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Hartzler introduces relief to rural broadband providers

Missouri Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler has introduced a bipartisan bill to provide relief to rural broadband providers.

Her Flexible Financing for Rural America Act would allow certain rural utility service borrowers to take advantage of current low interest rates without heavy fines and penalties. Hartzler says it would allow electric co-ops and small, rural telecommunications providers to refinance their debt and keep them solvent in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As it stands now, rural utility service loans cannot be repaid early or modified without hefty penalties.

A companion bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate – with Senators John Boozman of Arkansas and Tina Smith among the cosponsors.

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