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Rural Radio Policy Changes

March 2011

On March 3, 2011, the Commission adopted a Second Report and Order in the Matter of Policies to Promote Rural Radio Service and to Streamline Allotment and Assignment Procedures (Rural Radio Order). 

Among other things, the Rural Radio Order restricts the allotment of new stations in urban areas and further limits the criteria by which a station can propose to change its community of license into urban areas.  The Commission affirmed that Section 307(b) "remains a vital provision of the Communications Act"; however, it also concluded that certain adjustments to the 307(b) priorities are necessary.  Specifically, the Commission will customize its 307(b) analysis depending on service and type of application, while applying a higher level of scrutiny to all applications to move or change communities of license.