Alternative Broadcasting Inspection Program
MDCD has developed, in cooperation with the FCC, an FCC Technical Station Inspection Program to help stations comply with FCC regulations.
The MDCD FCC "technical" station inspection program is being implemented pursuant to an agreement between MDCD and the FCC's Field Office. Under this program, if you are inspected by an MDCD approved technical inspector and are certified by MDCD to be in compliance with the FCC's technical rules, the FCC Field Office will not conduct a routine inspection of your station for three years.
How The Program Works:
MDCD's technical and engineering inspectors have been approved by the FCC to conduct inspections comparable to official FCC Field Office inspections. These inspections will typically include the following:
- Inspection of transmitter operation, transmission standards and tower regulations.
- Inspection to assure compliance by the station with its FCC licenses including compliance with directional AM parameters and auxiliary operations.
- Inspection of remote control point operations, extension metering and automatic transmission systems, and review of operational requirements for stations located outside the city of license.
- Inspection of each station's Emergency Alert System (EAS) and review of Chief Operator requirements, station logs and the public inspection file.
The station can elect to have MDCD notify the FCC of its participation in the inspection program prior to the MDCD inspection being conducted. If the station does so elect, the FCC will not conduct a routine random inspection of the station for a period of 150 days from the date MDCD receives payment for the inspection. The station will have 150 days to successfully complete the inspection.
[Note: If the station has not successfully passed the inspection within the 150-day grace period, the station, of course, is not immune from an official FCC inspection.] If the station does not elect this "Grace Period," MDCD will not notify the FCC of the station's request for an inspection, in which event, the "Grace Period" pending inspection would not apply.
Following the MDCD inspection, the inspector will notify the station of any detected violations of FCC technical requirements. The inspector will give the station a reasonable period of time to correct violations, and where necessary, a re-inspection may be conducted. For station that have opted into the Grace Period, all inspection-related activities should occur prior to the expiration of the 150-day period to ensure immunity from FCC inspections.
When the inspector is satisfied that the station is in compliance and has taken all required remedial actions, MDCD, upon approval of the inspector, will send a Certification of Compliance to the station and to the Field Office of the FCC. Upon receipt of the MDCD certification of compliance, the FCC's Field Office will not conduct a routine random inspection of the station for a period of three years from the date of certification. However, during this three-year period, the station will still be subject to the following FCC inspections: (1) public file inspections relating to political broadcasting or EEO materials; (2) inspections concerning tower safety; and (3) complaint-driven inspections. Also, the MDCD/FCC Technical Station Inspection does not insulate the station from FCC compliance problems that may later arise during the course of an FCC inspection, complaint proceeding or upon renewal of the station's license. The fact that a subsequently discovered regulatory deficiency or violation was not discovered and disclosed to the station by the inspector as part of or in connection with an MDCD/FCC Technical Station Inspection does not mean that the station may not later be held accountable by the FCC for that deficiency or violation. The inspection is not a substitute for FCC legal advice.
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