The Federal Communications Commission yesterday said it would allow a grace period for companies that filed applications for more than one cellular telephone license per market to withdraw extra applications.
The FCC will hold a lottery at a date not yet determined to choose from among 5,182 applicants that want to provide cellular telephone service in 30 U.S. cities. There are far more applicants than there are licenses because only two licenses -- one to a phone company and one to a commercial establishment -- are granted per city, an FCC spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman said the FCC believes "a good number of applications are duplicitous for the same markets." She warned that, if the FCC later finds an applicant selected in the lottery submitted more than one application for that city, the applicant would forfeit the license or licenses.
In a separate proceeding, the FCC said it would give preferential treatment to AM daytime-only radio station licensees seeking one of the new FM radio channels recently allocated by the agency.
Three months ago, the FCC allocated 689 new FM radio channels to communities across the country. The daytime-only AM stations, however, must pledge to divest AM operations within three years of beginning the operation of an FM station, an FCC spokeswoman said.