, including quality of
                                                  Notwithstanding, unserved rural                      the selected region; and                              service, transmission speed, associated
                                               premises within the existing service                      e. To fund the cost of creating a pro               pricing plans for a Basic Service
                                               area of current RUS borrowers currently                 forma financial analysis of a proposed                Package, an Expanded Service Package,
                                               in build-out, or the service areas of Last              future loan.                                          and a Commercial Service Package, how
                                               Mile Awardees under the First Round                                                                           its rates will be affordable to low-
                                               NOFA, Second Round NOFA or the                          V. Application and Submission                         income households, and how the
                                               BTOP NOFA shall be ineligible for grant                 Information                                           service will be marketed throughout the
                                               funding, regardless of whether the                      A. Request for Application Package                    entire Satellite Region(s) being applied
                                               premises are unserved, so as to not                                                                           for. The proposed service offerings of
                                               compete with RUS or Recovery Act                          Complete application packages,
                                                                                                                                                             the proposal must include the provision
                                               projects being built. These areas can be                including required federal forms and
                                                                                                                                                             of no cost CPE (including no
                                               found at http://                                        instructions, will be available at http://
                                                                                                                                                             installation, activation, or other fees) for
                                               www.broadbandUSA.gov.                                   www.broadbandusa.gov. Additional
                                                                                                                                                             all packages offered. In addition, the
                                                  b. To reimburse costs for the                        information can be found in the
                                                                                                                                                             Basic Service Package must be offered at
                                               provision of broadband service to                       Application Guidelines at http://
                                                                                                                                                             a rate no higher than $50 per month for
                                               eligible, unserved rural premises                       www.broadbandusa.gov. This Web site
                                                                                                                                                             at least one year with no length of
                                               defined in Section IV.C.1.a above, at the               will be updated regularly.                            service requirements, unless the
                                               agreed upon proposed subscriber                         B. Registration                                       Applicant offers the Basic Service
                                               amount.                                                                                                       Package at less than $40 per month. In
                                                                                                       1. DUNS Number                                        such case, the Applicant may propose a
                                               2. Eligible Rural Library Broadband
                                               Expenses                                                   All Applicants must supply a Dun                   one-year contract requirement, if an
                                                                                                       and Bradstreet Data Universal                         unconditional 30-day cancellation
                                                  a. Award funds must be used by the
                                                                                                       Numbering System (DUNS) number.                       clause is provided. There are no length
                                               Applicant to pay for the last mile
                                                                                                       Applicants can receive a DUNS number                  of service requirements or price
                                               connection to the rural library;
                                                  b. Award funds may be used by the                    at no cost by calling the dedicated toll-             requirements for Expanded Service
                                               Applicant to pay for the following:                     free DUNS number request line at                      Packages or Commercial Service
                                                  1. The costs for up to 10 desktop or                 1–866–705–5711 or via the Internet at                 Packages;
                                               laptop computers and individual                         http://www.dunandbradstreet.com.                              ´     ´
                                                                                                                                                                e. Resumes of key management
                                                                                                                                                             personnel, a description of the
                                                                                                       2. Central Contractor Registration (CCR)
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                                                 2 Applicants   under the Second Round NOFA that                                                             organization’s readiness to manage a
                                               have not yet been notified of the status of their         All Applicants must provide a CCR                   broadband services network, and an
                                               application may apply for assistance; however, such     (CAGE) number evidencing current                      organizational chart showing any parent
                                               submissions are at the applicant’s own risk. Only       registration in the CCR database. If the              organizations and/or subsidiaries and
                                               those applicants that are ultimately selected as
                                               Awardees under the Second Round NOFA will be
                                                                                                       Applicant does not have a current CCR                 affiliates;
                                               eligible to receive an award for Technical              (CAGE) number, the Applicant must                        f. A legal opinion (as set forth in the
                                               Assistance projects.                                    register in the CCR system available at               application) that: (1) Addresses the


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                                               25190                             Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices

                                               Applicant’s ability to enter into the                   individual workstations, up to 10                        e. The identity of communities within
                                               award documents; (2) describes all                      desktop or laptop computers and                       the Region or USDA Region that would
                                               material pending litigation matters; and                individual workstations to be located                 be eligible under RUS’ Infrastructure
                                               (3) addresses the Applicant’s ability to                within the rural library, end-user                    Telecommunications, Rural Broadband
                                               pledge security as required by the award                equipment and telecommunications                      Access, Community-Oriented
                                               documents;                                              terminal equipment needed to carry out                Connectivity Broadband, and/or
                                                  g. The total amount of the proposal,                 the project, and the cost of providing                Distance Learning and Telemedicine
                                               the amount which the Applicant is                       free broadband service to the rural                   grant and loan programs, and basic data
                                               requesting in assistance, and the                       library for up to 2 years;                            regarding population, numbers of
                                               proposed subscriber amount (note only                      d. An executive summary of the                     households, numbers and types of
                                               regional applications may contain                       project as detailed in the application;               businesses, local revenue and
                                               distinct proposed subscriber amounts);                     e. A certification that no broadband               employment should be provided;
                                                  h. Pro forma financial analysis related              connection exists to the rural library,                  f. The amount of the grant request,
                                               to the sustainability of the project,                   and that the rural library has or will                supported by a detailed budget estimate
                                               including subscriber estimates and                      receive a Community Facilities award;                 to create the plan;
                                               proposed service offerings in addition to                  f. A description of the quality of the                g. A list of the objectives of the plan
                                               broadband Internet access; annual                       service being provided;                               and why the objectives are important.
                                               financial projections including balance                    g. A description of the benefits to the            This section should also include any
                                               sheets, income statements, and cash                     community or communities to be served                 background or introductory information
                                               flow statements and supporting                          by the rural library broadband                        that would help explain the objectives.
