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Using the FCC’s new Online Public File system – online tutorials available

The FCC will stage a June 13 online demonstration of the Online Public Inspection File (OPIF) at Noon CDT.

Radio and TV stations interested in participating the FCC’s OPIF interface demonstration can view it here.  

Background documents are available for download in Word and .pdf formats.

The requirement to maintain an online public inspection file currently applies only to full power and Class A television stations, but starting June 24, commercial radio stations that have five or more employees and are located in the Top 50 Nielsen Audio markets, must begin using the new OPIF system.

TV stations should utilize the opportunity to learn about the new FCC OPIF interface as it will replace the Broadcast Public Inspection File (BPIF) interface on June 24. 

The new system is different because it is cloud-based and according to the FCC, it offers more functionality.

All online public file documents previously uploaded by TV stations will be automatically migrated by the FCC to the new interface.

Lauren Lynch Flick, an attorney with TAB’s FCC counsel Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, notes commercial radio stations not included in the first wave of radio stations, as well as all noncommercial radio stations, are exempt from the new online public file requirement until March 1, 2018.

Flick said such stations are allowed to voluntarily commence use of the new system sooner if they choose. 

The FCC’s June 13 demonstration will review the design, layout, and content of the OPIF site, and how to upload information and files, among other things.

TAB has also secured an online presentation on the new system prepared by David Oxenford, an attorney with TAB Associate member law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer.

Oxenford’s presentation discusses the transition to the online public file, obligations for maintaining the public file, the required contents of the file (what documents need to be included), as well as the retention period for those documents.

TAB Member stations can request a link to Oxenford’s presentation and his slide deck by emailing TAB.

Stations can also experiment with the new system with a simulated file for practicing – available here.

The FCC’s helpdesk is available to answer any questions regarding the OPIF database. 

Contact information for the helpdesk is available at 1-877-480-3201 or 1-717-338-2824 (TTY) or stations may submit requests online via

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

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