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FCC Computer Update Disrupted Public File Links

But the problem that developed before Thanksgiving has now been fixed

The FCC experienced a technical glitch just prior to Thanksgiving that knocked out hyperlinks to its Online Public Inspection File system on some radio station websites.

Service was fully restored by the afternoon of Dec. 1, according to the FCC.

What happened, exactly?

The OPIF is a way for listeners to view their favorite station’s licensing information and community involvement paperwork. Radio broadcasters are required to post a link to their online Public Inspection File on their own websites.

But a computer update to the OPIF portal apparently took the public file hyperlink offline for an unknown number of stations, according to the FCC.

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Users were getting “temporary bad gateway” errors because the online hyperlinks were not working. But public file materials were still available during the outage through the FCC’s website via the online public inspection search page. There were no compliance issues caused by the computer hiccup, the FCC said.

The commission regularly performs updates to its OPIF online database, and the most recent system update created the issue. “The public file information remained online at all times,” the FCC said, “with only the links at some radio stations’ websites unavailable.”

(Some quick thinking by several state broadcast associations, including the Alabama Broadcasters Association, resulted in some stations updating their URLs using all capital letters to remedy the situation. But radio stations need to make no further updates and all links to the FCC’s OPIF should be fully functional, according to the commission.)

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