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SBCA Wants Philly toDish Out Some Love

Washington — The Satellite Broadcasting & Communications
Association wants the Federal Communications
Commission to tell the City of Brotherly Love that
it needs to work up more love for satellite dishes.

The SBCA said last week it has petitioned the FCC for
a declaratory ruling that the Philadelphia ordinance
restricting the installation of satellite dishes is out of
bounds, calling it “among the most overbroad regulations
of satellite dishes in history.”

According to the petition,
under the new city
ordinance residents of
single-family homes can’t
put a dish in their yards
—”specifically” between
the facades of their homes
and the street — even on
balconies or patios and no
matter how expensive the
alternative may be. Multifamily
homes are permitted
to put dishes on patios and

“We are hopeful that the FCC will support our petition
and declare Philadelphia’s ordinance a violation,
setting the way for satellite television’s continued competition
against cable in the video services market in
Philadelphia and Pennsylvania,” SBCA public policy
director Lisa McCabe said, “and setting valuable precedent
across the country.”

The SBCA wants the FCC to rule that the ordinance
violates its Over-the-Air Reception Devices (“OTARD”)
rule, which “prohibits restrictions that impair the installation,
maintenance or use of antennas used to receive
video programming.”

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.