Launch Voluntary Public Inspection File system

For the LPFM community, we announce the launch of the new Voluntary Public Inspection File (VPIF) system, powered by REC Networks.  

When LPFM was created in 2000, it was the decision by the FCC that the service would not be required to keep a public inspection file.  Despite not having a requirement, some stations did elect to keep such a file. LPFM stations are also not required to file ownership and equal employment opportunity (EEO) reports, yet some make the extra efforts to make these filings.  These are LPFM stations that are demonstrating that they are a stakeholder in the community they serve. 

Over the past few years, the FCC has converted full-service broadcast stations, cable systems and Sirius/XM to an online public inspection file system.  Since LPFM stations are not required to by FCC rules to maintain a public file, the service has been denied access to the system to even voluntarily participate in maintaining a public inspection file.

To address the desire expressed to REC by some LPFM stations, we have sponsored the development of a new online system, which to members of the public has much of the same look and feel of the FCC’s Public File system.  Using VPIF, authorized LPFM personnel can update the station’s board of directors, add additional information such as main studio address, website and contact e-mail for the general public as well as being able to upload PDF documents on various subjects including political files, issues lists and third-party fundraising reports.  (REC notes that for the station’s political & third-party fundraising files, they must also keep a copy of these records at their station’s control point in order to comply with the FCC rules.  Updating board members through VPIF does not absolve an LPFM station’s obligation to file Form 316 or 315 for a transfer of control when appropriate). 

All LPFM stations have been “pre-loaded” into VPIF, even if they are not fully participating.  Information for non-participating stations consists of data from the FCC databases. Participating stations will be able to enhance that information and upload their station logo which will also carry over to REC’s fccdata.org.  Participating and non-participating stations can link directly to their VPIF page by using the URL https://lpfm.ws/[facilityID] or https://lpfm.ws/[Callsign].  For example, for KWSV-LP, Simi Valley, you can use either https://lpfm.ws/197314 or https://lpfm.ws/KWSV-LP. Page presentation is fairly generic and any mention of REC is not done until “below the fold”.

LPFM stations may participate by visiting https://lpfm.ws, entering their facility ID and clicking on [First Time VPIF Station].  Access must be requested by a board member or contact representative for an LPFM station.  Those who have used REC professional services in the past may be able to obtain instant access by providing your FRN password during the signup process. Those who are not previous REC clients may authenticate by e-mail address on FCC records, FRN password (for manual verification) or by providing evidence of the requester’s involvement with the station. This strict enrollment guideline assures the integrity of the system. 

Full documentation for VPIF’s “backstage” functions for participating stations can be found at:
https://recnet.com/vpif-help

Information about full-service public inspection files can be found in the FCC publication, The Public and Broadcasting, available at:
https://www.fcc.gov/media/radio/public-and-broadcasting#PUBLICINSPECTIONFILE

There is no charge for LPFM stations to participate in VPIF. Stations are welcome to help support REC Networks to help offset the costs of the system.  We look forward to LPFM stations coming on board and connecting to their community on a more level playing field to their full-service counterparts.

Date: 
Monday, November 19, 2018
Systems affected: 
FCCdata.org denpahoso.com
Voluntary Public File System
REC Website Content
Issue type: 
Enhancement