[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 105 (Thursday, May 31, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 32034-32036]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-13130]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 73

[MB Docket No. 09-52; FCC 11-190]


Policies To Promote Rural Radio Service and To Streamline 
Allotment and Assignment Procedures

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule; announcement of effective date.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of 
Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, 
the information collection requirements and form revisions associated 
with the Commission's rules contained in the Third Report and Order, 
FCC 11-190, pertaining to the policies to promote rural radio service 
and to streamline allotment and assignment procedures. This notice is 
consistent with the Third Report and Order, which stated that the 
Commission would publish a document

[[Page 32035]]

in the Federal Register announcing the effective date of these rules 
and form changes.

DATES: 47 CFR 73.3573 and FCC Form 301, published at 77 FR 2916, 
January 20, 2012, are effective July 2, 2012.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cathy Williams on (202) 418-2918 or 
via email to: Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This document announces that, on April 27, 
2012, OMB approved, for a period of three years, the information 
collection requirements contained in the Commission's Third Report and 
Order, FCC 11-190, published at 77 FR 2916, January 20, 2012. The OMB 
Control Number is 3060-0027. The Commission publishes this notice as an 
announcement of the effective date of the rule section and form 
revisions.

Synopsis

    As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on 
April 27, 2012, for the information collection requirements contained 
in the Commission's rule at 47 CFR 73.3573 and form revisions to FCC 
Form 301.
    Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a 
collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB 
Control Number.
    No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply 
with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act 
that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB 
Control Number is 3060-0027.
    The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 
1995, Pub. L. 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.
    The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents 
are as follows:
    OMB Control Number: 3060-0027.
    Title: Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast 
Station, FCC Form 301.
    Form Number: FCC Form 301.
    OMB Approval Date: April 27, 2012.
    OMB Expiration Date: April 30, 2015.
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Respondents: Business and other for-profit entities; Not for profit 
entities; State, local or Tribal governments.
    Number of Respondents and Responses: 4,604 respondents and 8,040 
responses.
    Estimated Time per Response: 1-6.25 hours.
    Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third 
party disclosure requirement.
    Total Annual Burden: 20,497 hours.
    Total Annual Costs: $90,659,382.
    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The 
statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 
Sections 154(i), 303 and 308 of the Communications Act of 1934, as 
amended.
    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for 
confidentiality with this collection of information.
    Privacy Impact Assessment(s): No impact(s).
    Needs and Uses: On January 28, 2010, the Commission adopted a First 
Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (``First 
R&O'') in MB Docket No. 09-52, FCC 10-24. To enhance the ability of 
federally recognized Native American Tribes to provide vital radio 
services to their citizens on Tribal lands, in the First R&O the 
Commission established a Tribal Priority for use in its radio licensing 
procedures. On March 3, 2011, the Commission adopted a Second Report 
and Order (``Second R&O''), First Order on Reconsideration, and Second 
Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making in MB Docket No. 09-52, FCC 11-
28. On December 28, 2011, the Commission adopted a Third Report and 
Order in MB Docket No. 09-52, FCC 11-190 (``Third R&O''). In the Third 
R&O the Commission further refined the use of the Tribal Priority in 
the commercial FM context, specifically adopting a ``threshold 
qualifications'' approach to commercial FM application processing.
    In the commercial FM context, the Tribal Priority is applied at the 
allotment stage of the licensing process. A Tribe or Tribal entity 
initiates the process by petitioning that a new Tribal Allotment be 
added to the FM Table of Allotments using the Tribal Priority. A 
petitioner seeking to add a Tribal Allotment to the FM Table of 
Allotments, like all other FM allotment proponents, must file FCC Form 
301 when submitting its Petition for Rule Making. Under the new 
``threshold qualification'' procedures adopted in the Third R&O, once a 
Tribal Allotment has been successfully added to the FM Table of 
Allotments using the Tribal Priority through an FM allocations 
rulemaking, the Commission will announce by Public Notice a Threshold 
Qualifications Window (``TQ Window''). During the TQ Window, any Tribe 
or Tribal entity that could qualify to add that particular Tribal 
Allotment may file an FCC Form 301 application for that Tribal 
Allotment. Such an applicant must demonstrate that it meets all of the 
eligibility criteria for the Tribal Priority, just as the original 
Tribal Allotment proponent did at the allotment stage. If it wishes its 
previously filed Form 301 application to be considered at this stage, 
then during the TQ Window the original Tribal Allotment proponent must 
submit notice to process its pending Form 301 application immediately.
    If only one acceptable application is filed during the TQ Window, 
whether by the original Tribal allotment proponent submitting 
notification to process its previously filed Form 301, or by another 
qualified applicant, that application will be promptly processed and 
the Tribal Allotment will not be auctioned. In the event that two or 
more acceptable applications are filed during the TQ Window, the 
Commission will announce a limited period in which the parties may 
negotiate a settlement or bona fide merger, as a way of resolving the 
mutual exclusivity between their applications. If a settlement or 
merger is reached, the parties must notify the Commission and the staff 
will process the surviving application pursuant to the settlement or 
merger. If a settlement cannot be reached among the mutually exclusive 
applicants, the Tribal Allotment will be auctioned during the next 
scheduled FM auction. At that time, only the applicants whose 
applications were accepted for filing during the TQ Window, as well as 
the original Tribal Allotment proponent, will be permitted to bid on 
that particular Tribal Allotment. This closed group of mutually 
exclusive TQ Window applicants must comply with applicable established 
auction procedures.
    In the event that no qualifying party applies during the TQ Window, 
and the original Tribal allotment proponent requests that its pending 
Form 301 application not be immediately processed, the Tribal Allotment 
will be placed in a queue to be auctioned in the normal course for 
vacant FM allotments. When the Tribal Allotment is offered at auction 
for the first time, only applicants meeting the ``threshold 
qualifications'' may specify that particular Tribal Allotment on FCC 
Form 175, Application to Participate in an FCC Auction (OMB Control No. 
3060-0600). Should no qualifying party apply to bid or qualify to bid 
on a Tribal Allotment in the first auction in which it is offered, then 
the Tribal allotment will be offered in a subsequent auction and any 
applicant, whether or not a Tribal entity, may apply for the Tribal 
Allotment.
    Consistent with actions taken by the Commission in the Third R&O, 
Form 301 has been revised to accommodate applicants applying in a TQ 
Window for

