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They may be referring to the use of coaxial cable for Internet service. I know there is a speed limit when using coaxial cable as opposed to Ethernet.
A picture is worth 1000 words... should have lead with this picture!
Great news, here's how you can get faster speeds and save a lot of money without having Verizon come to your home.
Step 1: Find the Ethernet jack on the ONT.
Step 2: Run an Ethernet cable from the ONT to your router's WAN port(*).
Note: This step is something Verizon assumes most users can't do. That's why they are telling you they need to send a technician to "upgrade wiring." DIY and you'll unlock the next level of the Verizon ordering system game!
Step 3: Contact Verizon support via chat or social media and ask them to provision your ONT for Ethernet WAN. Takes a few minutes and doesn't cost anything. Bonus: After this is done, you can switch to any router you like.
Step 4: Wait for Verizon's ordering system to be updated with the changes in their provisioning system. Might take a day or two, or maybe faster. Once done, you'll be able to order 300/300 without a Verizon technician visit. Depending on your current service, you may even be able to do this all online. They may even include a Verizon router which would solve your ancient router problem.
(*) Okay, this step might be complex depending on the location of the ONT and router and your home's construction. If you're not able to run an Ethernet cable yourself, I suggest you hire a handyman with experience in network cabling to install it. While you could pay Verizon to run the cable, they don't fish them inside walls. If you can find a trusted handyman, they will likely do a neater job. Or, you can review many of the web sites and videos that describe how to install Ethernet.
@gs0b: Thanks for the suggestion. As I mentioned, though, my router is 3 floors up from the ONT. Even if the ONT doesn't have to be upgraded, I was thinking that the main reason for having a Verizon tech show up -- for which I think I can get them to waive the fee -- would be to run an ethernet cable through the walls and up to the router. (Offhand I don't know a handyman who could do that.) (I hope you're mistaken that Verizon employees won't go through the walls, because I wouldn't want cable on the outside of my house.)
On the phone, a Verizon tech rep told me that another option is to put the router next to the ONT and set up an extender in my office (connected to the same coax port that my current router plugs into). But (a) then I'd have to buy or rent an extender as well as a router, and (b) wouldn't I lose a fair bit of the speed I'm upgrading to if the extender that my desktop plugs into is back to being coax-based?
Another option might be to purchase coax to Ethernet MoCA 2.0 or higher converters.
That way the coaxial cable can be reused and partake of higher Internet speeds. 🙂
Verizon techs don't fish walls. The will go through walls (room-to-room) with a drill, but won't put cables inside walls. They tack them to the outside of walls. If you don't want to learn how to fish walls yourself (it's not that hard), look for a home theater or network installer. Those folk should know how to do this neatly.
Using a coax extender is a reasonable solution. You can get full speeds with the latest gear. The limitation on WAN speeds over coax is due to the ancient MoCA chip used on the ONT. You don't have to rent an extender from Verizon, you can purchase them, too.
You could move your router next to the ONT, and then follow the steps I outlined above to get faster speeds without a Verizon visit. If you upgrade to a plan from that includes a router, you'll want to purchase a MoCA adapter that works with that model of router.
If you don't need WiFi on the 3rd floor, you can save money by purchasing a MoCA adapter. It provides just Ethernet. The Verizon Network Extenders include WiFi, which can be useful. Here's a helpful link to see what gear Verizon sells:
You can do
This is very helpful. Now I'm wondering, though, whether I've been too inflexible in assuming I have to keep the router (or an extender) upstairs so that my desktop can continue to have a (presumably superior) hard-wired ethernet connection. Maybe if I upgrade from 75 to 300 Mbps, and to a new router (from my ancient Actiontec), the wireless network in my house will be improved to the point that my desktop will get better speeds that way than it does now with an ethernet connection. Thus, no need for running cable upstairs or for MoCA adapters or coax extenders. Is that reasonable?
(Actually my desktop doesn't have wireless receiver, but I assume I can buy an external one pretty cheaply.)
WiFi does have limitations. The further away from the "spot" the weaker the signal becomes (especially when using the 5GHz bands).
Speaking for myself, I would keep the hardwire connection active in addition to upgrading the router.
I see bunch of CAT5e wires bundled together and serving as telephone lines? This is not using CAT5e to its maximum potential.
If you have phone jacks around the house, you can convert them all to Ethernet jacks. If you have two Ethernet wires going to the same room, great, put your router there. One Ethernet for WAN, the other for LAN, coming back down to here, add a managed switch to link all other Ethernet wires. Done.
Yes, those cables are being used for POTS. Look carefully at the picture and you'll notice that the Blue/White pairs are wire nutted to another 4-pair which ends up eventually plugged into the L1 jack on the ONT.
Voice jacks are either 6p4c or 6p2c. Using Ethernet jacks for voice is not recommended.
With the decline in the availability of CAT3 cabling, CAT5E is now the go to for voice. Verizon will use CAT6 for voice to simplify stocking company vehicles.
After spending some time on the phone with another Verizon tech rep, and then rereading your posts here, I'm coming to think that my best option, after upgrading to 300 Mbps, is to plug the ONT into a new router (downstairs) and plug my desktop (upstairs) via ethernet cable into a MoCA adapter. (Am I using the terminology correctly? I want an adapter rather than an extender because I don't need to boost the wireless signal upstairs?)
Is this the sort of product I want, regardless of what sort of new router I get and regardless of whether or not I get it from Verizon?
And one other question: Do most routers - the kind Verizon offers as well as the kind I could buy from Linksys, Google, etc. - support MoCA so that I won't need to buy a second adapter to attach to the router?