Federal Communications Commission -- August 1996
Placement of Direct Broadcast Satellite,
As Directed by Congress in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules concerning restrictions on viewers’ ability to receive video programming signals from direct broadcast satellites (DBS), multichannel multipoint distribution (wireless cable) providers (MMDS), and television broadcast stations (TVBS)
programming from any of these services requires use of an antenna, and the
installation, maintenance or use of these antennas may be restricted by local
governments or community associations.
These restrictions have included such provisions as requirements for
permits or prior approval, and requirements that a viewer plants trees around
the antenna to screen it from view, as well as absolute bans on all
antennas. In passing this new law,
Congress believed that local restrictions were preventing viewers from choosing
DBS, MMDS, or TVBS because of the additional burdens that the restrictions
imposed. To implement this legislation,
The new rule
prohibits restrictions that impair the installation, maintenance, or use of
antennas used to receive video programming.
These antennas include DBS satellite dishes that are less than one meter
(39”) in diameter (larger in
The Telecommunications Act and this new rule are designed to prom9ote competition among video programming services providers, enhance consumer choice, and assure wide access to communications. The rule allows local governments and homeowners’ association to enforce restrictions that do not impair reception of these signals as well as restrictions needed for safety or historic preservation. The rule balances these public concerns with an individual’s desire to receive video programming. The commission has asked for further comment on whether additional rules should apply to situation where a viewer want to install an antenna on property owned by a landlord or on common property controlled by a condominium or homeowners’ association.
This fact sheet
provides general answers to questions that may arise about implementation of
the rule. For further information, call
the Federal Communications Commission at