Pre-wiring house for Fios TV One, Internet and Phone
NewHomeowner1
Enthusiast - Level 2

We are renovating a house that is new to us, but not new. When we move in, we will need internet, tv and phone.  The previous owners had Fios at some point in time as there is some older equipment present, including an ONT outside, which I am guessing that Verizon will replace. I removed all of the old cable outlets and phone outlets as well as all the old cables that were in the walls except for 1 junction box, which is located in the family room. All of our computers are wireless and all of our tv’s are smart tv’s so we’re planning to go wireless for the whole house.  I’m running new cables and the plan is:

1. New Ethernet cable from near the ONT to the  j-box.

2. New RG6 cable along the same run (already done.)

3. New RG6 cable down from the attic to the same box (already done) in case we want to add an OTA TV antenna in the future.

 

So 3 cables total in this junction box. This is an old, closed-back junction box. I could change the box to one without a back but there is also 120V cable in this stud bay so I thought maybe, maybe not? Any thoughts on if signals from multiple cables will interfere with one another? The coax is quad shield.


I’m thinking of the future and trying to buy the best Ethernet cable I can find; the run is less than 100 ft. I have only been able to find cat 5e and cat 6 at the local home center. I was hoping for cat 6a so we could do a little future-proofing. The ceiling is open now and it won’t be as easy to re-wire in the future once everything is closed up. Any idea where I can find a better cable? Also, I was planning on using the Ethernet cable for internet as it is my understanding that the Ethernet carries data faster than the coax? I have read these Fios TV One setup instructions and it looks like we will also need to use the coax if we want TV service? https://www.verizon.com/supportresources/content/dam/verizon/support/consumer/documents/vms_4100_new...

I guess this connects inside the ONT as well?  I was also thinking of relocating the ONT to inside the garage, which may look neater from the outside. Any thoughts on this? Also, the router and TV One box were going to be placed right next to the coax/Ethernet outlets in the family room.  There will be a TV here and it seems like a good idea for the phone to go here too. How does the phone get set up? Do I have to run a phone cable from the ONT, or does it plug into the router? The only downside that I see so far is that it looks like TV One only supports 5 tv’s.  Any other tips or important information that I can use to make the best decisions while the ceiling is open? This will all be closed up before Verizon comes because I’m sure they’re not going to want to come until we are ready to start paying for service. Thanks!

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gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

Gigabit Ethernet requires all four pairs in a cable.   Thus, no room for voice.

I have run 100Mbps Ethernet and voice in the same cable as 100Mbps uses two pairs.  It works fine.  But I'd never do that today, as everything should be wired with all four pairs to enable gigabit and faster speeds.

My personal rules: buy more cable than you need, install more cable than you need.  You'll never regret it.

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NewHomeowner1
Enthusiast - Level 2

I wanted to give an update. I purchased 100 ft of cat 6 cable and installed it from the location of the ONT to the junction box (with lots of extra length so the technician can move the ONT inside the garage near the 120V receptacle.)  I was hoping it would be long enough for 2 runs, but it didn’t quite make it; 125 ft probably would have made it. I’m not sure if I need another run for the phone or if 1 cable is enough for internet AND phone. Does anybody know? I’m going to air seal the hole with foam on a warm day next week, after which time I will not be able to easily add another cable. Also, these cables all share 1 hole and I’m not sure if that will cause interference. 

Also, I am considering removing the junction box and installing the open-back “low voltage outlet mounting bracket” pictured above so that the cables are less restricted when the terminations are made. My only hesitation is that there is 120V wiring in the stud bay (quite a bit of it actually.) Any thoughts?

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gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

Gigabit Ethernet requires all four pairs in a cable.   Thus, no room for voice.

I have run 100Mbps Ethernet and voice in the same cable as 100Mbps uses two pairs.  It works fine.  But I'd never do that today, as everything should be wired with all four pairs to enable gigabit and faster speeds.

