MSTV Reiterates Support for Denial of Trucker TV Applications by FCC
August 31, 2007
The Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) in a letter to the FCC reiterated its support for the Media Bureau’s denial of the 257 applications and related waiver requests from Clarity Media System for its “Trucker TV” system that would occupy all of the 2 GHz broadcast auxiliary service channels that are used by broadcasters for live news coverage, and also for distribution of programming by cable companies to distant head-ends.
As previously discussed in RF Report, the FCC deferred action on Clarity’s Application for Review while discussing other spectrum options, including use of unlicensed spectrum at 5 GHz with Clarity. Clarity dismissed the use of the 5 GHz U-NII band, declaring the 5 GHz band “incompatible” with its service only six days after the FCC granted the 45-day extension for filing comments on Clarity’s application. MSTV pointed out that it wouldn’t be possible to do any meaningful testing within that span of time.
The MSTV’s letter said “Clarity also fails to cite a reasonable justification for its refusal to pursue the 5 GHz band. It explains, for example, the ‘operation [in the CARS band] on even a secondary basis provides some regulatory protection against future spectrum uses,’ in contrast to the unlicensed U-NII band.”
The letter concluded, “If Clarity does not wish to accept the risks of unlicensed operation at 5 GHz, or obtain equipment compatible with that band, it is free to pursue access to licensed spectrum through lawful means.”
The MSTV consensus was that Clarity could participate in the auctioning of the 700 MHz set for this January, perhaps through a partnership arrangement with another spectrum seeker. The MSTV letter concluded that Clarity should not be pushing for a waiver request so as to avoid “the costs of these business decisions.”
The MSTV letter to the FCC expanded on earlier comments from broadcasters and cable companies that Clarity’s proposed operation is not suitable for use on these bands and refutes Clarity’s claim that its systems would be able to protect ENG operations.
The letter scoffed at Clarity’s proposed use of a hotline telephone solution to resolving interference issues, as a broadcaster’s news vehicle could be miles from one of the Trucker TV sites when interference occurred and might not be readily able to identify a Clarity transmitter as the interference source. MSTV felt that by the time that Clarity was identified as causing the problem and a shutdown requested the news event could already be ended.