Fiberoptic install questions

Within the next few weeks, I will be getting 1 Gbps down/up fiberoptic internet to the house. This is now provided through the regional power association. Finally, will be able to get rid of ATT for internet. I get a max 25 down, 5 up from ATT. Before they come to install I want to educate myself, so if they have questions for me, I may be able to make an intelligent decision re: locations of the ONT and modem. Sometimes installers do what is easiest not what is best. So, I’m hoping y’all can help me.

1 - In general, is the optical network terminal on the outside of the house (sorta like the ATT box on the ouside)? Fiberoptic to the ONT box and the ONT is connected to a modern in utility room via ethernet?

2 - Or, does the fiberoptic go all the way to the modem in my utility room?

If 1 is true then I’m OK.

If 2 is true then I’ll have a problem. When we did a bonus room build upstairs, the contractor blocked the access to the ethernet/internet wiring panel to my utility room. They can’t get a fiberoptic cable to that panel. So, if I have to put the modem in another room, I’ll have to go all wifi. Anyone, doing this?

I know all of this depends on what my provider/installer says at the time of install. Again, I’m trying to be prepared. I know I’ll most probably have more questions. Thanks to all.

I don’t know if it’s the only way to do it - but my Verizon Fios uses # 2 - fiber goes right to the modem.

That said, I cannot imagine how access to the utility room is “blocked” - what did the contractor do?

I also cannot imagine you would want to use WiFi for your main computer - surely there is some way to run Ethernet to the room where your main computer is located.

Power line networking may be your friend if you wind up in a difficult situation. It’s not optimal, but if you can get the adapters on the same circuit you can get good speeds.

Personally, I’m going to guess that an installer is going to try to take the easiest route - but also that they’re going to have to demarcate the wire somewhere on your building. So you’ll be able to remedy any issues in the future if you can’t sort things out with the installer.

If the installer can’t put the modem where it needs to go, it may be useful to call a handyman type person and find out whether they can get you into the panel area to connect things. It may involve destroying and replacing part of a wall, but that may not actually be that expensive in the grand scheme of things - depending on what sorts of stuff needs to be done. Or maybe they could figure out how to re-route some wiring so that your current Ethernet wiring can plug into wherever the cable modem needs to go.

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That would be nuts for 1Gb internet

Most likely it is the internet provider installer’s job to let you pick one primary location in your home and to get an Ethernet connection working to the device of your choice. Let him find a way.

They built a room above the utility room. When the did they smashed HVAC duct work over the hole where all the ethernet cable goes down to the panel. Then the HVAC installers put other piping drain line etc over the other end of the smashed in duct work effectively blocking off access to the panel box. You couldn’t even angle-in a wire. You’d have to see it to believe it and see exactly what I’m talking about. Then I’d get more upset about the contractor’s work.

In my experience, the fiberoptic cable is run from the outside substation directly inside – in my case, to a point in my cellar where all of my ethernet drops were home run to. Keep in mind that if you’re also using internet phone the new install will include a battery backup module, to ensure phone service in an emergency.

It might be possible to mount the ONT outside and bridge the connection to your old network, presumably coaxial cable, but coax is limited to 300mb, so it’s not a good idea. Instead, I would just help the installer figure out how/where to run the cable into your utility room. Mine had to figure out how to get inside a masonry back wall; there are, as you might imagine, many possibilities, even if the old conduit was blocked by that HVAC install.

This is a picture of the inside of the panel in the utility room. This was taken in 2014 when we moved in and was working of setting it up. The blue Cat5 cables were in the panel without jacks. The Cat5 cables were dropped into 5 rooms (2 outlets in each). I added the patch panel and connected the Cat5 to it. However, when I went to plug into the ethernet jack in my office, I realized that the electricians terminated the Cat5 in each outlet to phone jacks (RJ11) instead of ethernet jacks (RJ45). The contractor said that the electricians didn’t have the right equipment to install ethernet jacks. Oh, well. Sorry, to get on tangent. Anyway, see the black coax cable? There are 2. I don’t think I need them. Can I cut them in the attic and use 1 to tape to fiberoptic cable in the attic and pull through to the box? Can this be done without damaging the fiberoptic cable?

I’m thinking that would be an alternative.

Coming to the house from the outside are 2 ethernet cables and 2 coax cables. The ethernet cables are currently connected to the ATT box on the outside.

My gut is that it could be done, yes. But best to enlist the ideas of the installer too. Again, he or she might have another idea of how to snake something into your utility room, or some intermediate spot since you mentioned you have ethernet cables all the way to the outside.