My personal rules: buy more cable than you need, install more cable than you need.  You'll never regret it.

dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

While it might be possible, it is generally poor practice to run voice and data on the same cable. Best practice would be to run a second cable for voice. Thinking back to Bell System copper OSP, which predates CAT 5E and CAT 6, CAT 6 for voice is overkill. if it was still widely available, I'd offer up running 2-pair CAT 3 for telephone station jacks. Because it isn't, I'd say CAT 5E is a more cost-effective choice for voice.

gs0b
Community Leader
Community Leader

CAT5e is fine for speeds up to 1G.  If you think you'll want faster speeds within the lifetime of the install, then consider faster cables.  Otherwise, stick with CAT5e.  Have you tried online stores for Ethernet cable?  Amazon and others often have decent selection and price points.

The fios ONE main box requires a coax connection to the router and ONT.  The mini boxes can use coax, WiFi or Ethernet.

The ONT will connect to both coax and Ethernet.  Coax is for the TV signals sent to the fios ONE box.  Ethernet is the WAN data link sent to the router.  Run both to the ONT location.  Verizon does prefer having ONTs indoors.  If you can find a location that is close to the current location and has power, Ethernet and coax nearby; the installer will likely put it there.  Note they will have to relocate the fiber if the ONT moves indoor.  If it's just on the other side of a wall, that should be easy for them to do.  Longer, more complex runs may not happen; the tech will decide.

Bottom line, the easier you make it for the tech by having lots of stuff pre-installed, the more likely they are to do what you want.

Also consider an Ethernet patch panel to terminate all the runs from your rooms.  This makes management and updates simple.  Here's an example:
https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-12-Port-Vertical-Bracket/dp/B00UVQI8B6

I also suggest you pull more than one cable where ever possible.  Having two (or more) Ethernet runs helps in a variety of ways.  For example, you can have a centralized switch back at the patch panel.  I do this by using one run for the WAN connection between an ONT and router while another feeds the LAN back to my centralized switch.  This allows you to easily move the router around (but don't forget the coax connection for the fios ONE boxes).  And of course, more cables gives you redundancy if a failure occurs.

If you go with a streaming TV service such as YouTube TV or Sling, you can eliminate the need for coax.  Depending on the number of boxes you need and the channels you want, streaming services are often cheaper than fios' TV service.  Something to consider...

NewHomeowner1
Enthusiast - Level 2

Thank you for the reply. The reason I was thinking of going with a cable better than 5e is because we don’t know what the future holds, but it’s possible that speeds will be much higher and 5e will be holding us back in the future, and since everything is open right now, I might as well install a better cable. The original owners of this house took the time, money and effort to install 10 cable jacks with RG59 cable at the time of construction 40 years ago and it probably served them well until recently so I’m just trying to think ahead of what might be useful, but of course it’s impossible to predict the future.


@gs0b wrote:

CAT5e is fine for speeds up to 1G.  If you think you'll want faster speeds within the lifetime of the install, then consider faster cables.  Otherwise, stick with CAT5e.  Have you tried online stores for Ethernet cable?  Amazon and others often have decent selection and price.


I plan on making the install extremely easy for the tech. The current ONT is on the outside of the garage wall and we can move it right inside the garage, basically on the inside of the same wall, and fiber will not need to be extended. I will run coax and Ethernet to this location so it’s ready to connect to the new ONT. The ONT may have to go much higher on the wall so it doesn’t interfere with the electrical panel door swing, but I can see the length of the fiber and it will not need to be extended. We added an electrical receptacle to this wall specifically for this purpose. Believe it or not, the closest receptacle *was* 20 feet away on the other side of the garage so there was a cat 5e cable stapled across the garage ceiling and down the wall to get the power to the old ONT. Can the ONT be attached to drywall with anchors? Will the vibrations form the garage door harm the equipment in any way? Also, what cables are required for the phone service? I still have the old phone cables that I removed from the house. I was thinking that they might just plug into the router. But if someone in the future *only* wants phone service, would a router be needed? Or could a phone be plugged into the Ethernet jack?


