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TAB Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program Available to Review Stations’ FCC Compliance

For more than 25 years, Texas broadcasters have been avoiding costly FCC fines by ensuring their facilities are in compliance with Commission rules through the TAB’s Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP). 

Stations can begin the journey to ascertain what FCC compliance issues may exist by downloading the ABIP contract to sign a station up for review

Beginning in January of 1997, TAB’s team of broadcast station inspectors has logged thousands of miles and reviewed hundreds of Texas stations with each review generating an inspection report documenting the station’s FCC compliance.

Stations that successfully complete a review earn a three-year waiver from routine or surprise FCC inspection. 

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

It is less expensive if a TAB inspector finds a problem and the station addresses it, than if the FCC finds the problem during a routine, surprise inspection. 

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

While many stations pass the inspection without issue, those stations that have deficiencies may correct them within a reasonable timeframe and still garner one of the coveted certificates.

Station staff can think of an ABIP review as inexpensive, “peace of mind” insurance. 

Additionally, stations have reported to TAB that ABIP inspection reports have been used as justification for capital outlays in discussions with corporate management.

It is TAB’s goal, in partnership with the FCC, to promote and ensure station compliance with the FCC’s regulations. 

TAB underwrites part of the cost of the program to ensure its affordability for all stations.

The ABIP inspectors, Wayne Kube and Steve Sandlin, presented a TAB 2023 convention session earlier this month outlining the top FCC compliance issues they’ve encountered in recent years.  

The two have more than 100 years combined broadcast industry experience between them. 

These engineering veterans review stations for FCC compliance using FCC self-inspection checklists as a guide. 

The physical facilities of the main studios and transmitter site are reviewed, as well as certain station procedures. 

A typical single station inspection takes about three to four hours to complete onsite.

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

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