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 RATE CARD STARTING FEES
AM/FM/TV Under $2 million
Member station $200
Non-Member station $400
plus expenses* AM/FM/TV Under $5 million
Member station $400
Non-Member station $700
AM/FM/TV Over $5 million
Member station $600
Non-Member station $900
*includes all travel, necessary lodging, meals and $75.00 hourly rate for engineer