SBE files new comments in opposition to Trucker TV

Long-haul truckers and recreational vehicle drivers are “neither an unserved or underserved market” in terms of TV coverage, and therefore the FCC should not grant waivers to Clarity Media Systems that would allow it to transmit a Community Area Relay Service (CARS) at various truck stop locations, the Society of Broadcast Engineers (SBE) said in reply comments to a commission Notice of Inquiry.

At issue is whether the Clarity system should be granted waivers that would allow Trucker TV base stations to operate in the 2025MHz to 2110MHz TV Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) band used for electronic newsgathering (ENG).

In the reply comments, filed Dec. 29, 2006, the SBE told the commission that Clarity’s assertion that truckers and RVs can’t receive multichannel video program distribution (MVPD) at travel plazas or on the road because it’s not practical to install direct broadcast satellite (DBS) receiving equipment is inaccurate. As part of its reply comments, the society attached several pages of product literature describing various DBS systems marketed to truckers and RV owners.

The SBE also told the commission that other sources of multichannel video are also likely to be available at truck stops. One in particular, the Idle Aire system, “brings shore-based heating and cooling to the cabs of trucks parked at a truck stop,” the filing said. MVPD and broadband Internet service are also part of the system.

The society filing also contended that because programming available on the proposed Clarity system would not originate locally at each truck plaza, but instead at a remote network center, there would be no “public interest and public benefit justifications for a Trucker TV video distribution service in the 2 GHz TV BAS band.”

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