The Alternate Broadcast Inspection Program


Put your station under the microscope and avoid FCC inspections for three (3) years. The Washington State Association of Broadcasters (WSAB), in cooperation with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), is proud to provide a service to the broadcasters of Washington unlike anything that has been offered before. Here’s how the WSAB ALTERNATIVE BROADCAST INSPECTION PROGRAM works!


WSAB has negotiated an agreement with the FCC that allows WSAB to perform a complete FCC-type inspection of your station to ensure that it is in compliance with the FCC’s rules AND that the station will not be subject to a surprise, random inspection by the FCC. If, after the inspection, no problems are found, WSAB will report compliance to the FCC and issue your station a Certificate of Compliance. With that certification, the FCC has agreed not to conduct a surprise, random inspection of your station for three (3) years.


Who conducts these inspections and what kind of inspection can a station expect?  

WSAB has engaged qualified independent broadcast engineers, approved by the regional FCC field office, who will conduct a full, FCC-type inspection of your station.


What happens if the station does not pass the ABIP? 

The inspector will provide the station with a confidential report outlining any problems or FCC violations. You correct the problems identified within a specified period of time, submit to a re-inspection or provide other proof of compliance to the inspector. Then, with a clean bill of health, WSAB will notify the FCC of your compliance and issue a Certificate of Compliance. At no time is the FCC notified of a station that does not pass the ABIP inspection.


Could the FCC still come and inspect the station? 

The FCC reserves the right to inspect a station as the result of a complaint or as part of a "targeted" inspection for tower safety, public file or EEO compliance issues.


Is there anything that the ABIP inspection does not cover? 

There are certain things that the ABIP inspector has no way of auditing, such as compliance with lowest unit rate or children’s television commercial time limitations, EEO compliance or RF radiation exposure. The ABIP inspector will make a review of the station’s local public inspection file, but only to ascertain that file is complete as it appears (i.e., the inspector would have no way of knowing if the public file were missing an application the station had filed with the FCC, but had failed to place in the public file).


Is the station protected from inspection by the FCC while the ABIP inspection is pending?  

If the station chooses to have WSAB notify the local FCC Field Office of the pending inspection, the station will be protected against an FCC inspection for 150 days.  If the station chooses to have WSAB not notify the FCC, there is no protection until the station passes the ABIP inspection and receives its Certificate of Compliance.

The Procedure

Step 1: Fill out the Inspection Application Form and fax or mail it back to WSAB.  You can find the inspection application form here.  Once you have completed the form (one for each station, please) email it to: .

Step 2: The Association will send you a contract to sign along with an invoice to be paid prior to the inspection. 

Step 3: Return the signed contract with the appropriate fee to WSAB. Each inspection must be prepaid. BE SURE TO MAKE YOUR ELECTION WHETHER WSAB WILL NOTIFY THE FCC OF YOUR PENDING INSPECTION to ensure your 150-day "grace" period during the inspection process.

Step 4: WSAB will send you a copy of the FCC Broadcast Station Self-Inspection Checklist and the station and the inspector will agree on the date and time for the inspection, so that the station can be inspected, any routine deficiencies can be resolved and the station can receive its Certificate of Compliance within 150 days.


Find the FCC’s Self Inspection Checklists here: 

AM Self Inspection Checklist

FM Self Inspection Checklist

TV Self Inspection Checklist

Class A TV Self Inspection Checklist

LPTV Self Inspection Checklist

Step 5: Upon completion of a successful inspection, your station will receive a Certification of Compliance and a copy will be sent to the regional FCC office.


Step 6:  Post your Certificate of Compliance.