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In considering applications for licenses, and modifications and renewals thereof, when and insofar as there is demand for the same, the Commission shall make such distribution of licenses, frequencies, hours of operation, and of power among the several States and communities as to provide a fair, efficient, and equitable distribution of radio service to each of the same.
Each license granted for the operation of a broadcasting station shall be for a term of not to exceed 8 years. Upon application therefor, a renewal of such license may be granted from time to time for a term of not to exceed 8 years from the date of expiration of the preceding license, if the Commission finds that public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served thereby. Consistent with the foregoing provisions of this subsection, the Commission may by rule prescribe the period or periods for which licenses shall be granted and renewed for particular classes of stations, but the Commission may not adopt or follow any rule which would preclude it, in any case involving a station of a particular class, from granting or renewing a license for a shorter period than that prescribed for stations of such class if, in its judgment, the public interest, convenience, or necessity would be served by such action.
In order to expedite action on applications for renewal of broadcasting station licenses and in order to avoid needless expense to applicants for such renewals, the Commission shall not require any such applicant to file any information which previously has been furnished to the Commission or which is not directly material to the considerations that affect the granting or denial of such application, but the Commission may require any new or additional facts it deems necessary to make its findings.
Pending any administrative or judicial hearing and final decision on such an application and the disposition of any petition for rehearing pursuant to section 405 or section 402 of this title, the Commission shall continue such license in effect.
No renewal of an existing station license in the broadcast or the common carrier services shall be granted more than thirty days prior to the expiration of the original license.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, (1) any holder of a broadcast license may broadcast to an area of Alaska that otherwise does not have access to over the air broadcasts via translator, microwave, or other alternative signal delivery even if another holder of a broadcast license begins broadcasting to such area, (2) any holder of a broadcast license who has broadcast to an area of Alaska that did not have access to over the air broadcasts via translator, microwave, or other alternative signal delivery may continue providing such service even if another holder of a broadcast license begins broadcasting to such area, and shall not be fined or subject to any other penalty, forfeiture, or revocation related to providing such service including any fine, penalty, forfeiture, or revocation for continuing to operate notwithstanding orders to the contrary.
This chapter, referred to in subsecs. (a) and (e), was in the original “this Act”, meaning act June 19, 1934, ch. 652, 48 Stat. 1064, known as the Communications Act of 1934, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 609 of this title and Tables.
2004—Subsec. (c)(3). Pub. L. 108–447, § 213(1), substituted “any administrative or judicial hearing” for “any hearing” and inserted “or section 402” after “section 405”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 108–447, § 213(2), added subsec. (f).
1996—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–104, § 203, inserted heading and amended text generally, restructuring existing provisions into pars. (1) to (3) and substituting provisions providing 8 year term for licenses of broadcasting stations for provisions providing 5 year term for licenses of television broadcasting stations, 7 year term for licenses of radio broadcasting stations, and 10 year term for other broadcasting stations.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 104–104, § 403(i), amended subsec. (e) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) read as follows:
“(1) Notwithstanding any licensing requirement established in this chapter, the Commission may by rule authorize the operation of radio stations without individual licenses in the radio control service and the citizens band radio service if the Commission determines that such authorization serves the public interest, convenience, and necessity.
“(2) Any radio station operator who is authorized by the Commission under paragraph (1) to operate without an individual license shall comply with all other provisions of this chapter and with rules prescribed by the Commission under this chapter.
“(3) For purposes of this subsection, the terms ‘radio control service’ and ‘citizens band radio service’ shall have the meanings given them by the Commission by rule.”
1982—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 97–259, § 112, redesignated subsec. (d) as (c), substituted “ten years” for “five years” after “station) shall be for a longer term than” and “term of not to exceed”, and inserted provision that the term of any license for the operation of any auxiliary broadcast station or equipment which can be used only in conjunction with a primary radio, television, or translator station shall be concurrent with the term of the license for such primary radio, television, or translator station. Former subsec. (c), which required the Commission to study proposal that Congress allocate fixed percentages of radio broadcasting facilities to nonprofit activities and report recommendations, with reasons, to Congress not later than Feb. 1, 1935, was struck out.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–259, § 112(a), redesignated subsec. (e) as (d). Former subsec. (d) redesignated (c).
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 97–259, §§ 112(a), 113(a), added subsec. (e) and redesignated former subsec. (e) as (d).
1981—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 97–35 substituted provisions authorizing term of five years for a television broadcasting station license, seven years for a radio broadcasting station license, and five years for any other class of license, with comparable provisions for renewal, for provisions authorizing term of three years for a broadcasting station license, and five years for any other class of station license, with comparable provisions for renewal.
1962—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 87–439 inserted “in the broadcast or the common carrier services” before “shall be granted”.
1960—Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 86–752 inserted last sentence dealing with the Commission’s authority to grant licenses for periods shorter than 3 years.
1952—Subsec. (d). Act July 16, 1952, provided that upon the expiration of any license, any renewal applied for may be granted “if the Commission finds that public interest, convenience, and necessity would be served thereby”, and provided that pending a hearing and final decision on an application for renewal and the disposition of any petition for a rehearing the Commission shall continue the license in effect.
1936—Subsec. (b). Act June 5, 1936, amended subsec. (b) generally.
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