Summary: S.1676 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.1676. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (07/31/2017)

Broadband Connections for Rural Opportunities Program Act or the B-CROP Act

This bill amends the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 to include grants in the Department of Agriculture (USDA) program that provides loans and loan guarantees for broadband telecommunications services in rural areas.

In making grants, loans, or loan guarantees under the program, USDA must give the highest priority to applicants that offer to provide broadband service to the greatest proportion of unserved rural households or rural households that do not have the minimum acceptable level of residential broadband service.

USDA must then give priority to projects to serve rural communities that:

  • have fewer than 10,000 permanent residents,
  • are experiencing out-migration,
  • have a high percentage of low-income residents, and
  • are isolated from other significant population centers.

A grant may not exceed 50% of the development cost of the project. USDA may increase the limit to 75% for projects that serve a remote or low-income area that does not have access to broadband service from any provider.

USDA must: (1) provide technical assistance and training to entities that are eligible for the loans, loan guarantees, or grants; and (2) use a specified portion of the appropriations provided for the program for this purpose.

The bill sets forth reporting requirements for recipients of the grants, loans, or loan guarantees.