For many of us in the Los Angeles Area, Verizon FIOS is the choice for Internet, TV and Phone service as they are the only service around that is running a fiber cable straight to the outside of your home (AT&T by contrast only runs fiber cables to nearby nodes and uses your phone lines for the last 800ft or so). This all fiber pathway allows faster data speeds than any other service on the market. With more and more audio and video streaming services showing better content than traditional TV providers hooked up to your Home Theater System in Los Angeles, this faster speed has become a necessity. As great as the Verizon FIOS service is, there is one point of weakness in a standard Verizon FIOS install. Verizon’s standard issue router is the culprit, and is increasingly failing and unable to handle the large data burdens put upon it by 5 megapixel surveillance cameras, 4k Netflix video streams and the like. Normally this is an easy fix– all you have to do is upgrade to a router that can handle these more robust data demands. However, for the Verizon FIOS system, they have configured their standard install so this was never an option. That is, until we at the Technospeak Corporation did our research and found a solution.
In a new standard Verizon FIOS install in the Los Angeles area, they install what is called an ONT somewhere on the inside of your home (they no longer install the Exterior ONTs). The ONT is a device about the size of a standard router and transfers data sent and received from the Fiber cable they bring into your home to the copper cabling already in your home. Phone service is split out of the ONT and feeds your existing analog phone line connections– often which are just twisted pair wiring used for phone duty. There is then a TV coaxial cable that is connected to the ONT and runs to a special 2-way coaxial splitter somewhere in your home– usually where there is a collection of coaxial cabling such as a Low Voltage panel. All the FIOS paid TV service boxes are then connected to the different outputs of this same splitter. Finally, there is one last coaxial output on the coaxial splitter that is connected to a coax jack on the back of the Verizon Router. From this router, your Wifi network is configured and any hard-wired network devices you have are connected to the LAN ports of this router.
There are a couple of key points to about this standard FIOS install that are worth understanding. The first is that the coax splitter used is actually a two-way splitter. This splitter can split out TV signals on its output ports to multiple Verizon boxes, but it can also accept a MOCA network input on any of these output ports as well. What is MOCA you ask? To make it simple, it is a protocol used to send a network connection over a TV coax cable. Why is this important? Well, as it turns out, only live TV channels are sent from the Verizon ONT over the TV coaxial copper cabling to each of the Verizon Paid TV service boxes. Any on-demand programming as well as the on-screen guide for any of the Verizon TV boxes requires a network connection. This network connection is provided by the MOCA network input coming from the Verizon router mentioned earlier. Now the bad part of this setup is that in addition to paying a fee for the use of each Paid TV service box, you are also paying an additional $10-$15 fee per month to rent the Verizon Router. This $10-$15 a month never ends and only gives you a router that falls short of today’s data needs. With the average cost of a much more suitable router at $125+, you will be wasting a lot of money. As such, we have a solution by-passing the need for using the Verizon Router and using your own higher quality router instead. Please note that this configuration still uses your Paid TV services boxes from Verizon. Our recommendations are only for getting rid of your Verizon issued router, which is the cause of much more buffering and other data related frustration.
The first step in this process is to call Verizon and have them enable the ONT network out jack. This is not a standard configuration, so you may have to call a few times to find someone who knows how to do this. The second step is to connect the network out jack of the ONT to your own router which we will assume you have spec’d for whatever your data requirements would be. If you have a Smart Home System in your Los Angeles home, your Smart Home installer has probably already determined this for you. If this is a wired only router, you need to connect one or more WAPs to it to establish a Wi-Fi network. If you have a wireless router, this is all configured within the same piece of equipment. Make sure to then connect any hard-wired network connection to a LAN port of the router or to a network switch that is connect to the LAN port of your router. Now, you have completed the network side of your net setup, however, you still have the issue of getting a network connection to the paid TV service boxes so they can show On-demand programming as well as the on-screen guide for regular programming. To resolve this, recall that MOCA is simply a protocol used for injecting a network connection over coax. As a standard protocol, ANY device that claims to do the same can be used to provide this network connection over coax. As such, if you do a quick search on Google for a “MOCA bridge,” you will find 20-30 different devices that fit the bill. Once you have your MOCA bridge, simply connect it to any available output port of the Verizon 2-way splitter so you can re-establish a network connection to all the paid TV service boxes.
At this point you have technically replaced all components of the original standard Verizon FIOS network configuration. Once done, only TV programming will be coming from the ONT via TV coaxial cabling. Internet connection, On-demand programming and Channel Guide info will be coming from the ONT via a computer network connection and MOCA bridge injector. Now, no more mediocre router rental fees– you can use whatever router you want!!
As you would imagine, Verizon DOES NOT support this configuration. However, we have tested it in the field for 4 months now at live projects and have have no reported issues from clients.
We at the Technospeak Corporation hope you have found this information useful. If you found this information useful but were unsure of some of the connections, give us a call at 855-832-4775 or find us on the web at www.technospeakco.com and we can discuss it further. Additionally, if you don’t want to pay router rental fees but don’t want to do any of the configuration yourself either, give us a call and we can install and configure this setup for you.
At Technospeak we take the “Tech-y” out of Technology, leaving our clients the knowledge they need to enjoy their electronics.