SBE asks commission to reject Clarity Media request for Trucker TV review

The Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) urged the FCC June 21 to reject an application for review of an earlier decision to deny waivers to commission rules Clarity Media Systems sought that would have allowed it to operate a private direct-to-subscriber television system known as Trucker TV from Flying J truck stops.

On May 3, the Media Bureau denied Clarity Media’s original request for a series of rule waivers to use most of the TV Broadcast Auxiliary Services (BAS) band (2025MHz to 2110MHz) for the private TV system from about 250 truck stops around the country. About a month later, Clarity Media asked the commission to review and reverse its decision to deny the waivers. Another organization, the KlaasKids Foundation, asked for a review of the decision as well.

The SBE’s filing last week urged the commission to reject the new Clarity Media request or to stand by the Media Bureau’s original decision.

In its filing, the society questioned the Clarity Media claim that BAS licensees need only to call to have a Trucker TV system at a given truck stop shutdown in the event that a BAS licensee needed to go live from the area to prevent harmful interference to the ENG shot. Even if Clarity Media responded in a timely fashion to such a request, other truck stops and recreational vehicle parks seeking “me too” waivers to run similar systems may not shutdown to prevent interference to BAS licensees.

The SBE also faulted the latest Clarity Media request for its new assertion that the proposed private TV system was needed because long-haul drivers are “credit challenged” and thus unable to finance a DBS system for their truck to receive satellite television. In a previous filing, the SBE argued that Clarity Media’s proposed system was unneeded because DBS receive antennas for trucks and RVs were readily available. The society even included sales literature for such systems with the earlier filing. In its June filing, the society said Clarity Media failed to offer “credible and independent documentation” of its credit-challenged argument.

The SBE also rejected the KlaasKids Foundation assertion that the waivers should be granted so Clarity Media could set up an Amber Alert channel to help disseminate information on missing children. The society told the commission that Clarity Media’s Trucker TV would be programmed nationally via satellite, not locally. It also said that the KlassKids Foundation “totally misses the point” by seeming to not recognize that any Clarity Media missing child channel would be one of many.

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