Thanks. I appreciate the advice from you and the others. It really helps me to work through alternatives and may prevent me from making a rash decision.

Glad you’re doing your homework – the installer will be of course on a timetable and may probably gravitate towards the “fastest” solution (e.g, in my case, drilling through a convenient window frame) which as we all know may not be the best.

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As somebody who’s done installations for things like cable and satellite dishes, I can say that the installers’ job is to do what you want within realistic expectations. If the panel where your Ethernet runs from is basically completely sealed off the installer will just get you a jack in some room that connects one device - which doesn’t sound at all like what OP wants.

The power line stuff gets to 200mbps based on tests I’ve seen, which would be (a) much more reliable and (b) typically faster than wi-fi. Especially if we’re considering that there’s presumably a whole house wired to this box. If powerline can get the wiring into the junction box the Ethernet distributes from, that would be useful.

Still not gigabit, but it’s 8x faster than what he has now.

Agree on being realistic… but no way is 200 Mbps a realistic use of Gigabit ethernet.

Worst case it should be possible to run ethernet through the house somehow to get to the room where he is located.

Paying for 1000 Mbps and settling for 200 Mbps would be nonsensical.

The installer has time limits but he doesn’t want to lose the sale for the Internet Provider. This will be his one and only time of maximum leverage with the internet provider - they have a live customer who will be paying for years for Gigabit ethernet service.

If this were me, I would simply tell the installer: This is the room where I need Gigabit service 1,000 Mbps. Make it happen. If Installer says no, ask them to call a supervisor. Really it’s not the original poster’s problem - it’s the internet provider’s problem on an initial install. If he makes it clear to them that the deal is off if they cannot get true 1000 Mbs to where he wants it, they will make it happen.

It would definitely suck to get 1/5 of the speed one is entitled to. :slight_smile:

I’m just thinking that if this is a “whole house ethernet” sort of situation, $50 worth of adapters might be preferable in the short term to the cost of a contractor having to move the entire junction box.

As somebody who’s done installation, getting the customer one jack is usually the easy part, as there’s almost always an exterior wall to work with. Getting connected to all of their existing internal wiring can sometimes be the challenge though - especially if somebody sealed in the junction box. :slight_smile:

And thus let him use his one and only maximum leverage now to make that clear - “This is my office. I need 1,000 Mbps here or else there is no point to the service.”

I agree it is the internet provider’s obligation ONLY to get the 1,000 Mbps service to that one office. Beyond that, it’s the customer’s problem. Probably from there it would be appropriate for him to research Mesh networks or similar ways to get Wifi in the whole home with as little loss of speed as possible.

But getting 1,000 Mbps to the identified key location is the internet provider’s problem - they will find a way if the customer makes it clear those are the terms of the deal.

Good reminder why I don’t let others do my data wiring. What I would do in this case is run the fiber to a place in the house with one of the Ethernet drops and feed the data back over that to the closet. Router/switch there can then feed to the rest of the house.

I’ve lived in three houses over the past 20 years and have had no problem running cables where I wanted. Sometimes you have to get creative. In one house we had the modem/router in an upstairs bedroom/office. Wanted a drop to the family room for the new WiFi devices. Ran up to the attic and over to a closet, through the closet to another closet below then into the unfinished basement. Across the basement and back up to the family room.

I was spent some time in the attic last night and was able to confirm that there is no access to the panel. However there is a small area (about 4 inches) of the wall header that is accessible. I’m fairly certain that this would put the drop into the wall cavity just to the right of the panel. This should solve my problem. The installer would need a right angle off-set drill adapter.

Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions. You’ve given me some ideas about implementing Plan-B, if needed. You’ve also got me to thinking about internet/ethernet/wifi speeds and I may start another topic on that. Will definitely post an update once the install is finished.

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I finally got fiberoptic internet installed to my home. Despite my admonition that the fiberoptic cable couldn’t be dropped into the panel in my utility room, the tech was able to do so. So this was an unexpected good outcome.

I am getting 940 down/up to my ethernet wired Mac mini in my office and to the Apple TVs. I get 350-400 on my office MacBook Air via wifi and 500 when I move it to the living room or dining room. My wife gets 500-600 by wifi on her office iMac. So, all is good.

Thanks to everyone who gave me advice on this project. I learned quite a bit.


Your little adventure makes me hesitant to get Verizon Fios, even though it is available in my area.