In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission established a Tribal Radio Priority to expand the number of radio stations owned by American Indian Tribes broadcasting to Tribal lands. The Tribal Priority is a FCC rule through which Tribes or Tribally owned or controlled entities may more easily obtain broadcast radio licenses in both the AM and FM bands. The Tribal Priority is intended not only to provide radio service tailored to specific Tribal needs and cultures, but to increase ownership of such radio stations by Tribes and Tribally owned entities. In doing so, the Tribal Priority also fosters localism and diversity of ownership.
The FCC is opening a new window in the spirit of its “expedited Auction 83 licensing initiative” which is part of the LPFM proceeding. It gives proponents of translator CPs which are not mutually exclusive to any other applicants the chance to file for CPs. Since these are singleton applicants, they will not be subjected to a future auction. The “filing window” will be open through 3/28 for 713 singleton applicants to submit their long forms. This is a huge step in clearing the backlog of thousands of applications from the 2003 “Great Translaot Invasion”. It will clear the way for an LPFM radio filing window later this year.
The FCC stated, “This window is limited to timely filed proposals which are not mutually exclusive with any other applications submitted in the Auction 83 Filing Window and specify transmitter site locations which are (1) outside all Spectrum Limited markets and (2) not within 39 km of any Spectrum Limited market grid. These ‘singleton’ applications are exempt from the Commission’s auction procedures.”
Applicants may make minor amendments (including channel changes) as long as the designated LPFM channel/points are protected as well as in compliance with the Top-50 preclusion rule. This may impact the available LPFM channels (ie; they may change). The FCC requires a Form 349 for each eligible facility by 3/28/13.
Appendix A to the announcement, listing the proposals germane to this proceeding, can be seen here: