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FiOS question

Posted by kudzu9 (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 21, 10 at 13:55

The phone company is bringing fiber optics to our neighborhood, and I'm considering getting it for land line, computer, and tv. Other than bringing the cable to the house and installing an interface panel, do I have to have any other wiring installed in or around the house? Right now I have a box in the garage that distributes Cat 5 and other wiring throughout the house for the phones, the computer, and the tv. Can this box be interfaced with the fiber optics or am I looking at major re-wiring?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: FiOS question

We have fiber optics and the company used the in house cable company coax line for TV and internet access and the in house land line telephone wires for telephone access. I switched out the internet access to a cat5 line later and they connected that to the fiber optics. In short what you have in place in the house can be used. They did have to run a new fiber optics wire to the present connection point at the house where a new connection box was mounted.


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RE: FiOS question

"The phone company is bringing fiber optics to our neighborhood, and I'm considering getting it for land line, computer, and tv. "

You understand no power no phone. right?


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RE: FiOS question

FiOS installations include a battery that provides about eight hours of standby power. I was told that I could add another battery, such as an American Power Conversion UPS, to the circuit.

My installer took one look at the old cables installed by Cox Communications and decided to replace all of it.

FiOS is providing me with dozens of high definition TV channels and an Internet connection about 35 times faster than the crippled DSL I had, plus telephone, all for a few dollars a month less than what I had been paying.


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RE: FiOS question

brickeyee-
Good point, but I have a cell phone, so it shouldn't be an issue.


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RE: FiOS question

As Brickeyee said-
No power-NO PHONE-
That goes for cell phones also.
Trust me-lived through many hurricanes-
If the power at the tower goes out-your cellphone is DEAD also.
Land line stayed live the whole time!


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RE: FiOS question

We have occasional outages, but I've never had my cell phone go out due to a power failure. In the Pacific NW we don't worry about hurricanes...just earthquakes!


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RE: FiOS question

While many cell phone towers have back up generators, they have limited fuel.

After 8-12 hours the cell system starts to fall apart as the towers run out of fuel.


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RE: FiOS question

I can tell you that between the little UPS that the FIOS installation entails and whatever they provide with the rest of the network, the FIOS phone line DOES not go out with a power failure (and really shouldn't any more than a regular copper local loop). I actually have both a FIOS line (my main number) and a copper line (my fax machine line that for some reason got disassociated with the FIOS order and wasn't converted).

There are FIOS forums out there that can give you the details, but essentially you will get the little UPS box and a box that mounts to the outside of your house which goes from the fiber to your phone and cable lines.

They just moved the phone wires from the existing demark box (NID) over to the fios box. They connect up your TV settop boxes as well as the internet router (if you get that option) via COAX. They router and all the set top boxes boogie along on their own IP-based network. Since I'd upgraded all my interior coax to get around the absolutely piss-poor job that COX did, all he did was run around swapping FIOS settops for my COX ones. I put the router in the basement near where things come in as that was a good a place for me as any. He left me a big coil of coax in case I wanted to move it.

The actiontec router they are using now has a coax interface, several local UTP ports, and wifi. If you put your FIOS stuff near your junction panel you should be good to go.


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RE: FiOS question

"and really shouldn't any more than a regular copper local loop"

The TELCO has used large banks of batteries for many years to generate the 48 volts DC they needed for copper local loops ad to operate the older mechanical relay switching gear. Those clicks with a rotary phone actually moved rotary relays in the CO to connect calls.

With the advent of the new digital switches they have changed to backup generators to power the switches and maintain the copper infrastructure.

The TELCO has never really depended that much on the power grid.

The cell towers routinely have a backup generator, but the problem for them is limited fuel.


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RE: FiOS question

ronnatalie-
Thanks for the detailed info...very helpful.


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RE: FiOS question

Yeah, so we're talking FIOS not cellular. The same backup power at the CO provides both terminations.


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RE: FiOS question

Absent a UPS for the FIOS modem, it is dead when the AC dies.

Fiber does not supply anything but a very low level of optical power.

The cable TV networks have the same problem.
There distribution equipment goes off-line when the AC dies, even if you have power for the modem.


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RE: FiOS question

Our local cable company provides modems with battery backups...

... then their distribution equipment on the poles has no backup.

So when the power goes out, we've got plenty of battery backup energy to flash the cute little "you have no service" LED, but that's really all we get.


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RE: FiOS question

The battery pack that comes as part of every FiOS install will drive the ONT (the box at your house) for at least 8 hours. Given the draw, it would be fairly inexpensive to add a dedicated UPS that would run it for days, should you be so inclined.

Furthermore, unlike cable, FiOS is a passive system between the ONT and the Central Office, thus as long as the CO has power, so will the FiOS infrastructure. I can't speak for every CO, but the ones I have seen have the FiOS equipment on the same generators as the copper plant.


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RE: FiOS question

One thing to keep in mind is that the FiOS battery backup only provides power to any telephone circuit that you may have. The internet and TV circuits will not operate without 120V service. The concept is that telephone may be critical during a power outage, while losing television or internet is merely an inconvenience.

