An agreement between the WBA and the FCC, provides WBA member Wisconsin stations an opportunity to be voluntarily inspected by an FCC-approved WBA inspector. Upon completing the application process, stations receive a friendly inspection from a WBA-contracted inspector using the standard FCC field service checklist. If violations are found, no fines are imposed nor are they reported to the FCC. Instead, stations are given ample time to correct the problems before another inspection. Once a station is determined to be in compliance, both the station and the FCC Field Office in Chicago receive a copy of the stations Certificate of Compliance. This certificate is good for three years and exempts the station from routine on-site FCC inspections for the three-year period. While the certificate does not exempt the station from targeted inspections (e.g., based on a complaint) or from actions initiated by the FCC in Washington, it does prevent an inspector from randomly showing up at a station for an unannounced inspection. By showing an inspector your certificate, they are supposed to exempt you from any random inspection.
Complete the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program Request form, which can be downloaded below.
Participation in the ABIP will allow you to gauge the competence and diligence of the personnel upon whom your station relies upon to keep the station operating in full FCC compliance. An ABIP inspection should give you some peace of mind that there are no obvious FCC problems with your station technical operations. The FCC recognizes that in broadcasting, as in all business endeavors, owners must 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 the station ownership. Station ownership must have systems in place to ensure that its personnel and consultants are qualified and diligent. ABIP helps provide a showing of that diligence. The FCC wants broad participation in the State Associations’ ABIP Programs to reduce the need for FCC inspections and to raise the level of compliance throughout the entire country, and your participation should help you to gauge the degree to which you are staying on top of your FCC compliance requirements.