Comcast wires
Shannon Wink/Billy Penn

Comcast will bolt this box full of their wires onto your house unless you say ‘no’

More than 100 Comcast technicians are combing through Philly daily looking to replace and hide wires per its franchise agreement with the city.

If anybody on your street has Comcast, look for one of these notices on your door soon.

Comcast warning
Anna Orso/Billy Penn

Comcast has a team of 150 technicians combing the city daily for wires that need to be moved or replaced. In some cases, they are drilling into the facades of customers’ houses and installing boxes to store wires. The project is part of Comcast’s new franchise agreement with Philadelphia, according to representatives from the communications giant and the city.

Mike Dunn, deputy communications director for the mayor’s office, said Comcast must undertake “a street-by-street inspection” to identify and repair any violations of the National Electric Safety Code and the National Electric Code. The city identified code compliance issues before the franchise agreement was finalized, Dunn said.

The work started in December 2015, just after the agreement was signed. Comcast is mandated to finish by June 30, 2017. The company described the purpose of the work as mainly aesthetic but added that moving wires to the inside can create a safer environment and reduce corrosion on the wires.

Here’s what the boxes look like, on houses in Fishtown:

Cable box Comcast
Shannon Wink/Billy Penn
Cable box wires comcast
Shannon Wink/Billy Penn

And here’s what Comcast did with wiring on a house in Fishtown that opted out of the box:

Comcast wires
Shannon Wink/Billy Penn

The black wiring is new. The older wiring had been painted to match the house.

Comcast wire
Shannon Wink/Billy Penn

A day or two before technicians canvass a given street, they’ll place the notice seen above on the doors of every house — Comcast customer or not. Customers then have the choice to opt out. Otherwise, the Comcast technicians replace or move the wires as needed.

A Comcast representative said the company may “clean up” some wires attached to homes of non-customers but would not install a box on any of their houses.

This will clearly be a long process, but Comcast had no estimate for how much work had been completed or how common it was for wires to be replaced or hidden. The representative said so far “a decent amount” had been cleaned up.

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