Customer premises equipment

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Customer premises equipment (CPE) is a term commonly used by the employees of a telecommunications service provider to refer to any equipment that is located on the premises of their customers. The term is typically used to refer to equipment that is owned and operated by the customer (or a third party) and not by the service provider, but this is not a hard and fast rule.

Another class of customer premises-based equipment is termination equipment that the service provider places on the customer premises. For example, a carrier or MSO may deploy a SONET multiplexer on a customer's premises and use it to deliver multiple services to the customer. The equipment is owned, managed, and operated by the service provider, so it is justifiably viewed as network equipment. However, it is located on the customer premises. Some would (confusingly) refer to this as CPE. Some might use the term demarc. A few may use the term customer premises network equipment (CPNE). There is no consistently used term for this class of equipment.