Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP)
What is the ABIP? The FCC’s Washington Enforcement Bureau has agreed that it will not conduct a random inspection of your station for three years if you have an inspection done by the TAB’s approved ABIP Program Engineers. This inspection protection does not however prevent the FCC from conducting “targeted” inspections, such as an EAS Compliance inspection, or inspections caused by complaints of individuals about a station. Your Political Files, EEO Compliance and safety matters are also excluded from this protection.
The FCC stipulates that your request to TAB for an inspection must be posted in a prominent place in the station(s) once the TAB notifies the FCC of your request and consent. Your Certificate must also be posted once the inspection is completed. The FCC will honor any Certificate of Compliance for three years or issued prior to the start of the new agreement if it is properly posted. A station will have 150 days from the time of your inspection request to inspection completion – including any corrective measures!
What is the cost of an ABIP Inspection? The cost varies as to member or non-member stations and length of time the authorized engineer must spend doing the inspection. The cost is minimal when compared to the benefits generated by the program. (See TAB ABIP rates bottom of this page.)
What are the benefits of participation in the ABIP Program?
- When a station successfully completes its ABIP Inspection, it is free from non-targeted, random FCC inspections for a three-year period. A random inspection by the FCC often may carry with it the likelihood of a citation, which would require corrective action and possibly a consultation with their communications counsel. The station staff time and legal cost required to offset or disprove a citation does not, of course, even include the amount of a possible forfeiture, which could come from any violation.
- While participation in the TAB’s ABIP may not stop a targeted FCC inspection, a successful completion of it should eliminate the real risk that the FCC will find anything amiss at the station even where the FCC’s inspection is targeted for EAS compliance. This is an important by-product of your participation.
- Participation in the ABIP will allow you to gauge the competence and diligence of the personnel upon whom you rely to keep your station operating in full FCC compliance. The FCC recognizes that in broadcasting, as in all business endeavors, owners have to rely upon personnel and outside consultants to carry out a variety of tasks, including those that involve compliance. However, the Commission does not tolerate ignorance on the part of station ownership. Station ownership must have systems in place to insure that its personnel and consultants are qualified and diligent.
- The FCC wants broad participation in the State Association’s ABIP Programs in order to reduce the need for FCC inspections and to raise the level of compliance throughout the entire country.
If you wish to inquire about an ABIP please email the TAB and we will put you in touch with our TAB Engineer, Mike Murrell, who administers the program and he will be in touch with your station.
TAB – ABIP Fee Structure
Item Member Non-member
Inspection Registration Fee
AM/FM/TV gross revenue under $2,000,000 $200.00 $400.00
gross revenue under $5,000,000 400.00 700.00
gross revenue over $5,000,000 600.00 900.00
Re-inspection Registration Fee 100.00 100.00
Inspector Hourly Rate 75.00 75.00
Meals B=$8.00 L=$9.00 D=$15.00
Lodging ~$ 75.00 per night depending on location and availability
Typical Inspection Rate
To calculate your typical inspection rate please use the following as an example:
Class A FM station with revenue under $2,000,000.
TAB Member Non-member
Registration Fee $200.00 $400.00
Inspection Rate 450.00 450.00 (based on a 6 hr inspection)
Travel Time Rate 450.00 450.00 (based on 400 mi round trip)
Meals 24.00 24.00
Total Estimated Cost $1124.00 $1,324.00
Upon receiving your registration form, the TAB office will inform you of the projected cost of your inspection. The inspection will not be scheduled until you have remitted the said sum to TAB at Two International Plaza Drive, Suite 902, Nashville, Tennessee 37217 or by credit card to 615-365-1840. This sum will be deposited into a TAB account and incurred expenses will be deducted from this deposit. All unused sums will be refunded to the station with your inspection report. If your inspection requires an additional remittance, then you will be billed for this amount and your report will be held until the balance has been received. All follow-up inspection costs will be outlined to you as an amendment to your final report. The follow-up inspection will not be scheduled until this sum has again been received. TAB will strive to schedule an inspector who need not travel more than 200 miles to and from your facility. If you should desire an inspection to be conducted at a time that requires the necessity of having the inspector travel a greater distance than 200 miles, again to and from your facility, then the additional costs incurred will be at your station’s expense. The same applies to your station being prepared for the inspection. Your station can save on the time it takes to conduct the inspection if your staff has prepared your facility for the said inspection using the FCC Self-inspection Checklist, as a primary tool. All inspections are based on a six-hour minimum time frame.
TAB will moderate all complaints made of and to the TAB’s Self-inspection Program. TAB will make every effort to resolve all complaints in an equitable and timely fashion. Further appeals will be made to an independent committee made up of a representative of the TAB Board of Directors and of a representative from a Tennessee SBE Chapter, in good standing. This body will convene when the need arises, on a quarterly basis to coincide with the TAB Board meetings. The resolution of this arbitration committee will be final.