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CAI Applauds New FCC Rule Allowing Central Antennas for Condo, Homeowner Associations

11/1/1998  -  Alexandria, VA

The Federal Communications Commission affirmed the power of community associations to enforce certain restrictions on satellite and other antennas in an Order on Reconsideration released on Sept. 25 to clarify the 1996 Over-the-Air Reception Devices (OTARD) rule. The FCC adopted most elements of the Community Associations Institute's central antenna proposal among 18 issues in the Order, a victory for 205,000 condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations across the country.

The FCC rejected arguments by telecommunications providers that community associations be prohibited from enforcing any antenna restrictions, even reasonable safety restrictions. Under the Order, associations that choose to install a central antenna serving all residents may prohibit individual installations of antennas providing the same service, a proposal CAI has advocated before the FCC for the past two years.

"We are pleased to see that the FCC supports the right of community associations to enforce reasonable antenna restrictions," said Richard S. Ekimoto Esq., chairman of CAI's Government and Public Affairs Council and a member of the Institute's Telecommunications Advisory Group. "We applaud the FCC's recent action and are committed to helping community associations nationwide understand and comply with all OTARD rulings."

Other issues of concern to community associations addressed in the Order include affirmation that community associations may:

  • retain reasonable restrictions on satellite, television broadcast and multi-point distribution service (MDS) antennas;
  • adopt rules to protect safety objectives without having to prove that these safety objectives are "compelling";
  • enforce safety rules; and
  • enforce certain antenna painting requirements. The FCC also ruled that local courts may still have jurisdiction over antenna cases along with the Commission. Parts of this rule will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

CAI has launched a public education campaign to advise community associations about all OTARD provisions. A summary of this ruling and its impact on community associations is available in three ways:

  • call CAI's FaxBack service at 703/703-836-6904 and request document 515
  • visit the Institute's web site and view these documents at
  • call CAI's Government and Public Affairs department at 703/548-8600, ext. 270, for more information.

The Community Associations Institute is a nonprofit association created in 1973 to educate and represent the nation's 205,000 community associations—condominium associations, homeowner associations and cooperatives. CAI members include homeowners, associations and related professionals and service providers.

Phone: 703-970-9235