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FCC mulls points option for radio

Proposals for overcoming obstacles to the creation of hundreds of new radio
stations will be issued by the Federal Communications Commission at its Feb. 14
open meeting.

The commission is looking for ways to resolve a July court decision barring
it from auctioning broadcast licenses when noncommercial operators are among the

Suggested solutions included banning noncommercial applicants from new
commercial allotments altogether or implementing a system that would awards
points to applicants based on several public-interest factors.

Under the points system, the public broadcaster that tallied the most points
would be declared the winner. If a commercial applicant scored most,
noncommercial applicants would be disqualified and an auction would determine
the winner.

Resolution is needed before auction of roughly 600 FM and AM allotments can
be scheduled.