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SBCA Wins Consumer Friendly FCC Ruling

Alexandria, Va., Sept. 2, 2004 – The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) today announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided yesterday in favor of consumers and upheld the provisions of the Over the Air Reception Devises (OTARD) rule. The FCC created the OTARD rule to guarantee all Americans have access to affordable and reliable communications services – the OTARD rule was mandated by Congress as part of the 1996 Telecommunications Act.

“SBCA applauds the Commission for putting consumers first,” said Richard DalBello, president SBCA. “The OTARD rule is critical for allowing consumers a choice when it comes to their multi-channel video services and SBCA is pleased that the FCC continues to recognize the importance of direct broadcast satellite (DBS) in the competitive marketplace.”

Yesterday’s decision was in response to a petition for declaratory ruling filed by homeowners Michael and Alexandra Pinter asking the FCC to affirm their right to keep a DBS antenna on their property. SBCA filed a reply with the FCC earlier this year supporting the Pinters and asking that their homeowner’s rights be protected.
 
The OTARD rule ensures that renters, people in multi-dwelling units, and homeowners in housing communities are afforded multi-channel video choices just as those people living in single-family homes. The rule specifically applies to the location and installation of DBS antennas and prohibits local governments, landlords, community associations, or similar groups from restricting a resident from installing and using an antenna covered under the OTARD rule. DBS antennas fall under this rule.

SBCA has been a long time proponent of OTARD and over the years has made several filings with the Commission to uphold the rule.  
 
A copy of yesterday’s ruling and the specifics of the OTARD rule can be found at http://www.fcc.gov or www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html.
 
The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, audio, data, music, voice, interactive, and broadband services. The SBCA is composed of DBS, broadband, satellite radio, and other satellite service providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies that make up the satellite services industry. Additional information can be found at www.sbca.com.