FCC Protects Condo Rooftop Dish

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A community association cannot prevent installation of a direct-broadcast satellite dish on a condo
owner's roof, the Federal Communications Commission said Monday.

The Woodmere Townhome Association in Darien, Ill., argued that it had
authority to forbid Philip Wojcikewicz from installing a dish on the roof of his
home, an interior unit of a four-townhouse block.

The association said because other residents have rights to access his roof
and because the roofs are maintained and insured by the association, the top
of his building was therefore a common area bound by the group's antenna-placement restrictions.

But the FCC said roofs or exterior walls may restricted only when tenants are
not granted exclusive or permanent possession. In this case the property
Wojcikewicz owned included the roof.

The FCC also said its previous rulings also debunk the notion that access
rights of neighbors or other third parties nullify an owners' usage rights.

A 1996 FCC rule gives property owners and tenants the right to install DBS
dishes on balconies, walls and other property within their exclusive use or
control.

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