Philadelphia Fighting Satellite Providers Over Ugly Dishes

Last fall, the Philadelphia City Council passed a bill that would remove unused satellite dishes and pretty up any new ones that were bolted to the sides and roofs of city buildings. But that law is having some trouble becoming a reality after a group representing satellite TV providers filed a petition with the FCC.

The bill would prevent dishes from being placed at the front of a home unless doing otherwise would reduce the signal or cost too much for the homeowner. Additionally, new dishes would have to match the color of the home and single-family homes that currently have dishes would be required to notify the city.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association argues that these rules violate a 1996 FCC rule that only limits placement of satellite dishes in cases of of public safety or historic preservation.

Saying that the City of Brotherly Love (and home of the Phillies, the greatest baseball team on any planet) is using “aesthetic concerns as a pretext to restrict consumers’ access to satellite television,” the satellite providers claim that these regulations would “increase the costs of doing business in the city and would ultimately fall on the users.”

But a rep for the City Council member behind the bill fires back, “We simply ask that they don’t do in our community what they wouldn’t do in theirs.”

What goes unmentioned in a lot of this back and forth is that Philadelphia is home to Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, and yet nothing is being done about the wild web of Comcast cables criss-crossing streets and snaking around corners all over this fair city.

Satellite-TV group: City’s jamming us []

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