Also, the FiOS ONT (box on the side of your house) can be configured to send your internet traffic to the router Verizon provides either via Coax or via CAT5, depending on how your house is wired. Either mechanism works well today, although Coax may run into trouble in the future with bandwidth restrictions.


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RE: FiOS question

"Coax may run into trouble in the future with bandwidth restrictions."

If you are willing to throw the same level of technology for a coax connection as is required to get a twisted pair to operate there is not really ANY bandwidth limit until you hit things like the Cramer-Roa bound (and that one is as fundamental a bound as we know of thanks to Heisenberg).

While things like DSL may appear to be new and innovative breakthroughs, it is really just an extension of FDM networking that was common before the TELCO system switched to digital signaling.

DSL simply uses 4 kHz channels with a digitally synthesized modem (remember 2400 baud?) in each channel.
If I have 500 kHz of bandwidth, it can be divided up into 125 4 kHz channels, each carrying 2400 bits/second for a throughput of 300 kbits/sec. If you move to more complicated signaling constellations as modems did long ago) you can cram higher data rates into each of the 4 kHz channels. 56 k in each 4k channel the data rate would approach 7 Mbits/sec. Forward Error Correction (FEC) will reduce the actual throughput but is a trade on error rate vs. data rate.


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RE: FiOS question

Brickeyee,

Thanks for the DSL information, but to quote the TV ads, "This is FiOS, this is big". The limitation on coax that I'm talking about is the MOCA interface (Multimedia Over Coax) that FiOS uses to transmit Ethernet over coaxial cables. With Version 1.1, it's limited to 175Mbps, and in practice, actually about 100Mbps. This sounds fast until you hear Google and others talking about 1Gbps to the house.

My only point is that if you're wiring your house, you may want to consider CAT6 instead of coax so that you can support the really high bandwidth that is coming your way. Yes, perhaps a faster coax interface will be devised by then, but it doesn't exist today.

I'm not sure that I understand how the Cramer-Rao bound and the efficiency of statistical estimators plays in this decision, but I'll leave that for an advanced mathematics discussion elsewhere.


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RE: FiOS question

The MOCA is really only used to get between the ONT and the router/set top boxes. While I suppose you could hook up more MOCA boxes for iP around the house, I don't know anybody who does this. You hook your cat5 to the ports on the router or use the WIFI. If google brings a gigabit to my door (I'm not holding my breath, it took me this long just to get FIOS up here, and I'll probably never get it down in my other old GTE/SPRINT/EMBARQ/CHARTER idiotic backwater place in NC).


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RE: FiOS question

To clarify--as a recent FIOS subscriber, I could get no helpful information from the web page or the installers about what the equipment looks like.

kudzu9, if you want to have your router live at the point where your CAT 5 network begins, AFAIK you will need to specify up front that you want your internal wiring to travel on CAT5

The default router (here in Hudson Valley NY) is a Verizon-branded Actiontec wireless router that can use either COAX or Cat5 for input from the ONT.

But I'm not sure whether the standard ONT can distribute by Cat5, and I think the tech told me that if you wanted to do it that way, you would have to specify this with your order up front (although doing this with the web-based order seems like it would be impossible...)

Since most houses likely have internal COAX, Verizon brings the signal into the house on COAX by default, and will use your internal COAX (if good quality) to run signal to the router.

Signal from router to the set top box is IP over COAX, so typically they put the wireless router close to the first TV, so it is easy to run COAX from the router to the set-top box.

(The STB has no provision for standard ethernet connection, so that connection has to be COAX.)

I was all set to use ethernet (although I have not pulled my cable yet) and I may investigate this further when I finish a few other projects first.

As far as phone signal, our BBU lasted about 3 hrs in the last Nor'easter that knocked out our power (since it killed the heat as well), so a small UPS may be a good investment.

You will need a convenient outlet for the BBU--and it can be in the garage as long as it is fully out of the weather--we had to come inside, since we have a closed carport and they would not install it there.

AS far as service--it is hands down the best we have had--in three different countries and a handful of different providers as we have relocated around the US>

Most pleasant for me is that you do not have that low level hum/rumble (carrier wave noise?) that you get with cable (and our last provider was supposedly "state of the art" & it still sounded like 1973...)
Cheers


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RE: FiOS question

You should ask about getting the ONT installed indoors. My installer ran the fiber optic cable from the pole to a point close to where the electric service entrance cable enters the house, and then to the ONT. The rest of the wiring is new CAT5. The whole installation took seven hours, including the programming of the set top box.

The installer had not previously encountered an Apple Airport Extreme wireless base station. In under a minute, we reasoned that if the DSL modem had plugged into the Airport Extreme with an ethernet cable, then the Verizon router could, too. The installer talked me through going to a Website to turn off the wireless aspect of the Verizon wireless router, and we hooked it to the Airport Extreme with an ethernet cable. A restart of the Macintosh was all that was required.


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