[[Page 32036]]

a Tribal Allotment. As noted above, an applicant applying in the TQ 
Window, who was not the original proponent of the Tribal Allotment at 
the rulemaking stage, must demonstrate that it would have qualified in 
all respects to add the particular Tribal Allotment for which it is 
applying. Form 301 contains a new question in Section II--Legal titled 
``Tribal Priority-Threshold Qualifications.'' An applicant answering 
``yes'' to the question must provide an Exhibit demonstrating that it 
meets all of the Tribal Priority eligibility criteria. The Instructions 
for the Form 301 have been revised to assist applicants with completing 
the responsive Exhibit.
    In addition, Form 301 contains a new option under Section I--
General Information--Application Purpose, titled ``New Station with 
Petition for Rulemaking to Amend FM Table of Allotments using Tribal 
Priority.'' A petitioner seeking to add a Tribal Allotment to the FM 
Table of Allotments must file Form 301 when submitting its Petition for 
Rule Making. This new Application Purpose field will assist the staff 
in quickly identifying Form 301 applications filed in connection with a 
petition to add a Tribal Allotment and initiating the ``threshold 
qualification'' procedures.
    This information collection is being revised to accommodate 
applicants applying in a Threshold Qualifications Window for a Tribal 
Allotment that had been added to the FM Table of Allotments using the 
Tribal Priority under the new ``threshold qualifications'' procedures 
adopted in the Third R&O.
    OMB approved the information collection requirements and form 
revisions for this collection on April 27, 2012.

Federal Communications Commission.
Bulah P. Wheeler,
Deputy Manager, Office of the Secretary, Office of Managing Director.
[FR Doc. 2012-13130 Filed 5-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P