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RUS Updates Rural eConnectivity Program

The RUS updated its Rural eConnectivity Program rules on January 30, 2023. Here is a summary from the Federal Register:

1. The definition of non-funded service area (NFSA) was updated in § 1740.2 to include telecommunications as well as broadband as a type of service. The program requires applicants to report revenues for all types of data, video, and/or voice services that are offered in the NFSA, so updating the definition should make it clearer that the revenues reported should be inclusive of all services.
2. Several sections were updated to clarify that non-federal entities identified under 2 CFR part 200 should submit a single audit for the previous year from the date the application is submitted while other entities will be required to submit a comparative audit. The language, as currently presented, does not make it clear that non-federal entities, as defined under 2 CFR part 200, that are subject to the Single Audit Act are only required to provide one year of audited financial statements during the years when they have received more than $750,000 in federal assistance. The sections updated to be clear of the application of the Single Audit Act include:
(a) Sections 1740.10(a) and 1740.60(d)(12), which was redesignated as (c)(12), were updated to remove the word “comparative.”
(b) Section 1740.63 was updated to add a new paragraph (a)(1) and revisions were made to paragraph (a)(2).
(c) Section 1740.80 was updated to add a new paragraph (b) and revisions were made to the redesignated paragraph (c).
(3. Section 1740.46 was amended to update the title from “Buy American Requirement” to “The Buy American preference and the Buy American requirement” and to better clarify and explain the Buy American provision requirements of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
4. Section 1740.60 was updated to remove paragraph (b) as this information is now considered obsolete in response to the governmentwide initiative to transition to a unique entity identifier (UEI) in lieu of a Dun and Bradstreet number. Paragraph (c), redesignated as paragraph (b), was updated to add the UEI language and to remove the requirement to provide a CAGE code.
5. Section 1740.60(d)(19), redesignated as (c)(19), was updated to make it clear that applicants must have Tribal consent from the appropriate Tribal official if services are proposed on or over Tribal Land.