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Broadcast Inspections

About the Program

TAB created the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program in 1997 through a unique partnership with the Federal Communications Commission.

TAB's inspectors review stations for compliance with FCC regulations using the FCC's self-inspection checklists as a guide. Compliant stations receive a three-year waiver from onsite FCC, drop-in inspections.

Download list of common deficiencies

How much does an inspection cost?

TAB offers ABIP inspections at a greatly reduced rate as a service to TAB member stations.

More information on joining TAB

Rates as of Jan. 1, 2016:

Station Type TAB Member
(per license)
Non Member
(per license)
FM $500 $1,000
LPFM $500 $1,000
AM Non-Directional $500 $1,000
AM Directional $900 $1,800
DTV $750 $1,500
LPTV $750 $1,500

How long does an inspection take?

It takes approximately four hours to inspect one station. The time can be shorter in the case of station clusters. AM directional stations take the most time, especially if extensive tower arrays are involved.

What's covered in the inspection?

TAB contracted inspectors review stations for compliance on most, but not all, FCC regulations. 

How are stations notified of the results of the inspection?

TAB inspectors issue a report for each station reviewed. A copy is sent to the station and to TAB. The reports discuss compliance with FCC regulations and in the case of deficiencies that are found, what needs to be corrected in order for the station to achieve compliance.

How long is the inspection window?

Inspection windows start on the date of the contract issued to a station and last 150 days. There are no extensions of the window.

How are inspection dates set?

TAB assigns stations to its inspectors who then contact a station to arrange a date. Typically, an inspection date is set within the first 60 days of the contract in order to allow the most time for correction of any deficiencies that are found.

Can the FCC inspect a station with a valid certificate of compliance or that is in an inspection window?

The FCC may inspect stations for the following reasons: to check tower safety issues; to investigate complaints received; and to review materials in the station online public inspection file, including EEO or political broadcasting materials required to be in the station's public file. Tower safety inspections will be limited to the antenna site and include compliance with the FCC's regulations relating to tower lighting, tower painting, fencing of AM towers, and signage such as structure registration number and RF hazard.

 Download an inspection contract


Contact TAB or call (512) 322-9944.

TAB's ABIP Inspectors

Wayne Kube

  • 30+ years in broadcasting
  • Former Engineering Manager, Director of Technology at Belo Corporation
  • Owner of Kube Broadcast Consulting, Inc., a broadcast consulting firm

Steve Sandlin

  • 40+ years in broadcasting
  • Former Chief Engineer, Texas radio and TV stations
  • Professional Broadcast Engineer, SBE lifetime certification