@gs0b wrote:

The fios ONE main box requires a coax connection to the router and ONT.  The mini boxes can use coax, WiFi or Ethernet.

The ONT will connect to both coax and Ethernet.  Coax is for the TV signals sent to the fios ONE box.  Ethernet is the WAN data link sent to the router.  Run both to the ONT location.  Verizon does prefer having ONTs indoors.  If you can find a location that is close to the current location and has power, Ethernet and coax nearby; the installer will likely put it there.  Note they will have to relocate the fiber if the ONT moves indoor.  If it's just on the other side of a wall, that should be easy for them to do.  Longer, more complex runs may not happen; the tech will decide.

Bottom line, the easier you make it for the tech by having lots of stuff pre-installed, the more likely they are to do what you want.


 I have seen other people online installing patch panels and I am very confused about their purpose. The shape of the rooms in this house makes it so that the location of furniture and TV’s is not intuitive. The original owners installed 2 cable outlets in the living room for instance, because they probably weren’t sure how they were going to place the furniture. The other rooms had cables running along the walls from the cable outlets to the TV’s. In the family room, there seems to be only 1 good place for the TV, which is why I decided to go with 1 outlet at that location and wireless for the whole house. The wireless system will give us flexibility to move TV’s around without running cables all over the place. We also have wireless computers and a wireless printer, so we have no need for outlets in multiple locations.


@gs0b wrote:


Also consider an Ethernet patch panel to terminate all the runs from your rooms.  This makes management and updates simple.  Here's an example:
https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-12-Port-Vertical-Bracket/dp/B00UVQI8B6

I also suggest you pull more than one cable where ever possible.  Having two (or more) Ethernet runs helps in a variety of ways.  For example, you can have a centralized switch back at the patch panel.  I do this by using one run for the WAN connection between an ONT and router while another feeds the LAN back to my centralized switch.  This allows you to easily move the router around (but don't forget the coax connection for the fios ONE boxes).  And of course, more cables gives you redundancy if a failure occurs.


 I will seriously consider your suggestion for streaming service. The deciding factor will be if we can get specific channels that we like as well as things such as hockey games, which we currently get with cable. 


@gs0b wrote:

If you go with a streaming TV service such as YouTube TV or Sling, you can eliminate the need for coax.  Depending on the number of boxes you need and the channels you want, streaming services are often cheaper than fios' TV service.  Something to consider...


dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

There is a lot to unpack here, so, I'll take one item.

Cat 6A cable isn't typically stocked by "big box" stores. Usually it is sold by outfits like Graybar and Anixter which sell predominantly to contractors and communications companies. Amazon  should have it available as well as eBay.

Note that in order to receive full benefits of 6A cable, associated hardware will also need to be purchased including keystone jacks, enclosures, tools to terminate the conductors and 6A patch cords.

Can a picture of the junction box be posted? The conjured image of what is there raises some questions in my mind.

NewHomeowner1
Enthusiast - Level 2

Thank you for the reply. I searched online as well as Amazon and they have cat 6a and cat 8 patch cables but from what I can see, the riser cables come in extremely long lengths, like 1,000 feet and I need less than 100. I will check the 2 retailers that you mentioned. Perhaps I can buy cable by the foot as I do at the electrical supply house. 


@dexman wrote:

There is a lot to unpack here, so, I'll take one item.

Cat 6A cable isn't typically stocked by "big box" stores. Usually it is sold by outfits like Graybar and Anixter which sell predominantly to contractors and communications companies. Amazon  should have it available as well as eBay


 I assumed that Verizon would make the terminations as I got that impression from this website as well as others. I know a good bit about electrical cables but not too much about communication cables or how to terminate them. Should I purchase a jack for the 6a (only 1 jack planned at this time) and assume that they don’t have one on the truck? Will they have the tool on the truck to make the termination?


