Technology Tips – Published February 2018 in the Guide and Digest
By Don Trauger – Kennett
Usually I write about Windows 10 issues but this month the article is about the ongoing changeover to Verizon FIOS. As most of you are aware there’s been digging, pulling of FIOS cable in some areas and even some residents being connected and operating on FIOS. You can see it’s a mixed bag but it will be mostly completed by the time you read this.
This major change from Comcast to FIOS will touch every resident that has a land line telephone, TV or uses the Internet. The technology used with FIOS is fiber optic cable, which itself, is superior to coax cable which is presently utilized by Comcast. The installation for FIOS is more complicated than that for Comcast. It consists of an ONT (Optical Network Terminal), a power supply for the ONT and a battery backup for the land line telephone in case of a Peco power outage. In almost all cases this equipment will be installed near your electrical utility panel. The ONT converts incoming laser generated light pulses to usable signals for Telephone, TV. and Internet. Conversely it converts outgoing telephone calls, TV interactive requests such as channels changes and Internet activity back into laser light pulses that are handled by Verizon on their end. It’s an amazing device.
One other device included in the transition to FIOS that is very important is the router. The Verizon supplied router is similar to your Comcast or personally owned router except for one major feature. It doesn’t include a modem or need one. The ONT, along with the router, replaces the modem. The router should be placed in an area of the home that is central to your wireless device use. If its placed too far away from where you use your wireless devices you may experience slow Internet speeds or worse dropped connections. Work with your Verizon installer to pick an ideal location to install the router. A desktop computer that is connected to your present router with a cable may be a good location to connect the Verizon router assuming your present setup also works well for your wireless devices.
A coax connector is located on the Verizon router which is something that stand-alone or personal routers do not have. The Comcast units also have one but they are for the modem portion of the Comcast units. The purpose of the Verizon router coax connection is to provide a visual channel guide on the TV screen along with caller ID and VOD (Video on Demand). The Verizon unit can connect to any available coax wall connection.
The Verizon installer will have to find an ideal location which consists of a good wireless signal for all your devices, a nearby wall coax connector, and an electrical receptacle to power the router.
Verizon has over 30 short videos that explain FIOS and offer support for the various questions you may have at this site: https://www.verizon.com/support/residential/quick-guides/communicate-with-verizon.htm. Also, be sure to go to our website at www.hersheysmill.org to read about the latest news on the transition. First, check the “15 Most Recent Updates” on the right side of the main page. Next move the mouse to “The Mill” menu item and click “Telecommunications Update” for further insight. Under Resources, which is another menu item, click “FIOS tips” which offers additional information learned along the way.
We will discuss FIOS at our February meeting on February 20 at 7:00 pm upstairs in the Community Center.