In telecommunications, a customer-premises equipment or customer-provided equipment (CPE) is any terminal and associated equipment located at a subscriber’s premises and connected with a carrier’s telecommunication circuit at the demarcation point (“demarc”). The demarc is a point established in a building or complex to separate customer equipment from the equipment located in either the distribution infrastructure or central office of the communications service provider.
CPE generally refers to devices such as telephones, routers, network switches, residential gateways (RG), set-top boxes, fixed mobile convergence products, home networking adapters and Internet access gateways that enable consumers to access communications service providers’ services and distribute them around their house via a local area network (LAN).
A CPE can be an active equipment, as the ones mentioned above or a passive equipment such as analogue-telephone-adapters or xDSL-splitters.
Included are key telephone systems and most private branch exchanges. Excluded from CPE are overvoltage protection equipment and pay telephones. Other types of materials that are necessary for the delivery of the telecommunication service, but are not defined as equipment, such as manuals and cable packages, and cable adapters are instead referred to as CPE-peripherals.
CPE can refer to devices purchased by the subscriber, or to those provided by the operator or service provider.