MSTV Presses for Recall of 'Trucker TV' Coordination Notices

The Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) filed an Emergency Request asking the FCC to issue an order directing Clarity Media Systems LLC to cease and desist from sending Pre-Coordination Notices (PCNs) to BAS licensees, and to notify any broadcast licensee to which a PCN has been sent that the request is withdrawn.

Clarity is looking to license a multichannel video service (aka "Trucker TV") to truckers and RV owners. The service would use BAS 2 GHz frequencies. The PCNs were sent to various BAS licensees requesting pre-coordination in connection with Clarity's Community Antenna Relay Service (CARS) applications.

MSTV pointed out that the service described in the PCNs--a fixed, direct-to-consumer, multichannel programming distribution (MVPD) service--does not qualify for a CARS license. Furthermore, Clarity is not eligible to hold a CARS license because it is not a cable operator or owner. MSTV said, "Simply put, as a relay service, a CARS station license does not authorize the delivery of an MVPD service directly to consumers."

MSTV further argued that Clarity's proposed MVPD service was so fundamentally different from CARS that any application in connection with the service would, in effect, be a Petition for Rulemaking to authorize a new MVPD service in the 2 GHz band. MSTV also said it was inappropriate for Clarity to proceed with pre-coordination as though it were preparing to file for a CARS license, when actually a revision of FCC rules was being sought.

MSTV said that engineering resources were already strained by the relocation of BAS facilities to the new 2 GHz band plan. The argument was made that if broadcasters had to devote time to study likely interference from Clarity's MVPD service, it would distract them from the BAS relocation process. MSTV said that it should be allowed to submit PCNs to stations only after it first demonstrates good cause by filing a Petition for Rulemaking to introduce a new MVPD service into the 2025-2110 MHz spectrum used primarily for newsgathering operations.

Should Clarity succeed in obtaining authorization for an MVPD service in the 2 GHz BAS band, it may encourage Clarity or other companies to start new MVPD services in other BAS bands. For more information on the "Trucker TV" proposal, see articles in the March 22, 2006 and Dec. 9, 2005 issues of RF Report.