Fios Quantum Gateway Modem
November 23, 2018 7:25 AM   Subscribe

What's the right way to buy my own Fios Quantum Gateway Modem?

I have to re-up my Fios contract and the only way to get a decent price is by upgrading to a service that requires the Quantum Gateway modem. Renting it is $12/month which is way too much money so I'm considering buying my own. I'm relatively tech- and consumer-savvy but I've never actually done this before and it's been a long time since I've done any sort of IT stuff (although I have a minimal amount of formal training in it and a bunch of informal training.)

So what's the right way to go about this and how easy is it to set up on my own? Obviously the easiest thing would be to purchase it right from Verizon but that's $210 which still saves money over the course of a 2-year contract but not a whole hell of a lot and I'm concerned they'll try to pull this again in 2 years making the modem I got obsolete so I'd rather squeeze this for every penny I can.

The issue that bugs me is that I'm seeing stuff like "Verizon told me this used modem I bought was stolen and refuses to let me use it" and while I have an extreme amount of skepticism as to Verizon playing fair with bring-your-own-modem I also suspect anywhere dealing in potentially stolen modems for a Really Good Price probably won't take them back.
posted by griphus to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have FIOS and I have my own router. In my installation, there is a grey box on the wall that then connects to the router I think via coax cable. That grey box has an ethernet port, and when the installer was there I asked him about it. It turned out in my case that ethernet port was active, so after he left I unplugged the coax from the grey box and plugged my own router into the ethernet port and everything worked just fine. I had to connect the coax from the grey box to my TV to get TV - apparently the router doesn't do any TV stuff and I have never missed it.

I then called verizon and told them I had my own router and wanted to return theirs. They read me a bunch of boilerplate warning about how awful it would be for me to use my own router and how they weren't responsible for the trouble I was bringing on myself. They sent me a box for shipping, I sent their router back and it is no longer on my bill. Later, I upgraded my network speed and for some reason they sent me another router. Another call, they sent me a box, I sent it back, no more bill for it. I have been on FIOS for about 5 or 6 years now with my own router.

If the ethernet port is working on your install (and you could test it by just hooking up a laptop or something to see if it works, which is what I did) you do not need any particular brand of router, it is just standard ethernet. You just need to enable NAT and DHCP internally. I am using a Dell rack server I got cheaply as a router and home server and firewall and have had no problems related to it. I'm happy to answer other questions if it helps.
posted by procrastination at 8:47 AM on November 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

The box on the wall is the ONT, or optical network terminal. The oldest ONTs Verizon installed aren’t capable of supporting its highest speeds now. Conveniently, those were also the ONTs that didn’t have the Ethernet port enabled unless you specifically asked for it. Additionally, the signaling used over coax (often used in early installations) doesn’t support those speeds either. The “Fios Quantum Gateway” requirement is really a secret proxy for them pricing in a visit to verify you have a newer ONT with an Ethernet connection to the router. You could have a newer ONT already but still only have a coax connection to the router, so they’d still have to run (or just plug in) a new cable to get you to higher speeds.

The easiest thing is to lease the new router for as long as it takes to get the upgraded speed working, at which point you can buy literally any router that supports your speed level and return the leased router as described above. It’s annoying and they’ll warn you about how they only support the one router, but once you have a modern ONT and an Ethernet-connected router you can really use whatever you want. It doesn’t have to be theirs.
posted by fedward at 9:13 AM on November 23, 2018 [3 favorites]

I had to move to the Quantum 2+ years ago and dealing with the ethernet thing was beyond me for a number of reasons. So I brought a new Quantum modem from Amazon. Still pricey but cheaper than buying or renting from Verizon. They haven't change modems often so I figured I'd get my money's worth. Old modem was usable on their network for 8+ years & I've had the new modem for 2+ years; there were a few years where both modems were supported.
posted by bluesapphires at 5:14 PM on November 23, 2018

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