FCC Broadcast Operations Inspections Resume

Posted on April 27th, 2022 by

The FCC recently lifted its halt to broadcast station inspections that was put in place during the pandemic, and advised all of its Field Offices that those inspections should resume.  Stations should be on the alert for possible visits from the FCC.

If a station receives a visit from the FCC, the individual will provide credentials to confirm that they represent the FCC and the purpose of their visit.  Usually, they request access to certain specific items or to visit transmitter sites.  Stations should take this opportunity to refamiliarize their personnel on actions to take during an FCC inspection.  Cooperation is paramount.  Refusing access or telling an inspector to leave are sure ways to draw unwanted attention to the station.  In most instances, the process is quite cordial, and inspectors understand that things like station logs or transmitter site access may take a moment.

Many state broadcaster associations have Alternative Broadcast Inspection Programs.  For stations that voluntarily participate in those and receive a certificate, the FCC is advised and will not randomly visit the station for an inspection for 3 years.  The exception is that if the FCC receives a complaint, an inspection/visit can occur despite the ABIP certification.