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Industry History

The demarc extension is governed by the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction) and part 68 of the FCC’s regulations by which cabling and edge Customer Premises Equipment (eCPE) which interfaces to the Local Access Provider Network, also referred to as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

The CPE governed includes edge Customer Premises Equipment (eCPE) such as routers, DSU/CSUs, modems and in-segment equipment such as extenders/repeaters as well as the cabling and media converters used to connect such equipment to the local access provider's network at the demarcation point.

1984
Although Part 68 came into effect in 1975, it was not until the 1984 Deregulation of the Bell companies that the establishing of a demarcation point came to be. However, like most deregulation efforts, that of the demarc extension contains several drawbacks. One of the key drawbacks is the loss of the standardization that was maintained by the local access providers prior to deregulations and the confusion over responsibility for the demarc extension.

1990
In August 1990, the FCC amended the definition of the demarcation point due in part to the industry confusion over the location(s) within multi-unit premises or commercial buildings. This amendment ensured that the demarcation point would be near the point where the cabling entered the customer’s premises, know as the Minimum Point of Entry (MPOE). This enacted the 12 inch rule which states:

The demarcation point may be located within 12 inches of the point at which the wiring enters the customer’s premises.

However, this still allowed local access providers reasonable and nondiscriminatory standard operating practices for the location of the demarcation point.

1997
Thus in June 1997, the FCC clarified the wording of the 12 inch rule by adding the following: "or as near thereto as practicable." This minimized the location issues for the demarcation point within the premises.

Today
The lack of national leadership for standardization, poor installation practices and confusion over demarc extension responsibilities in the market have negatively impacted the industry. This has subsequently cause delayed service deliveries, unwarranted revisits and excessive finger pointing for the timely connection and critical access of Internet and communication services for facilities throughout the United States.

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