Landlords find upside in dish ruling

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Landlords see a silver lining in a court ruling preserves renters' right to install satellite dishes against objections of building owners The FCC imposed its latest antenna access regulations in 1998 after Congress ordered the agency to promote competitive alternatives to broadcast and cable TV.

Building owners claimed the rules, which allows renters to install antennas and small dishes in areas under their control such as windows and balconies, were an unconstitutional taking of property. Matthew Ames, outside counsel for the Building Owners and Managers Association, said the decision may hurt the FCC in a separate case requiring similar protections for wireless and other forms of high-speed data services.

"The ruling makes clear the intent of the law was to help only TV `viewers,'" Ames said. "The FCC's authority comes into question when it comes to other services."
- Bill McConnell

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