NRECA CEO Jim Matheson says rural broadband must be in any infrastructure package before Congress.
The RUS repricing bill would provide crucial relief for co-ops hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Winning bidders will receive funds over a 10-year period to deploy broadband.
NRECA keeps pushing to allow co-ops to refinance federal loans at low interest rates.
Latest USDA loans will go to 10 co-ops in 11 states and improve 3,700 miles of power lines.
Repricing co-ops’ federal debt could help them invest in broadband or replace aging equipment.
An average co-op with typical RUS debt could save $2 million a year in interest at today’s rates
The bill would provide a huge boost for co-ops struggling with the financial impacts of COVID-19.
The impact on co-ops of lost electric sales and unpaid bills could total $10 billion through 2022.