Treasury Releases Updated FAQs Clarifying Use of ARPA Funds

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Following the release of its Interim Final Rules in May, the Treasury Department has released a series of FAQs on the use of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds authorized in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  The FAQs, which Treasury has updated several times in recent weeks, provide additional clarity on the many authorized uses of the Funds.  With respect to broadband infrastructure, the FAQs provide more assurances that state and local governments have discretion in determining whether an area is “unserved” as defined in the Interim Final Rules, and include more detail on the types of information that can support that determination.  The FAQs also clarify that unserved or underserved households or businesses need not be the only households or businesses in the service area receiving funds so long as an objective of the project is to provide service to unserved or underserved households or businesses.  Treasury also clarified that pre-project development uses and costs for eligible broadband projects are permissible uses of the Funds.  Treasury may release additional updates to the FAQs so we encourage recipients to continue to revisit the FAQs page.  In addition, Treasury is accepting comments on the Interim Final Rules through July 16, 2021.  Contact Nancy Werner with any questions about how to file comments.