FCC proposes rules on rural radio service

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The FCC has proposed new rules intended to increase radio service to rural areas (PDF). If approved, they establish new preferences for such areas and make moving licenses out of the locations more difficult. The proposal specifically addresses Native broadcasters, stating that “several tribal groups have expressed concern about their ability to establish radio service to their people and tribal lands.” (Some 30 Native entities received FCC construction permits late last year, see Current story from November 2008.) The proposal tentatively concludes that to serve the public interest, federally recognized tribes should have a priority in FM allotments, AM filing window applications and noncom educational FM filing window applications.