@dexman wrote:

Note that in order to receive full benefits of 6A cable, associated hardware will also need to be purchased including keystone jacks, enclosures, tools to terminate the conductors and 6A patch cords.

Can a picture of the junction box be posted? The conjured image of what is there raises some questions in my mind.


I took picture of both the front and back of the junction box. It’s just an ordinary plastic single gang UL listed junction box that can be used for 120V electrical wire and a duplex electrical receptacle. I do not remember the cubic inches, but it’s 40 years old and is not quite as deep as some of the newer ones that can be purchased. I can replace it with one of these: Carlon Low Voltage Bracket 

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dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

Verizon technicians stock CAT 6 cable in their trucks and it is used for both voice and data applications. I don't know what they would use for terminations in the various rooms. They also carry PPC branded white jacketed RG6 coaxial cable and terminate using PPC RG6 connectors.

Because Verizon uses CAT 6 cable for data (and voice), I would be inclined to stick with it. The thing to remember is that it is just as important to know the proper handling & terminating techniques for CAT 6 and higher cables. In a commercial setting, contractors would need to test each drop with a certifier to provide proof that they pass stringent testing (and get paid by the customer).

Certification is overkill for just about all residential work but following proper techniques can help to ensure that even Cat 6 would be able to handle multi-gig speeds.

CAT 8 is overkill. I can't imagine 25G+ being needed in a residential setting.

Here is a link to a discussion about CAT 6, 7 & 8.

https://www.cablematters.com/blog/Networking/what-is-cat7-and-why-you-don-t-need-it

Just for clarification...are all of the coaxial runs going to terminate inside of a single junction box? 🤔

NewHomeowner1
Enthusiast - Level 2

Thank you for the info.  HD stocks 100 ft rolls of cat 6 and with the info that Verizon techs already use it, I think I will go with that. Since Verizon uses it for data and voice, would these be on 2 separate lines or the same line?  I’m wondering if it would be advisable to take gs0b’s advice and run 2 lines?  They would go to the same junction box so I’m not exactly certain if there would be a benefit.  And yes, all 3 cables (2 coax, 1 Ethernet) were going to go into a single junction box; the 2 coax are already in there.   I was in HD and found this plate. They also have little blocks for either coax or Ethernet to terminate in those square holes. 

image

I made the mistake of rolling the coax into the box after I installed it. It’s a common practice with electrical wires so I just did it without thinking. I have since learned that a tight bend radius can damage coax. I’m hoping I didn’t damage it. But it also makes me wonder if making the terminations inside the box could damage the coax due to the tight turn inside the box? The picture is the coax before I unrolled it from the box. 

image


@dexman wrote:

Verizon technicians stock CAT 6 cable in their trucks and it is used for both voice and data applications. I don't know what they would use for terminations in the various rooms. They also carry PPC branded white jacketed RG6 coaxial cable and terminate using PPC RG6 connectors.

Because Verizon uses CAT 6 cable for data (and voice), I would be inclined to stick with it. The thing to remember is that it is just as important to know the proper handling & terminating techniques for CAT 6 and higher cables. In a commercial setting, contractors would need to test each drop with a certifier to provide proof that they pass stringent testing (and get paid by the customer).

Certification is overkill for just about all residential work but following proper techniques can help to ensure that even Cat 6 would be able to handle multi-gig speeds.

CAT 8 is overkill. I can't imagine 25G+ being needed in a residential setting.

Here is a link to a discussion about CAT 6, 7 & 8.

https://www.cablematters.com/blog/Networking/what-is-cat7-and-why-you-don-t-need-it

Just for clarification...are all of the coaxial runs going to terminate inside of a single junction box? 🤔


dexman
Community Leader
Community Leader

Coaxial and Ethernet cables fare poorly when bent tightly and/or kinked. Runs should have gradual bends. That was a concern I had when reading how multiple cables were going to be terminating inside the same box.

Once the pictures have been approved by a Moderator, we'll see how things look.