Most people likely do not give a second thought to the manner in which utilities reach their homes. Water, gas, electricity, cable, and internet service must all make their way from source to faucet, stove, light fixture, television, and entertainment device. A complex infrastructure system exists both below ground in pipes and conduits and above ground on utility poles. In cities, utility poles within generic utility easements are often adorned with a multitude of wires – of varying dimensions, levels, types, and ownership – constantly delivering electricity and information. At the core of this delivery system is the inconvenient fact that, in the journey from point A to point B, the pipe or wire must cross a vast parcel network of differentiated ownership often composed of owners who either do not want the intrusion or want to be fairly compensated for sharing their property with the intrusion. And in the famous “bundle of rights” that is property, “the right to exclude” gives the owner the prerogative to protest any invasion.
Exceeding the Scope of an Easement: “Expanded Use” Within a Single Cable,
83 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol83/iss3/9