NCTA on inside wiring: Cut the sheet


Cable operators should not be required to provide overbuilders with
alternative access points to multichannel and broadband wiring inside
multiple-dwelling units and office buildings when the wires are behind sheet
rock walls, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association told federal

The NCTA wants the Federal Appeals Court in Washington, D.C., to relax a
provision in Federal Communications Commission inside-wiring rules that requires
cable operators to provide competitors with other options for access when the
traditional "demarcation point" between cable-controlled wires and the
building's wires is physically inaccessible.

The demarcation point typically is 12 inches outside of where the cable wire
enters a subscriber's dwelling unit. The NCTA agreed that wiring embedded in
brick, metal conduit, or cinder blocks may be too costly or impossible to
access, but sheet rock can be easily cut into and repaired.

The FCC, however, agreed with RCN Corp. that landlords might be reluctant to
allow walls to be damaged in any way. The trade group said the commission
ignored evidence to the contrary.