ALTERNATIVE BROADCAST INSPECTION PROGRAM (ABIP)
The South Dakota Broadcasters Association’s Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (ABIP) is a unique partnership between the SDBA and the FCC under which stations that participate can receive a three-year exemption from routine FCC inspections. Once any deficiencies noted in the SDBA ABIP Inspection Report are resolved, a copy of the three-year ABIP Certification granted to the station will also be provided to the FCC.
The ABIP was started in 1994 for several reasons. The primary reason for the program was to help stations stay in compliance with FCC Rules without the threat of a surprise inspection and/or heavy fine.
WHAT EXACTLY IS COVERED IN AN ABIP INSPECTION?
The SDBA’s ABIP Inspector will conduct an in-depth inspection of each station referencing the FCC Rules and Policies listed in the applicable FCC Self-Inspection Checklist. The SDBA encourages stations to carefully review the applicable FCC Checklist – regardless of whether the station participates in the SDBA ABIP program.
HOW ABIP WORKS:
- Participation in the program is very easy. Print out and complete the Request for Inspection Form. Or contact us at 605.224.1034 for a “Request for Inspection Form” to be sent to you. Note that you must indicate either “yes” or “no” on the form regarding notifying the FCC that your station(s) have signed up for the SDBA ABIP. That action begins a 150 day grace period for the inspection to be completed.
- Submit your request with payment to the SDBA office.
- Once SDBA receives your station’s ABIP request with full payment, a letter of acceptance into the SDBA ABIP will be send to the station. The station will also receive a link to the FCC Self-Inspection Checklists to help prepare for the upcoming SDBA ABIP inspection.
- The SDBA and ABIP inspector will schedule the inspection date. With any conflicts, the inspector will work to reschedule to the best of his availability. Once set, the inspection date is firm and cannot be cancelled or rescheduled.
- On the assigned date, the inspector will conduct the inspection at your station. The designated chief operator should be present and access to the studio and transmitter site is required. As the inspection progresses, the inspector will make notes and discuss any issues of non-compliance as they come up. After the inspection is over, the inspector will sit down with you, your management, and Chief Operator. Together you can discuss the non-compliance areas, as well as the necessary remediation.
- After the inspection is completed, your station will receive a detailed confidential “Inspection Report” noting the compliance issues noted during the visit. CONFIDENTIALITY STATEMENT: All information gathered during an inspection by the SDBA ABIP inspector is confidential between the station and the inspector.
- Once any deficiencies noted in your inspection report have been resolved and the licensee reports the corrective actions taken to the inspector, the station will receive an SDBA ABIP Certificate of Compliance. It will prevent a routine FCC inspection for three years.
- The ABIP does not protect you from an inspection following up on a complaint against your station, an EEO inspection or a pop-up Public File inspection.
RATES & TERMS
Full payment must accompany the Request for Inspection.
Participation in the SDBA Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program is voluntary and is open to all broadcast stations throughout South Dakota. Note that SDBA membership is not a requirement to participate; however a non-member rate will apply. The SDBA is proud to subsidize the inspection costs for our Member Stations.
Costs will vary depending on your facilities:
|Non SDBA Member
|AM Directional Station
Re-Inspections / Call Back Fee: (Actual time @ $60.00 / hour). Stations will be required to pay the full re-inspection rate.
SAVED BY THE CERTIFICATE
Once your inspection is complete and you get a clean bill of health, you will receive a Certificate of Compliance from the South Dakota Broadcasters Association.
We recommend posting this Certificate in a very prominent place in the station’s main lobby. For one thing, it is something of which to be justifiably proud. And secondly, sometimes the FCC does make mistakes and stations will get left off the “Do Not Inspect” list. If it happens an FCC inspector shows up your station and goes to work, simply show them your Certificate of Compliance, and they will leave.
You can spend a small amount for an inspection from your friendly SDBA inspector, or risk tens of thousands of dollars in fines from the long arm of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau.