Errors on FCCdata.org
Updated November 4, 2022
Every so often, we receive a phone call or e-mail in regards to the content at FCCdata.org. Sometimes, people think we run the TV station and they will complain about something they saw or bad reception, etc. We also get contacted by stations and listeners to correct information on the site. Much of the content on FCCdata.org is generated by the various government regulators. REC Networks, the operator of FCCdata mines this data and presents it on the FCCdata.org website in a manner whcih we hope you find easier to understand.
Before contacting REC regarding something you see on FCCdata.org, here are some of the most frequent inquiries and what to do specific to each country:
United States (AM, FM, TV, SW broadcast stations)
How data is collected
For FM stations, REC operates its own system called eLMS (Enhanced Licenseing Management System). eLMS was designed for two reasons. First, it was to address the many issues related to the shortcomings of the raw data provided by the FCC's own database called LMS and second, it is meant to provide a more "real time" look at application activity at the FCC. On average, whenever an FM application is filed at the FCC or when FCC staff takes an action on an FM application, it is normally reflected in FCCdata within 20 minutes of the application or action. The information in eLMS is also updated by a daily update received by the FCC through their LMS raw data. The LMS data will update eLMS records to reflect which records are current and which are archived (no longer in effect), point out any application activity that may have been missed by eLMS as well as make some other "santity checks" on the eLMS data. eLMS also makes use of the LMS facility data for managing the existence of FM facilities. eLMS also reads the daily FCC Applications public notice to determine which applications are accepted for filing. REC also receives a daily update of Radio Data System (RDS) Program Identification (PI) codes from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).
For AM stations, REC receives a raw data feed 5 days per week from the FCC's Centralized Database System (CDBS). CDBS controls the AM experience on FCCdata for engineering related applications. AM applications and actions not involving engineering such as assignments, transfers and renewals are processed through the same eLMS system that is used for FM applications.
For TV stations, REC uses the daily raw feed from LMS. Unlike FM, TV information in LMS is fairly reliable. Like with AM, non-engineering applications are processed through eLMS.
International Broadcast Stations (shortwave)
Shortwave facilities (called International Broadcast Stations) are handled by the FCC's International Bureau as opposed to the Media Bureau. These facilities are inventoried in the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS). Due to the infrequent activity of shortwave stations, IBFS data is updated in FCC data only on Monday evenings. Frequency schedules and target areas are a manual process at REC using a program that reads the data from the HD Coordination Committee (HFCC). This information is updated twice per year and sometimes we get lazy and do not update the information, especially if there are bigger issues brewing.
On FM listings, FCCdata makes real time calls to RadioDNS based on the PI code or the HD Radio facility ID number. The system will "discover" the station's metadata and display the information in the station's Station Information (SI) XML file. This includes the station name, logos, website links and links to streams. FCCdata also searches for the Programme Information (PI) XML file that is used for program schedules. Not all stations provide all of these data items.
As this data is not maintained by REC Networks, any inaccuracies (such as incorrect station name or logo) should not be reported to REC. The data that is on FCCdata in the "RadioDNS" section is completely under the control of the station's owner and/or their upstream service provider that hosts their station's RadioDNS information.
"Warning" and "Error" messages
Due to the newness of RadioDNS support in FCCdata as well as the inconsistencies of how the SI XML files are formatted by some broadcast owners, you may sometimes encounter a "Warning" message in FCCdata. If a "Warning" message is encountered, it is appropriate to contact REC to advise of this issue. Please make sure that you include the entire URL from the address bar on the top of your browser. Without that, we cannot recreate the problem in order to fix the issue.
One feature of RadioDNS is the ability to include a station's internet stream. This is used by connected car receivers to revert listeners to the audio stream when the station leaves the FM service area. REC will provide links to those audio streams where provided. Clicking on a link will launch a pop-up window which includes an audio player, the station's logo and basic meta data. For stations with a program schedule (PI file), the window will be expanded to include the PI data. Audio streaming is not available on FCCdata for mobile browsers. The system has been tested with MP3 and AAC streams that can be played on the browser's built in audio player. Sometimes a stream may not play because: (1) the stream is down, (2) the streaming URL has been mistyped or otherwise is not valid or (3) the streaming audio format is not supported by your browser's player or (4) the stream is not SSL (secure) and most browers will no longer allow mixed content. It may still play fine on a consumer radio, but not always on a web browser. These are issues with the broadcaster and should not be reported to REC.
Missing or broken images
Sometimes, stations do not provide images in their metadata file. This defeats some of the purpose of RadioDNS.
In some cases, a broken image is showing on FCCdata because the image is not being hosted on a secure (SSL) server and most web browsers, such as Google Chrome do not allow for a mixed of secure and non-secure content on the same page. This is not an issue to report to REC. This is due to the decision by the station to host their images on a non-SSL website and the stupid decisions by Google to block images from non-SSL sites on SSL served pages like FCCdata.
Incorrect information in the header (callsign, frequency, mailing address, etc.)
The information at the top of the screen comes directly from the FCC's LMS facility tables. Shortwave stations come from IBFS. Applications that were originally filed in the old CDBS application system prior to September 2019 (for FM engineering) and October 2020 (for assignments and transfers of control) may not always properly "flow" from CDBS to LMS and may delay the listing of the proper information in LMS, which in turn, displays in the header of FCCdata. Going forward, with all of these types of applications being filed in LMS, we will see a better update of this data. Stations are reminded to file an administrative update in LMS whenever a mailing address changes to assure that the FCC (and FCCdata) has the most recent information. Corrections to this data is not handled by REC. If the data is incorrect, please check the LMS Public View website at the FCC to see how it shows up there. if it is incorrect there, you may need to contact the FCC's Audio Division.
Non-USA facilities on the FCC Broadcast tab
With the conversion to LMS, the FCC has changed the way that it displays data from stations in other countries (such as Canada and Mexico for FM and TV records). LMS treats these facilities more like "allotments" and as a result, you may see a nearly blank record. FCCdata currently does not support allotments on either domestic or international records. This behavior is normal and does not need to be reported. More infromation about a non-US facility can probably be obtained by conducting a search in Canada or Mexico.
Recent application filed, not showing up
Data for FM is normally received in real-time through our eLMS system. At times when there's a breakdown (either on REC's end or the FCC's end), there may be a delay in the application showing up. But when things work right, FM applications show in FCCdata within 20 minutes of being filed at the FCC (longer when the application is filed during the off-hours). AM and TV engineering applications are not received in real-time but on the daily CDBS and LMS raw data feeds. The FCC is responsible for this data. If engineering data for an FM station appears incorrect in FCCdata, you may contact REC so we can validate the data, fix any coding issues and then reattempt to parse the documents to update the data.
The station's name, slogan or format has changed
For issues within the RadioDNS section of the result, see the RadioDNS information above.
Except in Japan and for LPFM, REC does not track slogans or monikers for stations. Also, we do not track entertainment format except for LPFM stations. Changes in station names and formats on LPFM stations can be requested by the LPFM station management by using myLPFM.
The station's logo graphic is missing or is incorrect
For issues within the RadioDNS section of the result, see the RadioDNS information above.
In addition to RadioDNS, REC attempts to retrieve logo graphics from the FCC's Online Public Inspection File (OPIF).
LPFM stations do not use OPIF. Logos for these stations are maintained by REC Networks. REC uses the logo that we hae loaded for the station at LPFM.us. If your station's logo is incorrect on FCCdata.org, full service stations should access the FCC's Public File system and upload a new logo; and for LPFM stations, please use myLPFM to update your new logo. Due to cached browsers, it may take time before the new logo is visible on all browsers. To do a full refresh of your browser, hold down the [ctrl] key and click on the refresh button on the browser.
Translator not rebroadcasting the station shown on FCCdata
In the past, eLMS has depended on application activity in order to update this information. In the past if a translator wanted to change their primary station, they would send an informal letter to the FCC to advise of the change. These changes were never reflected in the LMS raw data. LMS now has the ability for stations to notify the FCC of changes in primary stations. eLMS does pick up those records and attempts to update the record to reflect the primary station. This is information that cannot be manually changed by REC.
Effective Radiated Power (ERP) and Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT) on LPFM records are wrong or showing strange data
When the FCC converted FM from CDBS to LMS, LPFM got the short end of the stick. There have been many times when the application itself had bad data so for eLMS, it was difficult to parse the application. This whole thing started because unlike full-service and FM translator applications, LPFM applications do not manually enter in ERP or HAAT. It's done in the background by LMS. To address this issue, on enginerring applications, eLMS will recalculate the location's HAAT and determine the ERP. This may result in the ERP showing for a pending application varying between what is displayed in FCCdata and what is on the application. This is normal behavior. Once the application is granted, eLMS does read the construction permit or license authorization document to get the approved ERP.
Contour maps not showing or not accurate
Applications filed in LMS will go through a contour map generation process as it flows through our eLMS system. Sometimes, these maps will show an incorrect contour. If this happens, please contact REC Networks and we will re-send the application through the parser in an effort to correct the application. For non-current FM applications, the system will attempt to build a contour map based on the engineering data from that archived application. Sometimes, our system will mess up and may reflect a contour without a directional pattern or show a much smaller pattern. If you encounter something like this, please contact REC with the address bar information and we can attempt to re-push the application through eLMS.
REC periodically runs a report that will generate these maps based on API information stored at the FCC. The FCC does not promptly update the API when new AM engineering applications are filed. Because of the delay of REC running a check of AM contours and the FCC providing the contour data for AM stations, some newer applications will not show contour maps in FCCdata. REC cannot provide support on AM contours that are not available.
