I have noticed that telephone and cable television cabling now enters the house via an external cabinate, much like a mini version of an electricity meter cabinate.
I've finally found out why it's required.
Underground ducting can potentially carry gas so the building regs require a clear seperation of any ducting, even short runs in the garden & the interior of the house. These cabinates are designed to allow any gas carried along a cable duct to escape safely into the atmosphere.
We had an incident in Dublin recently where a gas pipe had cracked in the road due to minor subsidance. The natural gas leaked slowly into the ground and escaped via an old utility duct that carried cables directly into a house. (it wasn't specfied wheather these were power or communications cables but I would suspect that they were telephone cables)
Apparently the ducting had been installed to terminate externally i.e. the duct would stop at ground level and the telephone cable would continue up the wall.
However, the home owner had extended the premisis and the duct ended up under the floor!
Gas filled the house via the duct and there was a huge exposion badly damaging the house and injuring people.
They had noticed a mild smell of gas but as they didn't actually have a gas connection in the house or on the premisis didn't think much of it!
That's the reason for all of these very formalised regulations regarding how ducting is terminated at a house. Hence Eircom's external access points etc.