Welcome to a once in a lifetime opportunity!
It is not everyday that major cities have the opportunity to get new radio stations. If the FCC adopts WIDE-FM, this will happen as the service uses wide open spectrum that has never been used for radio. In order to put some order into the potential chaos that could ensue from making spectrum wide open, to assure that channels are fairly available for as many communities as possible, to assure the most potential license grants as possible and to comply with federal law that requires the FCC to distribute licenses fairly and equitably among the several states and communities, we have developed an initial table of allotments, which was based on US Census data to assign a channel to each community starting at the largest city and going all the way down to the smallest communities with 1,000 or more people. If adopted as proposed, WIDE-FM would have an initial "homesteading" filing window where 3,501 licenses would be up for grabs. We propose to limit the first opportunity to only local applicants who can show that either their headquarters or 75% of their board members reside within 25 miles of the city being applied for. If there is competition (which is expected), certain criteria will be used that will give priority to well established local organizations, applicants with no other nearby broadcast holdings and various technical parameters. If more than one applicant is tied at the end of the process, then time sharing may be needed.
WIDE-FM would be available only for nonprofit educational organizations where radio will advance their organization's educational objectives. Commercials are prohibited, but stations can acknowledge underwriters to the station through messages that identify the donor but does not promote their business.
Here's how WIDE-FM will bring new noncommercial diverse voices to the largest radio market areas: