SBE letter disputes report on Trucker TV demonstrations

A letter sent on behalf of the Society of Broadcast Engineers to the Acting Chief of the FCC’s Office of Engineering & Technology disputes “facts and claims in major portions” of Clarity Broadcasting Systems’ six month progress report regarding its Trucker TV system use in Frazier Park, CA, North Salt Lake City, UT, and Ogden, UT.

Clarity is seeking to launch Trucker TV, a service that would use omni-directional base stations operating at 2025MHz to 2110MHz in 14 6MHz-wide digitally modulated channels to deliver 70 television channels to over-the-road truckers. (See: “SBE objects to proposed ‘Trucker TV’ system” for more background.)

The March 14 letter from Dane Ericksen, chairman of the SBE FCC Liaison Committee, to Julius Knapp, objected to several aspects of the progress report, including:

  • The characterization of the program as a test. According to the SBE, it was a demonstration program. To qualify as a test, Clarity “should have included detailed engineering measurements” of undesired signal levels from the system at nearby ENG receive-only sites. The letter also claimed that Clarity denied SBE members the ability to observe its tests and that the test in Frazier Park, CA, didn’t comply with authorized coordinates or elevation.
  • Clarity didn’t “fully coordinate” its Frazier Park demonstration with the SBE.
  • Clarity did not allow broadcast representatives to verify power levels used. That fact taken together with a lack of transmitter power measurements in the six-month report means the SBE and the OET cannot “draw meaningful engineering conclusions” based on the demonstrations.
  • The report does not disclose “massive interference” caused to ENG operations by Trucker TV. Clarity did not disclose that ENG truck transmissions from a truck stop plaza along Interstate 5 shut down Trucker TV. The letter pointed out that ENG trucks often use the site to originate reports about driving conditions, especially during winter.

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