                                               assumptions for a five-year forecast                    connection; and                                          h. An outline of the research design,
                                               period as applicable; and evidence of                      h. A completed Environmental                       methods, analytical tools, and
                                               committed sources of capital funding                    Questionnaire, other documentation                    techniques that the applicant intends to
                                               required to sustain the operation;                      requests, and required environmental                  use in meeting the objectives stated
                                                  i. Historical financial statements,                  authorizations and permits, including                 above. Methods must be clearly stated
                                               Certified Public Accountant (CPA)                       those required by the National                        so that the agency can evaluate the
                                               audits if applicable, for the previous two              Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as                  appropriateness of the applicant’s
                                               calendar years;                                         amended (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.)                      approach and tools to be used. A
                                                  j. Certifications required in the                    (NEPA), the National Historic                         statement such as: ‘‘we will evaluate the
                                               application;                                            Preservation Act of 1966, as amended                  data using the usual statistical methods’’
                                                  k. The pricing package being offered                 (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.) (NHPA), and the               is not specific enough for evaluation.
                                               to critical community facilities, if any;               Endangered Species Act of 1973, as                       i. Describe the expected results,
                                                  l. A list of all outstanding and                     amended (16 U.S.C. 1534 et seq.) (ESA)                benefits, and outcomes the applicant
                                               contingent obligations, including copies                as applicable.                                        expects to achieve if awarded the grant
                                               of existing notes, loan and security                                                                          and the potential benefits of the results
                                                                                                       3. Requirements for Technical
                                               agreements, and guarantees;                                                                                   to the communities and region served in
                                                  m. A detailed description of working                 Assistance Projects
                                                                                                                                                             the plan. A clear, concise description
                                               capital requirements and the source of                     A complete application, which must                 will help the agency understand the
                                               these funds;                                            not exceed twenty (20) consecutively                  merits of the proposal; and
                                                  n. A description of measurable service               numbered, 8.5 x 11-inch pages of single-                 j. Discuss other information relevant
                                               metrics and target service level                        spaced, standard 12-point type with 1-                to the potential success of the project.
                                               objectives (SLOs) (e.g., the speed with                 inch margins, must provide the                        This should include facilities, personnel
                                               which new service will be established,                  following information:                                expertise/experience, project schedules,
                                               service availability, and response time                    a. An overview of the plan to address
                                                                                                                                                             proposed management, interactions
                                               for reports of system failure at a                      the following USDA key strategy: Use of
                                                                                                                                                             with other institutions, etc.
                                               residence) that will be provided to the                 broadband and other critical
                                                                                                                                                             Applications for multi-investor projects
                                               customer, and a description of the                      infrastructure as a strategy to facilitate
                                                                                                                                                             must identify project management and
                                               approach and methodology for                            local entrepreneurship and expansion
                                                                                                                                                             the functions of each investigator in
                                               monitoring ongoing service delivery and                 of market opportunities for small
                                                                                                                                                             each team and describe plans to
                                               service quality for the services being                  businesses;
                                                                                                          b. The description of the identified               communicate and share data.
                                               employed.
                                                                                                       Region or USDA Region in need of                      D. Material Representations
                                               2. Requirements for Rural Library                       assistance;
                                               Broadband Projects                                                                                              The application, including
                                                                                                          c. An explanation of the economic
                                                                                                                                                             certifications, and all forms submitted
                                                  A complete application will include                  integration and cohesion that will be
                                                                                                                                                             as part of the application will be treated
                                               the following:                                          created in the Region or USDA Region
                                                                                                                                                             as a material representation of fact upon
                                                  a. The identity of the Applicant, and                with the Award. Proposals with detailed
                                                                                                                                                             which RUS will rely in awarding grants.
                                               co-Applicant, if any, and general                       plans for a market study, engineered
                                               Applicant and project information;                      broadband network, or pro forma                       VI. Application Evaluation, Processing,
                                                  b. A description of the project that                 financial analysis will be favored. The               and Implementation Procedures
                                               will be made public consistent with the                 qualifications of consultants to provide
                                               requirements of the Recovery Act; and                                                                         A. Satellite Projects
                                                                                                       such work should also be addressed;
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                                                  c. The estimated dollar amount of the                   d. Evidence of resources which will                  The United States will be divided into
                                               funding request, including an itemized                  be used to implement the regional                     eight service area regions eligible for
                                               budget for the associated costs for the                 economic and community development                    Satellite applications (Satellite Regions).
                                               last mile connection to the rural library,              strategies, such as letters of                        Applicants must propose serving only
                                               and any additional costs the Applicant                  endorsement from State and local                      unserved rural premises in any of the
                                               seeks, such as required improvements to                 governments, educational institutions,                eight Satellite Regions listed in Section
                                               the rural library to accommodate                        and the private and nonprofit sectors;                IV.C.1(a) in this RFP; provided,


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                                                                                 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices                                            25191

                                               however, existing service areas where                   Regions, or not to award the Satellite                2. Failure To Comply With Award
                                               broadband capable service is in the                     Region.                                               Requirements
                                               process of being built-out by current                                                                            If an Awardee fails to comply with the
                                                                                                       B. Rural Library Broadband Grants
                                               RUS borrowers, or the service areas of                                                                        terms of the award as specified in the
                                               Last Mile Awardees under the First                        Applications for Rural Library                      award documents, RUS may exercise
                                               Round NOFA, Second Round NOFA, or                       Broadband grants will be evaluated in                 rights and remedies.
                                               BTOP NOFA shall be ineligible for grant                 terms of the benefit to the rural library
                                               funding, regardless of whether the                      benefitting from the grant, as well as the            3. Advance Procedures
                                               premises are unserved. Applicants may                   benefits to the community to be served.                  RUS grant advances are made at the
                                               submit an application for more than one                 The quality of the broadband service                  request of the Awardee according to the
                                               Satellite Region; however, each Satellite               being provided, the length of any                     procedures stipulated in the grant
                                               Region in the application must be                       proposed free service or additional                   documents.
