What Does MPOE Stand For, And How Is It Different From The Demarcation Point?

MPOE Diagram

When you run a business or own a commercial building that uses telecommunication services, you need to understand the ins and outs of the wires and cables that are running to your buildings. Knowing how your telecommunication services work can help you run your business smoothly, especially if you are experiencing downtime from one of your providers. 

To be more knowledgeable about your services, it’s a good idea to understand basic terminology and acronyms used in the telecommunications industry. Today, we’re going to learn about MPOE. 

MPOE stands for minimum point of entry, and it refers to the location where a cable or wire crosses property lines or enters a building. MPOE is a term used most often in telecommunications, so you’ll have an MPOE for services such as internet and phone. 

Learn more below about where this point is located and how it is different from the demarcation point (demarc) that you’ll find in every wired building. 

Where is the MPOE? 

MPOE is the physical location where a cable crosses the boundary into a building or property, so it might happen in the air or underground where the wire crosses your property lines. Depending on how your building and property lines are laid out, the MPOE might also be where the cable enters your building. This is more common in commercial multi-unit buildings than it is in single-unit buildings. 

Sometimes the MPOE can be confused with the demarcation point in a building, so let’s break down the difference between those two next. 

MPOE vs Demarcation Point: What’s the Difference? 

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the MPOE and the demarcation point can occur at the same place, but even if they do occur at the same place, they are not one and the same. 

Because the MPOE and the demarcation point in a building are similar, it’s easy to confuse the two, especially because their location can be the same. 

To differentiate between the MPOE and the demarcation point, it’s important to understand where the demarcation point in a building is. The demarcation point is where the service provider and property owner exchange responsibility. Often, this does not occur at the MPOE. Rather, it occurs just inside a building’s walls or in the basement, for example. 

So when comparing the two, the MPOE is the actual physical location where the service provider’s cables enter your building or property, and this is often before the wires reach your building. The demarcation point, on the other hand, is the electrical point where cables switch from being the responsibility of the service provider to being the responsibility of the property owner. Often, this happens inside the building. 

Why Do I Need To Know Where the MPOE Is? 

It’s important to understand the difference between the demarcation point and the MPOE, particularly if something along the cables needs to be repaired or if you are having an issue with one of your lines. 

Someone unfamiliar with these terms might assume they are responsible for cables as soon as they enter their property line. In most cases though, the demarcation point is located within the property line, so there is a buffer zone past the property line where the service provider is still responsible for the cable. 

MPOE vs Demarc

Finding the MPOE in Your Building 

Finding the minimum point of entry in your building should be relatively simple, as it is just the physical location where the cables enter your property. Because this can occur at an outdoor property line or where the cables enter your building, however, it’s best to contact your service provider if you have any questions about where the MPOE in your building is. 

When you contact your service provider regarding your MPOE and your demarcation point, they are required by law to respond with the information regarding the location within ten business days. If you make a request to learn more about the demarcation point and don’t hear anything after ten business days, you can assume that the demarcation point is at the MPOE. However, you should never assume this without first inquiring with your service provider. 

One instance where determining the MPOE may be confusing is in the case of multi unit buildings, such as residential apartment complexes, campuses, or shopping centers. In these types of situations, the service provider usually decides whether the MPOE will be located where the wires cross the property line or where the wires enter the building. In these types of buildings, the MPOE is also often found at the demarcation point. In fact, if you own one of these types of buildings and the MPOE is not located at the demarcation point, you can request that it be relocated. 

This differs from residential buildings, where the MPOE and demarcation point are not often found together but should be within 12 inches of each other. 

MPOE for Commercial Properties

If you run a business or own a commercial property, you should know about the network wiring on your property and who is responsible for them. Knowing what the MPOE is and where it is in relation to your demarcation point will make your life easier in the event that something happens to one of your network cables.

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The Network Installers is a low voltage electrical contractor that provides data cabling, network installation, fiberoptic installation, and WIFI installation. We've been serving commercial customers since 2008 with exceptional quality, consistency, and professionalism.


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