On-Premises Wiring

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In telecommunication, on-premises wiring is customer-owned communications transmission lines. It is also called customer premises wiring (CPW).[1] The transmission lines can be metallic (copper) or optical fiber, and may be installed within or between buildings.

Premises wiring may consist of horizontal wiring, vertical wiring, and backbone wiring. It may extend from the point-of-entry to user work areas. Any type of communications or information technology wiring will be considered premises wiring, including telephone, computer/data, intercom, closed-circuit television, etc.

Premises networks are wired worldwide, across every industry, in both small and large scale applications. Any type or number of topologies may be used -- star, bus, ring, etc.


The ownership of on-premises wiring varies between jurisdictions: It depends where the demarcation point falls. This is significant because ownership determines responsibility for maintenance and repair.

In the US and Canada, most premises wiring is owned by the customer. There will generally be a demarcation point "as close to the poles" as possible. For many installations, this will be a network interface device mounted on the outside of the building. In some cases, it will be a minimum-point-of-entry (MPOE) location inside the building.

In the UK, the demarcation point is in the wall jack, and hence most of the on-premise wiring is the property of the telco.

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