What is the RUS or the Rural Utilities Service?

The United States Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is in charge of administering programs that provide rural communities with infrastructure or infrastructure improvements. The programs administered by the RUS include water and waste treatment, electric power, and telecommunications services. The RUS is a part of the USDA Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The RUS provides assistance in the form of loans and grants to a total of 890 rural electric and 800 rural telecommunications utilities in 47 states.  They also provide assistance to Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.  As a “borrower” of the RUS, you must comply with minimum requirements specified in the RUS regulations.  These regulations can be found in various specifications covering “right-of-way clearing and access, wood poles, pole top assemblies, structure assembly and structure erection, guys and anchors, grounding and bonding, insulators and hardware, and phase conductors and overhead ground wires”.  The RUS also provides drawings, which apply to usual construction needs and conditions; however borrowers may need to develop drawings which address specific unusual construction conditions.

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