                                               broken out so that the Agency can                       discounted service, the conditions of the
                                               analyze the proposal for each Satellite                                                                       4. Accounting, Monitoring, and
                                                                                                       community to be served, such as
                                               Region individually. Applicants may                                                                           Reporting Requirements
                                                                                                       unemployment rate or income levels,
                                               also submit a National Application                      and the reasonableness of costs will all                 Awardees must follow RUS’
                                               covering at least six Satellite Regions,                be considered as a whole. RUS, in its                 accounting, monitoring, and reporting
                                               but such application will be limited to                 discretion, may increase or decrease the              requirements. These requirements,
                                               providing only one proposed subscriber                  requested award amount based on its                   which are specified in the award
                                               amount for federal assistance.                          evaluation of the reasonableness of the               documents, include, but are not limited
                                                  Regional and National Applications                   costs and the level of funding available              to, the following:
                                               will be evaluated on the strength of their              for this program.                                        a. Awardees must adopt a GAAP
                                               proposals and the extent to which                                                                             system of accounts acceptable to RUS,
                                               unserved rural premises will benefit                    C. Technical Assistance Grants                        and which complies with RUS
                                               under their proposals. The price of the                    Applications for Technical Assistance              Accounting Requirements, as defined
                                               service to the end-user, the proposed                   grants will be evaluated on the strength              herein;
                                               subscriber amount, the length of any                                                                             b. Awardees must submit annual
                                                                                                       and scope of the regional broadband
                                               proposed discounted service, the quality                                                                      audited financial statements along with
                                                                                                       development strategies and plan to
                                               and transmission speed of the proposed                                                                        a report on compliance and on internal
                                                                                                       address the logical components of a
                                               services, especially the Basic Service                                                                        control over financial reporting, and a
                                                                                                       broadband plan. Moreover, the extent to
                                               Package, how potential requests for                                                                           management letter in accordance with
                                                                                                       which existing infrastructure will be
                                               service will be handled, and the amount                                                                       the requirements of 7 CFR part 1773.
                                                                                                       integrated in the region, the number of
                                               of outside investment in the project will                                                                     The CPA conducting the annual audit is
                                                                                                       unserved communities that will be
                                               all be considered as a whole.                                                                                 selected by the Awardee and must be
                                                  Successful Applicants will be notified               connected, how regional economic
                                                                                                                                                             approved by RUS as set forth in 7 CFR
                                               of the details of the award, and must                   development will be promoted, and the
                                                                                                                                                             1773.4;
                                               accept the offer within the time                        strength of the Applicant will all be
                                                                                                                                                                c. Awardees must submit to RUS the
                                               specified in the grant offer. Applicants                considered in the evaluation.
                                                                                                                                                             information as specified in Section
                                               that are not able to do so will be                      Applicants may request up to $200,000.
                                                                                                                                                             VII.D.2 of this RFP;
                                               rejected, and the next qualifying                       RUS, in its discretion, may decrease the                 d. Awardees must comply with all
                                               Applicant may be selected for the                       requested award amount based on its                   reasonable RUS requests to support
                                               Satellite Region. RUS, at its discretion,               evaluation of the application and the                 ongoing monitoring efforts. The
                                               reserves the right to decline funding in                level of funding available for this                   Awardee shall afford RUS, through its
                                               any Satellite Region for which no                       program. The Agency reserves the right                representatives and representatives of
                                               satisfactory application is received.                   to reject Applications that do not                    the USDA Office of Inspector General,
                                                  Awardees will be advanced funds no                   conform to the page, font, and spacing                reasonable opportunity at all times
                                               more than once per month for                            requirements of Section V.C.3.                        during business hours and upon prior
                                               reimbursing the connection of new                       VII. Award Administration Information                 notice, to have access to and the right
                                               unserved, rural premises. The Awardee                                                                         to inspect the broadband system, and
                                               shall be entitled to the approved                       A. Award Notices                                      any other property encumbered by the
                                               proposed subscriber amount of federal                     Successful Applicants will receive                  mortgage or security agreement, and any
                                               assistance for each new eligible                        award documents from RUS following                    or all books, records, accounts, invoices,
                                               subscriber.                                             award notification. Applicants may                    contracts, leases, payrolls, timesheets,
                                                  If no applications are received for a                view sample award documents at                        cancelled checks, statements, and other
                                               given Satellite Region, the                             http://www.broadbandusa.gov.                          documents, electronic or paper of every
                                               Administrator may request applications                                                                        kind belonging to or in the possession
                                               for that Satellite Region from existing                 B. Administrative Requirements                        of the Awardee or in any way pertaining
                                               Applicants under this RFP. Moreover, if                 1. Pre-Award conditions                               to its property or business, including its
                                               the Administrator determines that no                                                                          subsidiaries, if any, and to make copies
                                               applications are acceptable for a                         No funds will be disbursed under this               or extracts therefrom.
                                               Satellite Region, the Agency may                        program until all other sources of
                                               request Applicants that submitted                       funding have been obtained and any                    5. Assistance Instruments
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                                               applications for that Satellite Region to               other pre-award conditions have been                     a. Terms and conditions of grants are
                                               submit amended applications. If the                     met. Failure to obtain one or more                    set forth in the non-negotiable standard
                                               Agency is still unable to receive an                    sources of funding committed to in the                grant agreement found at http://
                                               acceptable application from such                        Application or to fulfill any other pre-              www.broadbandusa.gov.
                                               Applicants, then the Administrator                      award condition within 30 days of                        b. Grant documents appropriate to the
                                               reserves the right to request applications              award announcement will result in                     project must be executed prior to any
                                               from Applicants for other Satellite                     withdrawal of the award.                              advance of funds.


