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FCC will expand efforts to boost Native American radio

Should be an interesting Federal Communications Commission Open Meeting on March 3, especially if you are a Native American broadcaster. The FCC plans to announce rules that “will make it easier for Native Nations to provide radio service to areas that are the functional equivalent of Tribal Lands and to Tribal Lands that are small or irregularly shaped.”

The Commission has been doing some interesting stuff for Native American radio, of late. A year ago the FCC granted Federally recognized Native American Tribes and Alaska Native Villages who apply for AM or FM radio stations ‘Tribal Priority’ status. Tribal Priority means precedence to applications or companies controlled by tribes that want to set up stations intended to serve tribal land areas.

Now it looks like the plan is to build on that benefit for areas of Indian country that just don’t quite fit into the Federally recognized tribe thing, but are pretty much are that anyway.

The FCC will also explore a notice of proposed rulemaking to “explore a range of recommendations to help close the wireless gap on Tribal Lands.” I’m guessing that means asking for feedback on some priority mechanism for tribal applications for wireless licenses on tribal lands.

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