Originally Posted by JHBrandt
Ah - so it is a retirement community.
Well it's not a retirement community like Arizona's Sun City, and a fair number of the residents do work. It's a structured community for people who are over the age of 65 and no longer want to have the burden of home ownership. A fair portion of that is assisted living and skilled nursing. My mom lives in the assisted living facility.
Ownership of rental property certainly has its privileges but they are not absolute. Tenants do have some rights. In this case, there is a longstanding FCC rule (since 1996) that prevents landlords from imposing blanket "no antennas" or "no dishes" rules on their tenants.
IME a lot of local governments and homeowner's associations have all but decimated that rule. No matter, by mom is in the assisted living wing, and because of that medical rules begin to come into play. In practical terms, it's like ordering private TV service for a hospital room or an office in a corporate office building. Landlord-tenant law simply doesn't apply in places like that. Major tenants, such as the one that got the Sears Tower to be renamed the Willis Tower for free can get special consideration. But a little old lady who's not quite right in the head...probably not.
Now, your mom may not be interested in satellite, and even if she is, the rule may not do her any good (she may not even have a south-facing wall where a dish could go). But a landlord can't just tell all their tenants "no dishes, period." If they do, that's illegal and you should complain to the FCC. (Follow the website link for details on filing a complaint.)
Even if she did have a south facing window, she wouldn't go for a satellite dish in the window, nor would a satellite installer go for an install like that. And because there's no porch in the deal, even landlord-tenant law wouldn't apply to the external structure. But again it's all moot because the residents themselves aren't that tech savvy and tend to dislike the "ugly" antennas.
BTW, I've generally considered a community antenna TV (CATV) system to refer to a "community" such as a small town on the deep fringe of a city's TV towers, and a master antenna TV (MATV) system to refer to a common antenna for an apartment or condo complex. I suppose a "spread-out" retirement community as you describe is sort of a gray area and either term could be used.
Yeah, all the textbooks depict CATV being only for towns that are separated from the big city by a mountain. In practice on the Great Plains, the curvature of the earth functions just like a very wide but not very tall mountain. While the norm is often 50' or taller towers at each house, there are some enterprising communities in deep fringe areas that put a shared antenna on top of the town's water tower as an alternative to all those individual towers. Once more it's often a matter of aesthetics.
The plot of land I'm referring to is well over 100 acres, with dozens of separate buildings. A community in itself. I agree that it's a gray area. Since I've never seen MATV used to describe anything larger than a system for a single building, CATV seemed to be the better match.