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                                               25192                              Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices

                                               C. Award Terms and Conditions                           D. Reporting Requirements                               Awardees that must report
                                                                                                                                                             information according to paragraph b(iv)
                                               1. Scope                                                1. General Recovery Act Requirements
                                                                                                                                                             of this section (re: Subcontracts or
                                                 Awardees, including all contractors                   a. OMB Reporting Requirements                         subgrants) must register with the CCR
                                               and subcontractors, are required to                     Implementing the Recovery Act                         database (http://www.ccr.gov/) or
                                               comply with the obligations set forth in                  Any grant awarded under the Second                  complete other registration
                                               the Recovery Act and the requirements                   Round NOFA and this RFP shall be                      requirements as determined by the
                                                                                                       subject to the applicable statutes and                Director of OMB.
                                               established herein. Any obligation that
                                               applies to the Awardee shall extend for                 regulations regarding reporting on                    c. Reporting Deadlines
                                               the life of the awarded-funded facilities.              Recovery Act funds.4 If Recovery Act                     Recovery Act reports are due no later
                                                                                                       funds are combined with other funds to                than 10 calendar days after each
                                               2. Sale or Lease of Project Assets                      fund or complete projects and activities,             calendar quarter in which the Awardee
                                                 The sale or lease of any portion of the               Recovery Act funds must be accounted                  receives the assistance award funded in
                                               award-funded broadband facilities shall                 for separately from other funds and                   whole or part with award funds. The
                                               be governed by the applicable Grant                     reported to RUS or any federal web site               final report should summarize the
                                               Agreement and the Department’s grant                    established for Recovery Act reporting                Awardee’s quarterly filings and state
                                                                                                       purposes. Moreover, recipients of funds               whether the project’s goals have been
                                               regulations at 7 CFR parts 3015, 3016,
                                                                                                       under this RFP must also comply with                  satisfied. Pursuant to OMB Guidelines,
                                               and 3019. Terms under which grant
                                                                                                       the accounting requirements as                        reports should be submitted
                                               assets can be sold are outlined in the
                                                                                                       established or referred to in this RFP.               electronically to http://
                                               Department’s grant regulations cited
                                               above.                                                  b. Required Data Elements                             www.federalreporting.gov. If the
                                                                                                                                                             Awardee fails to submit an acceptable
                                               3. Certifications                                         The Awardee and each contractor                     quarterly report or audited financial
                                                                                                       engaged by the Awardee must submit                    statement within the timeframe
                                                  a. The Applicant must certify that he                the following information to the                      designated in the grant award, the
                                               or she is authorized to submit the                      relevant Agency:                                      agencies may suspend further payments
                                               application on behalf of the eligible                     i. The total amount of Recovery Act                 until the Awardee complies with the
                                               entity(ies) listed on the application; that             funds received;                                       reporting requirements. Additional
                                               the Applicant has examined the                            ii. The amount of Recovery Act funds                information regarding reporting
                                               application, that all of the information                received that were expended or                        requirements will be specified at the
                                               in the application, including                           obligated to projects or activities;                  time the award is issued.
                                               certifications and forms submitted, all of                iii. A detailed list of all projects or
                                               which are part of the application, are                                                                        2. BIP-Specific Reporting Requirements
                                                                                                       activities for which Recovery Act funds
                                               material representations of fact and true               were expended or obligated, including                    In addition to the general Recovery
                                               and correct to the best of his or her                   (1) the name of the project or activity;              Act reporting requirements, Satellite
                                               knowledge; that the entity(ies) that is                 (2) a description of the project or                   Awardees shall submit to RUS 30
                                               requesting funding pursuant to the                      activity; (3) an evaluation of the                    calendar days after the end of each
                                               application and any subawardees will                    completion status of the project or                   calendar year quarter, balance sheets,
                                               comply with the terms, conditions,                      activity; (4) an estimate of the number               income statements, statements of cash
                                               purposes, and federal requirements of                   of jobs created and the number of jobs                flow, rate package summaries, and the
                                               the program; that no kickbacks were                     retained by the project or activity; and              number of unserved, rural premises
                                               paid to anyone; and that a false,                       (5) for infrastructure investments made               taking broadband service utilizing RUS’
                                               fictitious, or fraudulent statement or                  by state and local governments, the                   Broadband Collection and Analysis
                                               claim on this application is grounds for                purpose, total cost, and rationale of the             System (BCAS). BCAS is an electronic
                                               denial or termination of an award, and/                 Agency for funding the infrastructure                 reporting system that is accessed
                                               or possible punishment by a fine or                     investment with Recovery Act funds,                   through the Internet.
                                               imprisonment as provided in 18 U.S.C.                   and name of the person to contact at the              VIII. Other Information
                                               1001 and civil violations of the False                  Agency if there are concerns with the
                                               Claims Act (31 U.S.C. 3729 et seq.);                    infrastructure investment; and                        A. Funding Rounds
                                                  b. The Applicant certifies that the                    iv. Detailed information on any                       This is the final funding round for
                                               entity(ies) he or she represents have and               subcontracts or subgrants awarded by                  BIP.
                                                                                                       the Awardee to include the data
                                               will comply with all applicable Federal,                                                                      B. Discretionary Awards
                                                                                                       elements required to comply with the
                                               state, and local laws, rules, regulations,                                                                      The government is not obligated to
                                                                                                       Federal Funding Accountability and
                                               ordinances, codes, orders, and                                                                                make any award as a result of this
                                                                                                       Transparency Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109–
                                               programmatic rules and requirements                                                                           announcement, and will fund only
                                                                                                       282, 120 Stat. 1186 (to be codified at 31
                                               relating to the project.3 The Applicant                                                                       projects that are deemed likely to
                                                                                                       U.S.C. 6101 note), allowing aggregate
                                               acknowledges that failure to do so may                  reporting on awards below $25,000 or to               achieve the program’s goals and for
                                               result in rejection or deobligation of the              individuals.5                                         which funds are available.
