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. 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, including indebtedness of recipients on another telecommunications loan made under this chapter. 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 and that no duplication of lines, facilities, or systems, providing reasonably adequate services will result therefrom.

Terms Used In 7 USC 922

  • telephone service: shall be deemed to mean any communication service for the transmission or reception of voice, data, sounds, signals, pictures, writing, or signs of all kinds by wire, fiber, radio, light, or other visual or electromagnetic means, and shall include all telephone lines, facilities, or systems used in the rendition of such service. See