If in 1999 Comcast was to be believed, then every time my whole development experienced a blackout, it was because a motorist along highway 5 or 209 crashed into a cable box alongside the highway on a rainy or foggy/tuley fog night -- what an UNLUCKY box, poor thing. Sick of that lame excuse, I looked at a map, and hollered or curtly replied that that CO ("Central Office") box was 4 miles away. It was insane that a box would be alongside a busy freway, strikeable, and be one that was responsible for a development of 3,000 homes built and 2,000 more on the way. It was preposterous, especially given that these outtages seemed to be every few months -- for a car crash reason. When the outtage was not a box-strike or overheating failure,I think they were just pissed that I used Linux and flat-out refused to install their fracking spyware CD on my machines or even route my machines through a windoze box. Yeh, they made keyloggers (which I only suspect, cannot prove) for Win and Mac, but not for Linux. I even commented that AT&T and Comcast started out with a Unix history and as a matter of PRIDE they should have on stafff at least 3 or 4 UNIX/Linux-savvey people on staff. I even had to argue with them that ALL THEY NEEDED TO DO WAS TO PING my router, not be privileged to a persistent conversational link with my machine, sniffing my network, forcing me to block their probes.
So, maybe one reason for all those boxes is to make sure there is redundancy to sniff a home no matter how much bandwidth a greedy neighbor is sucking down, such as those playing Half-Life and other tournament games of the day, hahaha
Sometimes, phone and cablecos can be deeply invasive and evasive and intensive and endtensive pains in the rear.