For TV records, REC does not currently cache contour data. instead, we run a query to the FCC's Contour API on every request. This may result in a very slow response time, especially for DTS facilities that have multiple contours in multiple locations.
Can you contacting the owner of the station for us?
The only information we have is what you see in FCCdata.org. Virtually all station records have a phone number.
I don't like that you are showing my name on your website. Please take that down.
Yes, we have received requests like this. Data from FCC applications that display on FCCdata such as contact names and board members as well as data that appears on other REC websites that show names on ownership reports are a matter of public record. We will not accommodate such requests to remove or redact names from public records displayed on any site operated by REC Networks.
The station you show does not exist
If that station is silent for more than 10 days, then the station is required to contact the FCC to advise of being silent and if they intend to be silent for more than 30 days, they need to file a special temporary authority.
The FM station shows as digital but I can't find HD (or) A station running HD is not showing as HD on FCCdata
REC uses information from CDBS and LMS to determine whether or not a station has filed a digital notification with the FCC. FM stations operating HD do not need to notify the FCC in advance of their operation, only within 10 days of it happening. We are aware that some stations may be running HD but have not reported. In addition, with RadioDNS data, a station may show in the RadioDNS section as operating HD, but they are not really running HD. We are noticing this, especially with iHeart Media stations. REC cannot modify this information.
United States (Amateur)
Amateur radio data is updated daily (Tuesday~Sunday) from the FCC's Universal Licensing System raw data. In mid 2021, the FCC made changes that impacted updates from posting. We ran a complete refresh of the amateur data on September 25, 2021. We expect the system to properly update the information. We are unable to manually update this data. Information about Logbook of the World (LoTW) participation comes from data provided by the ARRL and is updated every Monday. Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) data is also updated each Monday.
REC receives a weekly feed from Industry Canada. It's not perfect but it does work.
The station is showing in US records as Class A when it shows in Canada records as A1 (or any service class combination)
Look near the top of the page to see which tab is highlighted in yellow:
- USA (AM/FM/TV) - You are looking at data from the US FCC. The foreign data in the FCC database is based on service classes recognized under international agreement. Even though Industry Canada may have assigned the station with a Class A1 facility, they may have negotiated a Class A facility with the United States. Clicking the Canada tab and re-searching would be your best bet.
- Canada - This information is completely managed by Industry Canada. You will need to contact them.
The address, call sign, location, etc. is incorrect
A representative of the station should contact Industry Canada for assistance.
Mexico data is updated through a script that is manually executed. We normally run these updates a couple of times throughout the year. The information comes from spreadsheets and KML files provided by the IFT. Sometimes this data, especially the KML files are unpredictable. While we do our best with these files, there may be incorrect information in the IFT's public tables. We are unable to make manual changes to this data as such changes would only be overwritten on the next update.
REC receives a spreadsheet from ComReg which is then parsed and loaded into the database. This spreadsheet only shows RTE stations and has not been updated since 2015. The BAI does not make similar information available about private stations. More information about Irish radio should be available at the BAI's website. REC will not add any stations nor will we correct any RTE stations. A complaint may get us to check with ComReg to see if a new file is available, but that's about it.
Like with Ireland, REC receives a spreadsheet from Ofcom that has the technical information that can then be parsed into the database. Unlike Ireland, BBC and private stations are in the spreadsheet. REC will not add or correct any of the stations. Ofcom should do that and make a new file available for us.
FCCdata also attempts to discover RadioDNS on UK FM stations. Please see the RadioDNS section above for more information.
Australia's data is received daily from the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). This is a completely automated process. If there is an issue with incorrect data on Australian facilities, someone reponsible for the broadcast facility should contact the ACMA. REC can not make any manual fixes to ACMA data on our site.
Japan's data on FCCdata is completely under REC's control. Information is normally updated about once every 3 to 6 months as time permits between other projects and work. We may not be able to catch every time there is a slogan change even though unlike US radio, this does not happen very often in Japanese radio. If you notice any changes that we have not caught up with, feel free to contact REC. Please provide the call sign and the changed information. If possible, please provide both the romaji (English letters) and the kana (Japanese characters) for any names. Please correspond with REC in English if possible. Also, for new or changed facilities, if you have a link to the license record and/or the information about the change at the MIC website, please also provide those links.
It's also important to realize that MIC (Japan's FCC) does not release directional pattern tabulations for any station. Therefore, the maps in FCCdata and Denpahoso assume a non-directional facility. We have no way of changing that it this time.
If you have a situation above that qualifies for handling by REC or you are reporting some kind of website functional issue that affects more than one facility in the same country, please go to Contact REC to let us know about it!
Thank you for using FCCdata.org!