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Is Your Station in FCC Compliance? Find Out with TAB’s Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program

With a myriad of FCC regulations on the books, just how sure are you that the station you manage or own is complying?

Stations can take the guesswork out of that equation by participating in TAB’s Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP).

The reviews cover most, but not all, FCC regulations as they pertain to a station’s onsite facilities, from studio to transmitter site. 

The FCC may still inspect an ABIP reviewed station to review tower safety issues or investigate complaints received.

Additionally, since stations’ public inspection files migrated to the FCC’s website in the past decade, the commission has continuous capability to review materials required not only to be in the file, but also ascertain if they were timely filed.

ABIP reviews include an inspection of the physical facilities of the main studios and transmitter site, as well as a review of certain station procedures.

Typically, it takes about 3-4 hours to review one station, and less time to review others located under the same roof.

TAB’s intrepid team of ABIP inspectors, broadcast engineering veterans Wayne Kube and Steve Sandlin, have logged thousands of miles reviewing Texas stations.

The two have 80 years of broadcasting experience between them.

After reviewing a station, Kube or Sandlin issue a report to station staff detailing the state of the station’s FCC compliance.

Stations that successfully complete a review earn a three-year waiver from routine, surprise FCC inspections of a station’s physical facilities. 

The waiver comes in the form of a Certificate of Compliance which is typically posted in the lobby of the station.

While many stations pass the inspection without issue, those stations that have deficiencies related to their physical facilities may correct them within a reasonable period and still garner one of the coveted certificates. 

It is far less expensive if TAB finds a problem and it is addressed than if the FCC finds the problem during a surprise inspection. 

FCC forfeitures typically start at the $4,000 level and rise steadily from there.

Additionally, stations have used TAB’s inspection reports as justification for capital outlays in discussions with corporate management. 

Interested in getting a station inspection? 

Download the TAB ABIP contract here. 

Stations can also learn more about what is involved in a station inspection at the above link.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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