Native tribes get priorities for radio licenses, FCC rules

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The FCC announced today it is giving Native American tribes a priority (PDF) for broadcast radio licenses in their communities. The FCC statement notes that while more than a million Native Americans and Alaska Natives live on some 55 million acres of tribal lands nationwide, only 41 radio stations are currently licensed to native tribes. The new Tribal Priority gives license precedence to federally recognized Native American Tribes and Alaska Native Villages, or companies controlled by tribes on their land. Here’s the order (PDF). In a related statement (PDF), Commissioner Michael Copps explained that the current allocation priorities, intended to provide fair distribution of radio service across America, have not worked for tribal lands.