I know someone that lives in the zone, within walking distance of the observatory. FM radio reception is pretty bad for the stations you can get, which is why you either end up listening to AM most of the time (which he says sucks) or develop a love for internet radio, where you can stream FM stations from all over the world. And yes, cable TV is pretty much essential. But it's a bit more extreme than most people would think, since there are even restrictions where he is on stuff like cordless landline phones, wireless routers, and certain types of toys, unless your home is properly shielded to keep the signals inside it.
But those that live there are used to it all and that's where they choose to live. The alternative would be to ban both homes and businesses within the zone, kicking people out and taking over their properties with eminent domain laws. I think the compromise they decided on is much better for all parties involved.
And research might just offer them more options in the future:http://www.ece.vt.ed...ar10/propagation.php
And there is some cell phone service and wireless internet access, at least in some parts of a ski resort located within the zone.http://www.snowshoem...internet-access.aspx