                                               award. The Applicant acknowledges
                                               that failure to comply with all Federal                                                                       C. Limitation on Expenditures
                                                                                                         4 See,e.g., 2 CFR pt. 176; OMB, Interim Final
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                                               and program rules could result in civil                 Guidance for Federal Financial Assistance, 74 FR        The Recovery Act imposes an
                                               or criminal prosecution by the                          18449 (Apr. 23, 2009); Implementing Guidance for      additional limitation on the use of funds
                                               appropriate law enforcement                             Reports on Use of Funds Pursuant to the American      expended or obligated from
                                                                                                       Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (OMB M–         appropriations made pursuant to its
                                               authorities;                                            09–21 June 22, 2009); and Updated Guidance on the
                                                                                                       American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009        provisions. Specifically, for purposes of
                                                 3 See Recovery Act section 6001(e)(4), 123 Stat. at   (OMB M–10–08 Dec. 18, 2009).                          this RFP, none of the funds
                                               514.                                                      5 Recovery Act section 1512(c), 123 Stat. at 287.   appropriated or otherwise made


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                                                                                     Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices                                                        25193

                                               available under the Recovery Act may                          agencies under a special award                        applicable law, including the Freedom
                                               be used by any state or local                                 condition requiring the Awardee to                    of Information Act, as amended (5
                                               government, or any private entity, for                        submit additional environmental                       U.S.C. 552), the Trade Secrets Act, as
                                               any casino or other gambling                                  compliance information sufficient for                 amended (18 U.S.C. 1905), the
                                               establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf                            the Agency to make an assessment of                   Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (18
                                               course, or swimming pool.6                                    any impacts that a project may have on                U.S.C. 1831 et seq.), and CALEA (47
                                                                                                             the environment.                                      U.S.C. 1001 et seq.). Applicants should
                                               D. Recovery Act Logo
                                                                                                                                                                   be aware, however, that the Recovery
                                                 All projects that are funded by the                         F. Davis-Bacon Wage Requirements                      Act requires substantial transparency.
                                               Recovery Act shall display signage that                         Pursuant to section 1606 of the                     For example, RUS is required to make
                                               features the Primary Emblem                                   Recovery Act, any project using                       publicly available on the Internet a list
                                               throughout the construction phase. The                        Recovery Act funds requires the                       of each entity that has applied for a
                                               signage should be displayed in a                              payment of not less than the prevailing               grant, a description of each application,
                                               prominent location on site. Some                              wages for ‘‘all laborers and mechanics                the status of each application, the name
                                               exclusions may apply. The Primary                             employed by contractors and                           of each entity receiving funds, the
                                               Emblem should not be displayed at a                           subcontractors on projects funded                     purpose for which the entity is receiving
                                               size less than six inches in diameter.                        directly by or assisted in whole or in                the funds, each quarterly report, and
                                               E. Environmental and National Historic                        part by and through the Federal                       other information.9
                                               Preservation Requirements                                     Government.’’ 7                                       J. Disposition of Unsuccessful
                                                  Awarding agencies are required to                          G. Financial and Audit Requirements                   Applications
                                               analyze the potential environmental                             To maximize the transparency and                       Applications accepted for review for
                                               impacts, as required by the NEPA and                          accountability of funds authorized                    Fiscal Year 2010 BIP will be retained for
                                               the NHPA for Applicant projects or                            under the Recovery Act, all Applicants                two years, after which they will be
                                               proposals seeking Recovery Act                                are required to comply with the                       destroyed.
                                               funding. All Applicants are required to                       applicable regulations set forth in
                                               complete the Environmental                                                                                          K. State Certifications
                                                                                                             OMB’s Interim Final Guidance for
                                               Questionnaire under the description of                        Federal Financial Assistance.8                          With respect to funds made available
                                               program activities and to submit all                            Recipients that expend $500,000 or                  under Recovery Act to state or local
                                               other required environmental                                  more of federal funds during their fiscal             governments for infrastructure
                                               documentation with the application.                           year are required to submit an                        investments, the governor, mayor, or
                                                  It is the Applicant’s responsibility to                    organization-wide financial and                       other chief executive, as appropriate,
                                               obtain all necessary federal, state, and                                                                            must certify that the infrastructure
                                                                                                             compliance audit report. The audit must
                                               local governmental permits and                                                                                      investment has received the full review
                                                                                                             be performed in accordance with the
                                               approvals necessary for the proposed                                                                                and vetting required by law and that the
                                                                                                             U.S. General Accountability Office,
                                               work to be conducted. Applicants are                                                                                chief executive accepts responsibility
                                                                                                             Government Auditing Standards,
                                               expected to design their projects so that                                                                           that the infrastructure investment is an
                                                                                                             located at http://www.gao.gov/govaud/
                                               they minimize the potential for adverse                                                                             appropriate use of taxpayer dollars. This
                                                                                                             ybk01.htm, and OMB Circular A–133,
                                               impacts to the environment. Applicants                                                                              certification must include a description
                                                                                                             Audits of States, Local Governments,
                                               also will be required to cooperate with                                                                             of the investment, the estimated total
                                                                                                             and Non-Profit Organizations, located at
                                               the granting agencies in identifying                                                                                cost, and the amount of funds to be
                                                                                                             http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/
                                               feasible measures to reduce or avoid any                                                                            used, and must be posted on the
                                                                                                             circulars/a133/a133.html. Awardees are                recipient’s website and linked to http://
                                               identified adverse environmental                              responsible for ensuring that sub-
                                               impacts of their proposed projects. The                                                                             www.recovery.gov. A state or local
                                                                                                             recipient audit reports are received and              Agency may not receive infrastructure
                                               failure to do so may be grounds for not                       for resolving any audit findings.
