7 CFR 2201.18 - Application selection.
(a) Application Priority. When evaluating applications to determine which Project or combinations of Projects will best facilitate access to Local Television Broadcast Signals, the Board shall give priority in the approval of Guarantees to the following categories:
(1) First, to applications for Projects that will serve households in Nonserved Areas.
(2) Second, to applications for Projects that will serve households in Underserved Areas.
(3) Within each category, the Board shall balance applications for Projects that will serve the largest number of households with applications for Projects that will serve remote, isolated communities (including noncontiguous States) in areas that are unlikely to be served through market mechanisms. The Board shall consider the Project's estimated cost per household and shall give priority to those applications for Projects that provide the highest quality service at the lowest cost per household.
(b) Additional Considerations.
(1) The Board shall give additional consideration to applications for Projects that, in addition to providing Local Television Broadcast Signals, also provide High-speed Internet service.
(2) The Board shall consider other factors, which shall include applications for Projects that:
(i) Offer a separate tier of Local Television Broadcast Signals at a lower cost to consumers, except where prohibited by applicable Federal, State, or local laws or regulations; and
(ii) Enable the delivery of Local Television Broadcast Signals consistent with the purpose of the Act by means reasonably compatible with existing systems or devices predominantly in use.
(c) Other Considerations. All other evaluation factors and priority considerations being equal, the Board will give a preference in approving Guarantees to those applications for Projects that provide greater amounts and higher quality Collateral.
(d) Protection of United States Financial Interests. The Board may not approve the Guarantee of a Loan unless:
(1) The Board has been given documentation, assurances, and access to information, persons, and entities necessary, as determined by the Board, to address issues relevant to review of the Loan by the Board for purposes of the Act; and
(2) The Board makes a determination in writing that:
(i) To the best of its knowledge upon due inquiry, the Assets, facilities, or equipment covered by the Loan will be utilized economically and efficiently;
(ii) The terms, conditions, security, and schedule and amount of repayments of principal and the payment of interest with respect to the Loan protect the financial interests of the United States and are reasonable;
(iii) The value of Collateral provided by an Applicant is at least equal to the unpaid balance of the Loan amount; and if the value of Collateral provided by an Applicant is less than the Loan amount, additional required Collateral is provided by the Applicant or an Affiliate designated by the Applicant and acceptable to the Board;
(iv) All necessary and required regulatory and other approvals, spectrum licenses, and delivery permissions have been received for the Loan and the Project under the Loan;
(v) The Loan would not be available on reasonable terms and conditions without a Guarantee under the Act; and
(vi) Repayment of the Loan can be reasonably expected.
(e) Non approvals. A Guarantee will not be approved if it is determined that:
(1) The Applicant's proposal does not indicate financial feasibility, or the Collateral is determined to not adequately secure the Loan;
(2) The Applicant's proposal indicates technical flaws, which, in the opinion of the Board, would prevent successful implementation, or operation of the Project;
(3) Any other aspect of the Applicant's proposal fails to adequately address any requirements of the Act or the regulations in this part or contains inadequacies which would, in the opinion of the Board, undermine the ability of the Project to meet the general purpose of the Act or comply with requirements in this part; or
(4) Proceeds for the Loan will be used for any of the ineligible purposes set forth in § 2201.15.
(f) Impact on Competition. A Loan shall not be guaranteed unless the proposed Project, as determined by the Board in consultation with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, is not likely to have a substantial adverse impact on competition that outweighs the benefits of improving access to Local Television Broadcast Signals in a Nonserved Area or Underserved Area and is commercially viable.