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FCC Says Its Rural Radio Policies Are Justified

Agency clarifies some of its allotment and assignment procedures for new stations

The FCC has clarified and upheld its rural radio policies.

In particular, the agency clarified aspects of new policies for evaluating mutually exclusive proposals for radio service, as well as for considering applications to change a station’s community of license.

In 2009, the commission changed its allotment and assignment procedures for new stations, putting less emphasis on total population served when considering competing proposals. In the past, agency policies nearly always favored proposals located in or near urban areas. The commission wanted to change that and promote rural service.

The commission issued a second report on the changes last December, and several broadcasters protested the changes.

Saying this week that many of the arguments had been previously considered and rejected, it rejected them again. The commission did make some minor clarifications in response to petitions from Radio One and Entravision.