I'm trying to improve my curb appeal and I have several utility panels on the side of my house in full view, including cables running up and down the outside wall. Those were installed before I purchased the house. I can identify the electric, and the FIOS. I can see 2 other panels and I'm not 100% sure what they are.

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I would venture a guess that the grey box is an old telephone service? And I have no clue what the little black box is.

Now I would like to eliminate all I can. I use the electricity and FIOS. I don't need anything else. For telephone I exclusively use cell phones and FIOS includes phone service anyway. I don't see anybody going back to the old copper lines.

How can I get rid of this panel entirely, and also how can I get rid of the landline coming from the pole? Do I need to call the utility or can I ask an electrician?

Same question about the little black box, if someone can actually figure out what this is?

2 Answers 2


You can't get rid of the telephone box in the middle. The FIOS connection provides telephone access to the FIOS panel and then the lines running from the FIOS panel to the telephone panel are used to connect all of the phones in your home to the FIOS telephone connection.

As for what you can do to make the situation better, I might plant a small tree, maybe a dogwood, that still leaves the window exposed below for security. I would also replace all the connections that are going in and around that window with a single 1-2" conduit and reroute all the lines through that (the phone wires going into the top of the window really bother me). And finally, I would get that box (electrical outlet?) over the vent properly attached.

  • I like the conduit idea, I would run it from the top of the house where the street wires are coming, hide it behind the radon conduit and then feed the panels from that. Then I would run a second conduit from the panels to the inside of the house. As far as what looks like an outlet, it could be one, but I don't have a need for this. I might take it out entirely. Now, I can't access the utility part of the panel so I can't disconnect/reconnect when I install the conduit?
    – md1337
    Sep 30, 2011 at 16:07
  • @md1337, technically the boxes are the demarcation point, and the utility company is responsible for the wires coming up to the boxes from the street. Within the boxes, the separation between the customer vs utility co side may only be secured by a simple bolt, so it's often the case that you can get in there to rewire things.
    – BMitch
    Sep 30, 2011 at 16:43

The small black box may be the exterior electronic reader end of your water meter. Trace the wire into the house and if it connects to your water meter then you probably can't do much about that box. You may be able to have it relocated by your water utility.

The center grey box appears to be for phone lines and the one on the right looks like cable TV. It should be safe to open both boxes to verify the wiring. You should see a "customer access" screw on the right side of each. I wouldn't recommend removing ether of them unless you don't plan on selling any time soon. A potential buyer may well want broad band internet (DSL or cable modem). I know it would be a deal breaker for me not to have high speed. ;-)

You may have better luck hiding the boxes and lines by painting them to match the brick or with placement of plants or wall hangings. Finally, you may also consider using some cable ties to clean up the clutter without actually removing anything. Just bundle the wires together when they run parallel. Be aware that this could cause interference in the data lines though.

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