The Belarus Council of Ministers adopted a resolution prohibiting the installation of satellite antennas on buildings in the country.
Now every installation of a new dish antenna for receiving satellite TV will be subject to authorisation by local authorities. According to a new ruling by the Council of Ministers on May 16, 2013, individuals and legal entities will be prohibited from installing satellite equipment.
The new regulation on satellite reception seems to be aimed at Poland-based Belsat TV, which opposes the Belarus government. “Yet again the authorities have made an attempt to put brakes on increasing a number of satellite TV users, including Belsat’s viewers. According to government directive No 384, unauthorized installations of satellite dishes are to be prohibited,” the broadcaster wrote on its website.
“Fortunately, the order concerns only residents of apartment buildings and says nothing about the equipment that has been installed before,” Belsat TV Director Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy stressed.
“Lots of our viewers live in private houses; moreover, it is still unknown if they are going to do something with the installed dishes. After the law has been implemented we’ll sum up the situation and respond properly. At least, our audience is impressive enough (regular audience for Belsat TV, i.e. persons watching us daily or some times a week, accounts for 44.5% of all Belsat viewers); furthermore, webcast is provided as well,” the director said on the website.
Over half (53%) of satellite TV viewers state that they watch Belsat TV programs, the latest public opinion survey carried out by Zerkalo-Info, an independent centre for sociological surveys, showed. A number of viewers possessing a satellite dish equals to approximately 1.76 million and accounts for 22% of adult television audience in Belarus.
The new regulation require people who want to mount a satellite dish to apply to the local authorities for permission and prepare project documentation.
“Mounting engineering equipment on the roofs and facades of apartment blocks shall be permitted only after getting permission from the local executive and regulatory body in compliance with the project documentation,” the ruling says.
“An inspection report containing information about the technical state of the facade or the roof shall be made after inspection of the facade (the outside wall of the residential and/or non-residential building) or the roof of the apartment block (depending on the place of mounting the engineering equipment).”
The local authorities have a month to permit or forbid mounting a satellite dish. If permission is obtained, a project documentation development contractor submits the project to the local executive and regulatory body for consideration.
An individual receives the project and signs a contract on mounting the equipment. Unauthorised installation of engineering equipment is forbidden. “It’s worth noting that apart from being long and tiring, the process of receiving permission is rather expensive,” noted the Charter97 website.