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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Satellite Consumers Score A Win in Omaha - City Counsel Will Not
Pursue Registration Fee

Omaha, Nebraska, September 15, 2009 -- After hearing from outraged local residents, the Omaha City Council today voted 6-0 not to move forward a proposal to require new and existing satellite television subscribers to pay a $50 registration fee and impose inspection requirements on all satellite TV installations in Omaha, including a renewal requirement every three years. 

“The Council’s proposal violated federal law,” SBCA Executive Director Joe Widoff said. “It flew in the face of a very clear rule that prohibits the government from impairing the ability of people to install and use over-the-air reception devices. If it had passed, this would have been struck down and created a major budget headache for Omaha.” 

The rule – known as the Over-the-Air Reception Devices Rule - preempts any state and local laws as well as community association rules that impair installation, maintenance or use of a protected antenna by: unreasonably delaying or preventing installation, maintenance or use; unreasonably increasing the cost of installation, maintenance, or use; or precluding reception of an acceptable quality signal.1

Widoff added, “This is a big win for satellite television’s continued competition against cable in the video services market in Omaha and sets valuable precedent across the country.”

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association is the national trade organization representing all segments of the consumer satellite industry. It is committed to creating value added programs to improve the long term growth and sustainability of our member companies while continuing the industry’s leadership in protecting the rights of consumers and technician to access the best in satellite delivered services. Additional information can be found at www.sbca.org.

1 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.4000.

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