                                               making an award.                                                                                                    investment funding from funds made
                                                  Applications will be reviewed to                           H. Deobligation                                       available under the Recovery Act unless
                                               ensure that they contain sufficient                                                                                 this certification is made and posted.10
                                                                                                               The RUS reserves the right to
                                               information to allow Agency staff to                          deobligate awards to recipients under                 L. Compliance With Applicable Laws
                                               conduct a NEPA analysis so that                               this RFP that demonstrate an
                                               appropriate NEPA documentation can                                                                                     Any recipient of funds under this RFP
                                                                                                             insufficient level of performance, or                 shall be required to comply with all
                                               be submitted to the agencies, along with                      wasteful or fraudulent spending, and
                                               the recommendation for funding of the                                                                               applicable federal and state laws,
                                                                                                             award these funds competitively to new                including but not limited to: i. The
                                               selected applications. Applicants                             or existing Applicants prior to
                                               proposing activities that cannot be                                                                                 nondiscrimination and equal
                                                                                                             September 30, 2010.                                   employment opportunity requirements
                                               covered by existing environmental
                                               compliance procedures will be informed                        I. Confidentiality of Applicant                       of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of
                                               after the technical review stage whether                      Information                                           1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e et
                                               NEPA compliance and other                                                                                           seq., 7 CFR part 15); ii. section 504 of
                                                                                                               Applicants are encouraged to identify               the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. 794 et
                                               environmental requirements can                                and label any confidential and
                                               otherwise be expeditiously met so that                                                                              seq.; 7 CFR part 15b); iii. The Age
                                                                                                             proprietary information contained in                  Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended
                                               a project can proceed within the                              their applications. The Agency will                   (42 U.S.C. 6101 et seq.; 45 CFR part 90);
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                                               timeframes anticipated under the                              protect confidential and proprietary                  iv. Executive Order 11375, amending
                                               Recovery Act.                                                 information from public disclosure to
                                                  If additional information is required                                                                            Executive Order 11246, Relating to
                                                                                                             the fullest extent authorized by
                                               after an application is accepted for                                                                                  9 See Recovery Act section 6001(i)(5), 123 Stat. at
                                               funding, funds can be withheld by the                           7 Id.Section 1606, 123 Stat. at 303.                515.
                                                                                                               8 See OMB, Interim Final Guidance for Federal         10 See id. sections 1511, 1526, 123 Stat. at 287,
                                                 6 Id.   Section 1604, 123 Stat. at 303.                     Financial Assistance, 74 FR 18449 (Apr. 23, 2009).    293.



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                                               25194                                 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices

                                               Equal Employment Opportunity (3 CFR                        2. OMB Buy American Notice                             with paragraphs 2 CFR 176.160(c) and (d) for
                                               part 102). See 7 CFR parts 15 and 15b                      Requirement                                            the proposal that is based on the use of any
                                               and 45 CFR part 90, RUS Bulletin 1790–                                                                            foreign iron, steel, and/or manufactured
                                                                                                            Pursuant to OMB guidance on the                      goods for which the Federal Government has
                                               1 (‘‘Nondiscrimination among                               Recovery Act,12 RUS is required to                     not yet determined if an exception applies.
                                               Beneficiaries of RUS Programs’’), and                      provide the following notice:                             (3) If the Federal Government determines
                                               RUS Bulletin 20–15:320–15 (‘‘Equal                                                                                that a particular exception requested in
                                                                                                          Section 176.170 Notice of Required Use of
                                               Employment Opportunity in                                  American Iron, Steel, and Manufactured                 accordance with 2 CFR 176.160(b) does not
                                               Construction Financed with RUS                             Goods (Covered Under International                     apply, the Federal Government will evaluate
                                               Loans’’). The RUS Bulletins are available                  Agreements)—Section 1605 of the American               only those proposals based on use of the
                                               at http://www.broadbandusa.gov.; v.                        Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009                  equivalent domestic or designated country
                                               The Architectural Barriers Act of 1968,                                                                           iron, steel, and/or manufactured goods, and
                                                                                                             When requesting applications or proposals           the Applicant shall be required to furnish
                                               as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq.); vi.                   for Recovery Act programs or activities that           such domestic or designated country items.
                                               The Uniform Federal Accessibility                          may involve construction, alteration,
                                               Standards (UFAS) (Appendix A to 41                         maintenance, or repair of a public building            O. Executive Order 12866
                                               CFR subpart 101–19.6); and vii. The                        or public work, and involve iron, steel, and/
                                                                                                          or manufactured goods covered under
                                                                                                                                                                    The Recovery Act appropriated $2.5
                                               Council on Environmental Quality                                                                                  billion to RUS for broadband grants and
                                                                                                          international agreements, the agency shall
                                               Regulations for Implementing the                                                                                  loans. Of that, this RFP reserves $2
                                                                                                          use the notice described in the following
                                               Procedural Provisions of NEPA and                          paragraphs in the solicitation:                        million for Rural Library Broadband
                                               certain related federal environmental                         (a) Definitions. Designated country iron,           projects and $3 million for Technical
                                               laws, statutes, regulations, and                           steel, and/or manufactured goods, foreign              Assistance projects. The Agency has
                                               Executive Orders found in 7 CFR part                       iron, steel, and/or manufactured good, public          determined that these programs are not
                                               1794. A more complete list of such                         building and public work, and steel, as used           ‘‘economically significant.’’ This RFP
                                               requirements can be found in the                           in this provision, are defined in 2 CFR                also reserves $100 million for Satellite
                                               applicable grant agreement.                                176.160(a).
