City Council Dishes It Out to Satellite TV

Satellite TV dishes partially banned in Boston. ( photo)

The Boston City Council approved an ordinance to ban new satellite dish installations on street-facing building walls, unless it is the only way to get a signal. It also orders removal of dishes not being used. Satellite TV dishes, dominated by DirecTV and Dish Network, will still be allowed on rooftops or the side/rear of buildings.

Mayor Menino has said he will sign the new regulation, sponsored by City Councilor Sal LaMattina who represents East Boston, Charlestown and the North End. The ordinance was initially targeted at Eastie locations, but will apply city-wide.

Federal law requires cities and towns to allow satellite TV dish installations as an alternative to cable TV. A deal to allow for voluntary compliance between the satellite companies and LaMattina previously fell through.

The industry association for Satellite TV broadcasters issued a statement objecting to the new ordinance, saying, “It is hard to understand why a satellite dish is any more ‘aesthetically unpleasing’ than the jumbled mess of coaxial cable TV wires that stream down the front of buildings and homes throughout cities, or the multitude of air-conditioning boxes that stick out of windows.”