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MSTV Opposes Clarity Experimental License Application

If you thought the wireless cable system for truck stops using all 2 GHz broadcast ENG spectrum I nicknamed “Trucker TV” when I first reported on it three years ago was no longer a threat to ENG operations, think again.

Even though the FCC’s Media Bureau determined the Clarity Media Systems LLC operation of the “Trucker TV” using 2 GHz broadcast auxiliary service (BAS) spectrum was not in the public interest, the company has filed an FCC application for an experimental license to use that spectrum at truck stops.

The Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) has filed a petition to deny Clarity Media Systems’ application. “Clarity’s experimental license request is a transparent attempt to make an end-run on the Media Bureau’s waiver decision.” MSTV points out, “Clarity’s proposed experiment would be fruitless, as Clarity cannot legally resurrect its business plan. One of the reasons for the Denial order was the interference Clarity’s operations would cause to the public’s service rendered by broadcasters’ ENG operations as well as by others (e.g. NASA). Clarity has failed to address these technical concerns.”

In addition to the interference issues, the Media Bureau noted that Clarity has other alternatives to the 2 GHz spectrum. I’ve described these in previous “Trucker TV” articles.

MSTV requested that if the FCC Office of Engineering and Technology decided to grant Clarity’s experimental license application, it should contain a condition requiring Clarity to test the use of other spectrum alternatives.

In evaluating Clarity’s application, MSTV notes that Clarity stated in its filing that “both Clarity and the broadcast community agree that 8 dB is the minimum D/U value for ENG systems,” in spite of demonstrations by MSTV that TSB-10-F is the applicable interference standard. “An 8 dB D/U interference standard does not account for the de-rating of receive equipment and thus is an inappropriately lax standard,” MSTV said in its petition.

MSTV also notes that Clarity has not provided sufficient information on its antenna system, such as the proposed elevation and azimuth patterns, to allow others to calculate the undesired signal strength and thus the amount of interference that the system would create.

Additional technical information, including an engineering statement from Ross J. Heide, a professional engineer at Cohen, Dippel and Everist P.C. is included in the MSTV petition to deny.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.