                                                                                                             (b) Requests for determinations of
                                                                                                                                                                 projects, which may be supplemented
                                               M. Communications Laws                                     inapplicability. A prospective applicant               by funds that remain available under the
                                                                                                          requesting a determination regarding the               First Round NOFA and Second Round
                                                 Awardees will be required to comply                      inapplicability of section 1605 of the                 NOFA. The Agency has determined this
                                               with all applicable federal and state                      American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of              program to be ‘‘economically
                                               communications laws and regulation as                      2009 (Pub. L. 111–5) (Recovery Act) should             significant’’ under Executive Order
                                               applicable, including, for example, the                    submit the request to the award official in            12866, and has accordingly performed
                                                                                                          time to allow a determination before                   an economic analysis outlining the costs
                                               Communications Act of 1934, as
                                                                                                          submission of applications or proposals. The           and benefits of implementing the
                                               amended, (47 U.S.C. 151 et seq.) the                       prospective Applicant shall include the
                                               Telecommunications Act of 1996, as                         information and applicable supporting data
                                                                                                                                                                 Satellite program. The complete
                                               amended (Pub. L. 104–104, 110 Stat. 56)                    required by 2 CFR 176.160(c) and (d) in the            analysis is available from RUS upon
                                               (1996), and CALEA. For further                             request. If an Applicant has not requested a           request. Awards for all three programs
                                               information, see http://www.fcc.gov.                       determination regarding the inapplicability            must be made no later than September
                                                                                                          of section 1605 of the Recovery Act before             30, 2010.
                                               N. Buy American Notice                                     submitting its application or proposal, or has
                                                                                                          not received a response to a previous request,         P. Executive Order 13132
                                               1. General Prohibition and Waiver                          the Applicant shall include the information              It has been determined that this notice
                                                                                                          and supporting data in the application or              does not contain policies with
                                                 None of the funds appropriated or
                                                                                                          proposal.                                              federalism implications as that term is
                                               otherwise made available by the                               (c) Evaluation of project proposals. If the
                                               Recovery Act may be used for the                                                                                  defined in Executive Order 13132.
                                                                                                          Federal Government determines that an
                                               construction, alteration, maintenance, or                  exception based on unreasonable cost of                Q. Administrative Procedure Act
                                               repair of a public building or public                      domestic iron, steel, and/or manufactured              Statement
                                               work (as such terms are defined in 2                       goods applies, the Federal Government will
                                               CFR 176.140) unless all of the iron,                       evaluate a project requesting exception to the           This RFP is being issued without
                                               steel, and manufacturing goods used in                     requirements of section 1605 of the Recovery           advance rulemaking or public comment.
                                               the project are produced in the United                     Act by adding to the estimated total cost of           The Administrative Procedure Act of
                                                                                                          the project 25 percent of the project cost if          1946, as amended (5 U.S.C. 553) (APA),
                                               States.11 On July 1, 2009, the                             foreign iron, steel, or manufactured goods are
                                               Department of Agriculture published a                                                                             has several exemptions to rulemaking
                                                                                                          used based on unreasonable cost of                     requirements. Among them is an
                                               notice in the Federal Register at 74 FR                    comparable domestic iron, steel, or
                                                                                                                                                                 exemption for ‘‘good cause’’ found at 5
                                               31402 stating that the Secretary of                        manufactured goods.
                                                                                                             (d) Alternate project proposals.                    U.S.C. 553(b)(B), which allows effective
                                               Agriculture has determined that
                                                                                                             (1) When a project proposal includes                government action without rulemaking
                                               applying the Buy American provision
                                                                                                          foreign iron, steel, and/or manufactured               procedures where withholding the
                                               for the use of certain broadband
                                                                                                          goods, other than designated country iron,             action would be ‘‘impracticable,
                                               equipment in public BIP projects would
                                                                                                          steel, and/or manufactured goods, that are             unnecessary, or contrary to the public
                                               be inconsistent with the public interest.                  not listed by the Federal Government in this           interest.’’
                                                 As explained below, to the extent that                   Buy American notice in the request for                   USDA has determined, consistent
                                               an Applicant wishes to use broadband                       applications or proposals, the Applicant may           with the APA that making these funds
                                                                                                          submit an alternate proposal based on use of
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                                               equipment or goods that are not covered                                                                           available under this RFP for broadband
                                               by the Secretary’s waiver, it may seek an                  equivalent domestic or designated country
                                                                                                          iron, steel, and/or manufactured goods.
                                                                                                                                                                 development, as mandated by the
                                               additional waiver on a case-by-case                           (2) If an alternate proposal is submitted,          Recovery Act, is in the public interest.
                                               basis as part of its application for                       the Applicant shall submit a separate cost             Given the emergency nature of the
                                               Recovery Act funds.                                        comparison table prepared in accordance                Recovery Act and the extremely short
                                                                                                                                                                 time period within which all funds
                                                 11 Id.   section 1605, 123 Stat. at 303.                   12 See   2 CFR part 176.                             must be obligated, withholding this RFP


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                                                                                 Federal Register / Vol. 75, No. 88 / Friday, May 7, 2010 / Notices                                            25195

                                               to provide for public notice and                           Title: Broadband Initiatives                       feet. Two primary alternative routes are
                                               comment would unduly delay the                          Program—Rural Libraries, Technical                    currently under consideration. These
                                               provision of benefits associated with                   Assistance, and Satellite Grants.                     routes generally follow two routes
                                               these broadband initiatives and be                         Type of Request: New collection.                   previously identified as Transportation
                                               contrary to the public interest.                           Estimate of Burden: Public reporting               and Utility System (TUS) corridors in
                                                  For the same reasons, the Agency                     burden for this collection of information             the Tongass National Forest Land and
                                               finds good cause under 5 U.S.C.                         is estimated to average 22 hours per                  Resource Management Plan (Forest
                                               553(d)(3) to waive the 30-day delay in                  response.                                             Plan). Both alternative routes follow
                                               effectiveness for this action. Because                     Respondents: Businesses and other                  existing logging roads for the majority of
                                               notice and opportunity for comment are                  for-profits.                                          their lengths. In addition, one of the
                                               not required pursuant to 5 U.S.C.                          Estimated Number of Respondents:                   routes follows the proposed route
                                               553(d)(3) or any other law, the                         134.                                                  identified by the Alaska Department of
                                               analytical requirements of the                             Estimated Number of Responses per                  Transportation & Public Facilities
                                               Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as                  Respondent: 2.8.                                      (DOTPF) for the permanent road
                                               amended (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) are                         Estimated Total Annual Burden on                   between Kake and Petersburg. Both
                                               inapplicable. Therefore, a regulatory                   Respondents: 8,427 hours.                             routes would use existing roads for
                                               flexibility analysis is not required and                   Copies of this information collection              construction and long-term maintenance
                                               has not been prepared.                                  can be obtained from Michele Brooks,                  access where possible. New road
                                               R. Paperwork Reduction Act                              Program Development and Regulatory                    segments would be built in locations
                                                                                                       Analysis, at (202) 690–1078.                          where access is not currently available.
