From such sums as are from time to time made available by the Congress to the Secretary for such purpose, pursuant to section 903 of this title, the Secretary is authorized and empowered to make loans to persons now providing or who may hereafter provide telephone service in rural areas, to public bodies now providing telephone service in rural areas and to cooperative, nonprofit, limited dividend, or mutual associations. Except as otherwise provided by this subchapter, such loans shall be made under the same terms and conditions as are provided in section 904 of this title, for the purpose of financing the improvement, expansion, construction, acquisition, and operation of telephone lines, facilities, or systems to furnish and improve telephone service in rural areas: Provided, however, That the Secretary, in making such loans, shall give preference to persons providing telephone service in rural areas, to public bodies now providing telephone service in rural areas, and to cooperative, nonprofit, limited dividend, or mutual associations: And provided further, That for a period of one year from and after October 28, 1949, applications for loans received by the Secretary from persons who on October 28, 1949, are engaged in the operation of existing telephone service in rural areas shall be considered and acted upon before action is taken upon any application received from any other person for any loan to finance the furnishing or improvement of telephone service to substantially the same subscribers. The Secretary in making such loans shall, insofar as possible, obtain assurance that the telephone service to be furnished or improved thereby will be made available to the widest practical number of rural users. When it is determined by the Secretary to be necessary in order to furnish or improve telephone service in rural areas, such loans may be made for the improvement, expansion, construction, acquisition, and operation of telephone lines, facilities, or systems without regard to their geographical location. The Secretary is further authorized and empowered to make loans for the purpose of refinancing outstanding indebtedness of persons furnishing telephone service in rural areas: Provided, That such refinancing shall be determined by the Secretary to be necessary in order to furnish and improve telephone service in rural areas: And provided further, That such refinancing shall constitute not more than 40 per centum of any loan made under this subchapter. Loans under this section shall not be made unless the Secretary finds and certifies that in his judgment the security therefor is reasonably adequate and such loan will be repaid within the time agreed, nor shall such loan be made in any State which now has or may hereafter have a State regulatory body having authority to regulate telephone service and to require certificates of convenience and necessity to the applicant unless such certificate from such agency is first obtained. In a State in which there is no such agency or regulatory body legally authorized to issue such certificates to the applicant, no loan shall be made under this section unless the Secretary shall determine (and set forth his reasons therefor in writing) that no duplication of lines, facilities, or systems, providing reasonably adequate services will result therefrom.
7 U.S. Code § 922 - Loans for rural telephone service