Clarity Media Requests 2 GHz Waiver for Trucker TV

Remember "Trucker TV"? It is a system developed by Clarity Media Systems that would use the entire 2 GHz ENG band to broadcast live television to truckers, RV owners and others parked at truck stops around the country. Clarity attempted to license its system under Cable Television Relay Service (CARS) rules but, as opponents pointed out, the "Trucker TV" service does not qualify for a CARS license.

Last week, the FCC released a public notice seeking comment on a waiver request by Clarity that, if approved, would allow "Trucker TV" to operate in spite of non-compliance with CARS rules.

According to the commission's public notice, Clarity wants to establish transmitters at or near Frazier Park, Calif.; North Salt Lake and Ogden, Utah; Rapid City, S.D.; Blacksburg, S.C.; Waco, Texas; Carmel Church, Va.; Fairview, Tenn.; Graham, N.C.; and St. Lucie, Fla. It notes that Flying J, a wholly owned subsidiary of Clarity Media, owns and operates more than 165 full service travel plazas.

Clarity requested permission from the FCC to operate a multichannel digital TV distribution system on a secondary, non-interfering basis in the 2025-2110 MHz band. The systems would operate on fourteen 6 MHz-wide channels in the BAS band, with an effective radiated power of 5 W. According to the public notice, Clarity plans to use four degrees of electrical antenna down-tilt to reduce EIRP at the horizon to 2.5 W. The FCC said Clarity's application, which so far is not available electronically, outlines emergency shutdown procedures for operations at the travel plazas in the event of a conflict with BAS services. It also said Clarity has notified all BAS licensees within 83 kilometers (51 miles) of each proposed transmit location.

The specific waiver requested includes Section 78.1 ("Purpose"), 78.11 ("Permissible Service"), 78.18(a)(6) ("Frequency Assignments"), 78.101 ("Power Limitations"), 78.103(a) ("Emissions and Emission Limitations") and 78.107 ("Equipment and Installation"). The FCC said that Clarity Media would also require a waiver of Section 78.13 ("Eligibility for License") to operate this multichannel digital television distribution system.

Comments in this proceeding are due on or before Sept. 22, 2006. Reply comments are due on or before Oct. 23, 2006.