Static reception for satellite dish bill

PHILADELPHIA - September 21, 2011

It says a newly proposed law would require customers to get their satellite dishes inspected and possibly removed. But the councilman who proposed the bill says that's not exactly the case.

He says the onus is on the COMPANIES to remove the dishes - and while he's making changes to the bill to make THAT clear, the debate rages on.

You can see many satellite TV dishes on the front facades of homes throughout some Philadelphia neighborhoods.

"We are in every single neighborhood throughout the city of Philadelphia," says Zy Richardson of Satellite Broadcasting and Communications. "And we're proud to say we are the cheapest product and we offer a product that's affordable to families across the city."

But some say the dishes are a BIG eyesore. And they say you can tell by the disconnected wires that some dishes aren't even providing any services

Philadelphia City Councilman Darrell Clarke says there could be as many as 3,000 disconnected dishes in his district alone. Clarke says his amended bill would require the satellite TV COMPANIES to remove those dead dishes.

It would also require the companies to put the dishes on the roof, sides or rear of homes in Philadelphia when installing them.

"If in fact you can't do that," said Clarke, "then simply camouflaging it by color code or some other method, we think that's reasonable."

But the satellite TV industry says the bill would cause UNREASONABLE cost and delay in allowing them to serve their customers. They say that makes the bill ILLEGAL. The industry is fighting it.

"If this bill passes, it's going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars for taxpayers as well as our customers," said Richardson. "And no other city or town in the country has passed this because they know it's an ordinance that breaks the law."

Councilman Clarke hopes to have the amended bill back before council in the next couple weeks.

We invite YOU to weigh in on this issue. We've started a conversation on my Facebook page so we hope you'll join in and post your comments. You can do so by clicking on this link.

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