In most neighborhoods these days, you’ll find rows of satellite dishes sprouting from house roofs and balconies, and large clusters on multiple-unit condos and apartment buildings.
It’s called “dish blight” and a lot of city councils and residents find the dishes ugly, and want them gone. Already, cities like Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago plan to ban satellite companies from installing dishes at the front of a home, or anywhere it can be seen from the street, unless there’s no other place on the property you can get a signal. And even more importantly, cities want to require companies to remove old satellite dishes when the subscription is canceled and more cities are expected to follow suit.
But the satellite industry argues that targeting dishes is costly and discriminatory. They point out that when a homeowner installs satellite TV, they own the dish and if they shut off the service, it’s up to the homeowner to remove the dish, or leave it for the next homeowner to deal with. They also can’t understand why satellite dishes are considered more ugly than, say, clotheslines, electrical wires and air conditioners sticking out of windows.
The battle over dish blight rages on. In the meantime, people are turning old satellite dishes into everything from bird baths, to planters, to fish ponds and one enterprising do-it-yourselfer even used one as a roof for his llama feeder.