                                                  Copies of all forms, regulations, and                   All responses to this information                  DATES: Comments concerning the scope
                                               instructions referenced in this RFP may                 collection and recordkeeping notice will              of the analysis must be received by June
                                               be obtained from RUS by e-mailing                       be summarized and included in the                     7, 2010. Public information and scoping
                                               BroadbandUSA@usda.gov. Data                             request for OMB approval. All                         meetings will be held in Petersburg on
                                               furnished by the Applicants will be                     comments will also become a matter of                 May 12, 2010 and in Kake on May 13,
                                               used to determine eligibility for program               public record.                                        2010. The Draft EIS is projected to be
                                               benefits. Furnishing the data is                                                                              filed with the Environmental Protection
                                               voluntary; however, the failure to                      S. Recovery Act
                                                                                                                                                             Agency (EPA) in December 2010 and
                                               provide data could result in program                      Additional information about the                    will begin a 45-day public comment
                                               benefits being withheld or denied.                      Recovery Act is available at http://                  period. The Final EIS and Record of
                                                  The Information Collection and                       www.Recovery.gov.                                     Decision are scheduled to be published
                                               Recordkeeping requirements contained
                                                                                                       T. Authorized Signatories                             in Summer/Fall 2011.
                                               in the RFP have been approved by
                                               emergency clearance under OMB                                                                                 ADDRESSES: You may comment on the
                                                                                                         Only authorized grant officers can                  project in the following ways: Send
                                               Control Number 0572–0145. In                            bind the Government to the expenditure
                                               accordance with the Paperwork                                                                                 written comments to the Petersburg
                                                                                                       of funds.                                             Ranger District, Tongass National
                                               Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C.
                                                                                                         Dated: May 3, 2010.                                 Forest, Attn: Kake-Petersburg Intertie
                                               chapter 35), RUS invites comments on
                                               this information collection for which                   Jonathan Adelstein,                                   Project, P.O. Box 1328, Petersburg, AK
                                               the Agency intends to request approval                  Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.               99833, or hand deliver them to the
                                               from the Office of Management and                       [FR Doc. 2010–10765 Filed 5–6–10; 8:45 am]            Petersburg Ranger District, 12 N Nordic
                                               Budget (OMB).                                           BILLING CODE P                                        Drive, Petersburg, Alaska. The FAX
                                                  Comments on this notice must be                                                                            number is (907) 772–5995. Send e-mail
                                               received by July 6, 2010. Comments are                                                                        comments to: comments-alaska-tongass-
                                               invited on (a) whether the collection of                DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE                             petersburg@fs.fed.us with ‘‘Kake-
                                               information is necessary for the proper                                                                       Petersburg Intertie Project’’ in the
                                               performance of the functions of the                     Forest Service                                        subject line. Include your name, address
                                               agency, including whether the                                                                                 and organization name if you are
                                                                                                       Kake to Petersburg Transmission Line                  commenting as a representative.
                                               information will have practical utility;
                                                                                                       Intertie Project                                      FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
                                               (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate
                                               of burden including the validity of the                 AGENCY:Forest Service, USDA.                          Questions about the proposal and EIS
                                               methodology and assumption used; (c)                    ACTION:Notice of intent to prepare an                 should be directed to Chris Savage,
                                               ways to enhance the quality, utility and                Environmental Impact Statement.                       District Ranger, Petersburg Ranger
                                               clarity of the information to be                                                                              District, Tongass National Forest, P.O.
                                               collected; and (d) ways to minimize the                 SUMMARY: The Department of                            Box 1328, Petersburg, AK 99833,
                                               burden of the collection of information                 Agriculture, Forest Service, will prepare             telephone (907) 772–3871.
                                               on those who are to respond, including                  an Environmental Impact Statement                     SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
                                               through the use of appropriate                          (EIS) on a proposal to construct and                     Background: An Intertie transmission
                                               automated, electronic, mechanical, or                   operate a new electric transmission line              line from Kake to Petersburg has been
                                               other technological collection                          intertie that would extend west across                discussed for many years and has been
                                               techniques or other forms of information                the Tongass National Forest from the                  the subject of a number of studies dating
                                               technology.                                             Petersburg area to the community of                   back to the 1970s, with more than 10
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                                                  Comments may be sent to Michele                      Kake. The proposed action is to build a               alternative routes discussed over the
                                               Brooks, Director, Program Development                   new transmission line that would                      years. Recent studies include the
                                               and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities                transmit power at either 69 or 138                    Southeast Alaska Intertie Study
                                               Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture,                kilovolt (kV) and consist of single wood              prepared in 2003 and a follow-on study
                                               1400 Independence Ave., SW., Stop                       pole structures with horizontal post                  of the Kake-Petersburg Intertie
                                               1522, Room 5162 South Building,                         insulators, with average span lengths                 completed in 2005 and updated in 2009.
                                               Washington, DC 20250–1522.                              between pole structures of 350 to 400                 These recent studies identified two


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