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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 FCC routine, 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, 2012:

Station Type TAB Member License Non Member License
FM $350 $700
LPFM $350 $700
AM Non-Directional $350 $700
AM Directional $600 $1,200
TV $500 $1,000
DTV $500 $1,000
LPTV $500 $1,000

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 FCC regulations. They do not review a station's compliance with the FCC's EEO regulations or the contents of a station's Political File. Additionally, TAB inspectors do not perform RF exposure compliance tests as part of the inspection.

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?

FCC may inspect stations for the following reasons: to check tower safety issues; to investigate complaints received; and to review 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

Questions?

Contact TAB's Teresa McAnally or call (512) 322-9944.

TAB's ABIP Inspectors

A. "Ray" Turner

  • Retired FCC FieldAgent
  • 42 years of FCC service
  • Owner of Turner Communications Consulting, a broadcast consulting firm

Dick Pickens

  • 60+ years in broadcasting
  • Member, SBE Chapter 79
  • Owner of TAB Associate Member Microcom Systems, a broadcast consulting firm