The FiOS Installation

{ Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 9:08 am by Steve }
Tags : ,
Categories : Entertainment, General, Internet

Yesterday I had Verizon come and install FiOS. Like I said in an earlier post, I had their television, internet, and phone services installed.

I will try to be as detailed as possible so that any questions you may have with the install process can be answered.

The tech was scheduled to come to my house between 8am and 12pm. He called me around 8:45am saying he would be at my house in 10 to 15 minutes. As for the times, don’t expect them to come around 8. They don’t start working until 8am and have to get their van ready and travel from whichever location they work from. In this case, he came from the Robinson call center.

He arrived at my house at 9am. He told me he had enabled the service at the closest hub and that he would have to run the fiber from the pole in my back yard to the house. Before starting that, he asked to come inside and look where all of the boxes would be installed including the router, which has a major part in the whole setup.

I showed him around where the 4 hd boxes went (including the home media dvr) and where the router would be installed. I then took him to the basement to show him where the cable is split throughout the house and to decide where the ONT would be installed.

The ONT is a box that houses the connections from the outside and has a built in battery backup for if the electricity ever goes out. The battery lasts about 6-8 hours, depending on the phone usage during a power outage. It also has an emergency battery built in that can be enabled by the press of a button for 15 minutes of call time just in case the main battery runs out of power. I asked a lot of questions and was told by Chad, the installer, that the internet will only run for 5 minutes after a power failure and is then disabled to save battery backup power for telephone calls.

The majority of my 5 hour install was running the fiber and installing the ONT. After that was completed it went fairly fast. While he was installing the fiber and ONT I offered to place all of the boxes for him. I set all of the boxes in place and connected them to the LCD’s. I just didn’t connect the coaxial cable or plug in the power until he had everything switched over to FiOS. The difference in signal could possibly damage the boxes if connected too early.

He walked through the house again and replaced the ends of all the coaxial cables because they were all fairly old. He then tested the signal of each cable and connected them to the boxes. He really appreciated that I placed all of the boxes in position because it cut back on install time a good bit. And he was also happy that everything was moved out of the way for him in the basement. All of the signals were perfectly fine, which I was happy about, because when I had Comcast they were mediocre at best. All he did was replace the splitter in the basement and replaced the ends of all the cables as I stated earlier.

Before the boxes are activated to do anything he needed to plug in the router. It assigns an IP address to all of the boxes throughout the house. He has an install program that was run off of a flash drive. During that time we set up all of the boxes and verified that everything was correct. I accepted some license agreements and set up the router password and the primary email address and password. I asked him about the software and if we actually had to install anything on my computer and he told me no, and that if i really didn’t want it we could just stop after a certain step because the actual activation of the boxes and everything was completed.

Before the Verizon router was placed I asked if we could just use my existing dlink router and he said no because it was going to be connected with coaxial cable. I didn’t have a problem with that. I disabled the wireless on the FiOS router because i still planned on using my own. I set up my dlink router as a network bridge. I wanted to use mine because I have a gigabit network at home and my dlink is a draft N router with gigabit switch. My dlink router still connects everything like it used to. The wireless is still the same. The only difference is the dhcp is run by the FiOS router instead. I just set the ip address of the dlink router to one in the range that the FiOS router was assigning and I connected the 2 together using the LAN ports not the WAN port. Most people when doing something like this make a mistake at that point and try to use the WAN port, but it won’t work correctly that way.

The installer left at about 2pm, right before I started setting up my dlink router. Getting my wireless set back up took only about 15 minutes, and at that point everything was finished.

Before he left we tested all of the boxes, recorded something on the dvr, and tried playing back that recording to all of the boxes in the house. It all worked perfectly fine. As soon as I saw the picture quality I could easily tell that it was much better than Comcast. There is no blockyness and the colors do actually seem a little more vibrant.

At this point I tested out the internet some more. I ran some speed tests and downloaded some files. I got about 2.5MB/s download speeds. And that was a constant speed unlike how Comcast works with the speed bursts at the beginning of a file that slowly drops down.

