Getting "Fiber" internet, how exactly might they wire my home up?
February 2, 2018 12:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm leasing a brand new home, and I have a question about how Cox (my provider) might be planning on wiring things up. Specifically, I'm looking for how the internal network itself is setup.

The service is "Gigablast" and it's Fiber to the Premises.

Throughout the home there are Cat 6/6E drops in places you'd expect a TV or phone. Outside underneath the electric meter, there is panel where the unterminated ethernet cables end a in bundle. There is also a att Fiber connection here (sorry dudes, you burned me by rebranding your DSL to also be called UVerse, so I went with Cox), so I guess this is where Cox is going to terminate their fiber after they fish it in from the street. There is also a 2 plug outlet under the panel.

So, my question is this: Is the tech going to stick a appliance that takes in fiber and routes Ethernet out the other end? If so, will he/she just terminate the Cat6/6E cables and plug them in? I'm getting TV service as well, so does their stuff just sits on the regular LAN network?

I'm asking because if everything is just ethernet, maybe I'll order my own gigabit router and see if I can get him/her to use that instead. That way I could terminate all the ethernet ports and plug them in, instead of the tech using something with just enough ports for my TVs and WIFI AP.
posted by sideshow to Technology (5 answers total)
Hi, I just had fiber installed at the end of December. This was through CenturyLink so YMMV, but here's an idea:

- An advance team came the day before to bring the fiber up to the wall of my house.
- Huge surprise for me: They totally bypassed all the many cable and phone inputs in my house because those have nothing to do with fiber.
- So they had to drill a new hole in the side of my house. I was able to pick where, at least along the side where the fiber was. The hole looks rather professional and they sealed it nicely with a grayish silicone. But I have a new black wire along the side of my house.
- I should have picked the more carefully. My phone line is in the living room so I'd assumed that's where it would be, and I was sort of committed to that and should have rethought. It would have been better to set it up in the back TV room. Also this would have meant less line along the exterior.
- The internal setup includes a fiber box and a modem. They are separate, but wired to each other. They're black or gray and both the size of a small hardcover. They have their own blinky flashy indicators. Both need to be plugged into an electrical outlet, so it wipes out my one outlet on that wall.
- I already had a modem that customer service said would work. Customer service was wrong about this and many other things. You can certainly buy your own modem but they have a list. I was able to purchase the modem when the tech was here instead of renting it. The warranty is like 12 months.

Hope this helps!
posted by mochapickle at 1:35 PM on February 2, 2018

When I got Fiber installed from Verizon FIOS they brought into the house in the basement through an existing hole where some other cables entered the house and distributed it throughout the house via the existing coax for cable TV. I'd guess Cox will do the same. I'm not sure what the Ethernet is there for, but I'd be surprised if it's used for a TV signal. Maybe they split it for you, but again, that seems like above and beyond a standard fiber to the house installation.
posted by COD at 1:49 PM on February 2, 2018

To be honest, It varies from home to home. Since your house is brand new, there should be a junction point where all the cables meet together - there might be some sort of switch in the attic/basement/network closet.

Cox will then provide a modem and connect the fiber from the box outside to your house. In some cases, they have to lay the wire and drill a hole to bring it "in" the house. Since your house is brand new, this infrastructure may already be in place.

Once they bring it in the house, there will be another wire going out of the box, into your junction point. In older houses, this goes up into the attic - for you it should go into where all the other cables meet. Once this is connected, your other ports will be "hot".

In any case, you should be able to use your own modem. If you want to gain extra electrical outlets, use a surge protector. Note that the modem and Wifi router are 2 separate things that Cox integrates into one. The combined routers are usually garbage; I have always bought my own router.

Once your other ports are active, you don't need a router at each location. You can use a switch or something similar to create internet hotspots wherever you want them to be.

I think key for you are a few things:

1) Since you're leasing the house, make sure that any holes they have to drill are approved by landlord
2) Make sure any new cable that they use is CAT6. If they use CAT5, all that nice CAT6 cabling will be useless
3) Make sure all your drops work - if you have CAT6 port in your bedroom, it should work after installation. If they just dump internet into one room, they are not doing it correctly.

Once you have internet drops to each room (and they work), we'll better understand the setup and can guide you further.
posted by unexpected at 1:56 PM on February 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

CenturyLink in Denver mounts a box on the wall outside that actually contains a router. The fiber terminates there and then they run CAT6 and a power cable from that point through a hole in the wall to someplace with an outlet to power the outdoor router.

The also require you to either purchase or rent a Technicolor C2100T "modem" from them as part of the sign-up process because they have some very specific network settings (default VLAN 201, MTU clamping) as well as needing a coax output for the IPTV service.
posted by Max Camber at 5:28 PM on February 2, 2018

Ok, sounds like they'll like put a gigabit switch in the panel outside. I'll make sure to have one with "extra" ports on hand in case the tech can use that one instead of something 4 ports or something.
posted by sideshow at 12:45 PM on February 5, 2018

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