FCC grants an FM in Navajo territory
According to the FCC, there is ample room to fit a Class C2 FM on 99.5 MHz in Rough Rock AZ, a move that will provide first commercial service in the community and the surrounding area. The allotment was granted under Tribal Priority policy.
The station will be built in a sparsely-populated section of Arizona, in the northeastern part of the state not far from Four Corners National Monument. What it will be far from is any kind of rated radio market.
The FCC explained, “Petitioner, a federally-recognized Tribe, certifies that its proposal meets the requirements established in Rural Radio for a Tribal Priority. Specifically, Petitioner provides evidence that: at least 50 percent of the proposed principal community contour would cover Navajo Reservation; Rough Rock, the proposed community of license, is located on Navajo Reservation (Tribal Land), and the proposed facility will constitute a first local Tribally-owned commercial transmission service at Rough Rock. Rough Rock is a census-designated place with a 2010 U.S. Census population of 414 persons.”
The allotment will come with an engineering restriction. The FCC said, “A staff engineering analysis confirms that Channel 258C2 can be allotted to Rough Rock consistent with the minimum distance separation requirements of the Commission’s Rules with the imposition of a site restriction 7.1 km (4.4 miles) southeast of the community. The reference coordinates are 36-21-08 NL and 109-49-54 WL.”
The petition to create the allotment came from the Navajo Nation and the Navajo Nation Telecommunications Regulatory Commission. It was unopposed.