Overall, the entire process went very well. The installer was very nice and actually knew what he was doing and the service is great so far. I am very happy to finally get rid of Comcast.

I will try to think of anything else that I could have possibly left out and will edit this post and make note of it if I do.


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15 Responses to “The FiOS Installation”

  1. Kat says:

    Wow, I am impressed! And, your site is looking good!

  2. Juanus says:

    Hi, I just found your site through a comedy of errors. Thanks for the Fios blog. I have been thinking of switching myself. I think that I heard somewhere that fios had more latency than cable. Have you noticed any problems so far?

  3. Steve says:

    I haven’t noticed any problems yet with latency. I’m sure that it’s fairly dependent on location though. I haven’t been gaming much lately, so I don’t really have a good comparison of ping times or anything. I can run a few tests from work, because we use Comcast business there. Then I can ping the same servers or sites from my house using FiOS. I will make another blog post regarding the subject once I gather some data.

  4. Juanus says:

    Thanks. I look forward to the update. I also wouldnt mind hearing how you like the TV aspect. If you are upgrading from cable, i am sure you will be happy. But I have DirecTV and I dont think that I will ever switch. Its worth it for the NFL sunday ticket alone!
    I found your site because you uploaded a winamp styled Visual Style to neowin and I really like it. I have switched all my computers over. Thanks! I think I will make your blog daily reading.

  5. Steve says:

    The TV is amazing. The channel lineup is so much better and the quality can’t even be compared really. Everything looks much better with FiOS than it did with Comcast. You can tell that there is much less compression done by Verizon. There is never any macro blocking or anything. I pay less with FiOS than with Comcast, and now I get all of the movie channels (except Cinemax) and the Extreme HD package also includes all of the sports channels. I also have 1 more box than I had with Comcast, and it is a home media dvr. I am very happy with it so far.

  6. John says:

    I just switched to FiOS. I debated on getting the movie package (prob. the same one you have). We have that right now w/ Comcast and watch movies here and there.

    I got the Internet, Extreme HD package HD DVR, and two standard boxes for much less than Comcast.

    Depending on how many movie channels we find, we may up for the 15 buck movie package…which still is cheaper over all than Comcast.

    Now I have to wait till April 13th…and take a day off work..but oh well, hopefully it will be worth it.

  7. John says:

    I forgot to post this, as I was calling Comcast to say I was switching to Verizon, our TVs just stopped. The Comcast “robot” on the phone said the entire Pittsburgh area was down and they were working on it. After I got off the phone 20 min later, our TV was back.

  8. Tim says:

    Just wait until you get your bill. Verizon billing is horrible. I am getting over charged $50+ a month.

  9. Steve says:

    I got my first bill already and it was correct. I have read online about a lot of billing issues though. I guess I was lucky so far.

  10. Tv On Wall says:

    Thank you very much for this useful post!!!!!!!

  11. Chris says:

    This was very helpful; thank you. We’re switching tomorrow from Optimum IO to Verizon FIOS. When they were installing, was there any down time, when you had no phone/cable/internet service? Or did they not disconnect the old service until the new one was ready?

  12. Steve says:

    There was very little downtime. They get everything run and install the ONT, then when they are ready to switch things over they disconnect your old service. The phone was down for maybe 5 minutes max. The internet is down a little longer because of the setup of the router and things involved, as was the television service because the router is what controls the set top boxes.

  13. Liz says:

    Hi,

    I found your blog after doing a search about FIOS installation. Thanks for the information, we are having it installed tomorrow and did not know what to expect.

    Thanks, Liz

  14. Ohm says:

    Steve,

    Did you get the option or is it possible to place/mount the ONT box in the basement.

    Thanks,
    Om

  15. Steve says:

    The ONT was mounted in the basement. They try to place it in an area near where the fiber comes in to your house and where an outlet is present.