Monday, February 18, 2019

FCC Adopts 307(b) “Tribal Priority” for Native American Tribes

February 4, 2010 by admin  
Filed under FCC News

On February 3, the Commission issued a First Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making in which the primary beneficiaries of the changes are Native American Tribes.

The FCC has decided to insert a new priority – the “Tribal Priority” – between Priorities 1 and co-equal Priorities 2 and 3 of the 307(b) analysis.  Proposals (i.e., applications for new AM or NCE-FM stations, or new commercial FM channel drop-in proposals) entitled to a Tribal Priority will be preferred over competing proposals which claim only Priority 2/3 status.

The Tribal Priority is available only if:

  • the proponent/applicant is a federally recognized Tribe, tribal consortium or an entity at least 51% of which is owned or controlled by a Tribe or Tribes (and there’s a further catch to that last option: such entities must be at least 51% owned/controlled by a Tribe or Tribes at least a portion of whose tribal lands lie within the proposed city-grade contour);
  • the proposed community of license is on tribal lands;
  • at least 50% of the daytime city-grade contour of the proposed facilities would cover tribal lands (although those lands need not all belong to the same Tribe); and
  • the proposal/application would otherwise be entitled to either Priority 1or 2 (i.e., first or second reception service to more than de minimis population) or slightly modified Priority 3 (i.e., for commercial proposals, first local tribal-owned transmission service or, for NCE proposals, first local NCE tribal-owned transmission service).

The new allotment rules that open  significant new opportunities for Native Americans are here: