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Connect ONT to existing ethernet
Hva9911
Enthusiast

Hello! Recently moved into a place that has existing cat5e cabling throughout. It looks like it was only used for phones, but I'd like to get data through. The ONT is in a closet by the front of the house and the telcom box where everything terminates is in another room on the same level. I'm hoping someone can walk me through the following:

1. How to tell whether the ONT is already cabled in OR how to cable it in - ideally without running additional cable.

2. How to best trace the cat5e cables and tell which goes to what wall jack.

3. How to set up the telcom box to make use of the network. Given the limited space, should I still use a patch panel or can I go directly into a switch? Can I make use of the existing panels? 

Pictures for reference, and I can provide more info if needed. 

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Re: Connect ONT to existing ethernet
Cang_Household
Super User
Super User

Ok. Thanks for answering the black Ethernet cable.

Based on the pictures you provide, it seems currently they are two CAT5e cables routing from the ONT to the Telephone patch panel both only using one twisted pairs. If you need two POT (Plain Old Telephone) lines, try to use another twisted pairs from the other cable, such that two telephone wires are carried through a single CAT5e cable. Given CAT5e cable has 4 twisted pairs (in a total of 8 wires) and one telephone line only needs 1 twisted pair, you can wire the other telephone line in another twisted pair, while still leave 2 twisted pairs in suspense.

This would leave you with an "empty" Ethernet cable running from the ONT to the telephone patch panel. As gs0b pointed out, the current terminals are all made for telephone, you will need to cut them off the cable and re-terminate all 4 twisted pairs using RJ45 connector and crimper. If you want a patch panel for Ethernet jacks, you can buy that too. 

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Re: Connect ONT to existing ethernet
Cang_Household
Super User
Super User

You need to find where does that black Ethernet cable from the ONT go.

Re: Connect ONT to existing ethernet
Hva9911
Enthusiast

The black ethernet is plugged into my own router. Currently also in this closet, and one of the reasons I want to get other Jack's working. 

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Re: Connect ONT to existing ethernet
gs0b
Super User
Super User

To get Ethernet on the wall jacks in the home, you'll need to connect them to the router.  If you have more than four ports to connect, you'll need to add a gigabit Ethernet switch.

Your pictures show a telephone patch panel and a wired alarm system.  The telephone patch panel is setup to allow the alarm system to seize the phone line.  If you're using the alarm system and keeping it on a dial-up connection, you'll want to maintain this cabling.  This patch panel is useless for Ethernet.

It's hard to tell which CAT5e cables come from the wall runs.  They will need to be terminated on an Ethernet patch panel then connected to a switch or the router.  It looks like you have a structured wiring center, if so, you should be able to find an Ethernet patch panel module to plug into it.  Or, you can find generic patch panels online or in home centers.  Here's one example (not a recommendation):
https://www.amazon.com/Cable-Matters-12-Port-Vertical-Bracket/dp/B00UVQI8B6

As far as tracing wires, get a cable test kit.  You can find cheap ones that provide basic continuity testing.  With these, you'll need to terminate each end and see what lights up when you plug in the tester.  These are also very useful to make sure you get the connections right when you install the patch panel.  (If you don't know about TIA568A vs TIA568B, look it up before you start terminating cable.)  You can spend more money on tone testers that can find wires by proximity; they are what a lot of techs use, but they can be pricey.

There is a lot going on in your pictures.  If you don't understand everything, do some googling, watch YouTube videos, or post pictures and ask more questions here.  If you can't figure it out, you might want to call in a networking cable tech.

Re: Connect ONT to existing ethernet
Cang_Household
Super User
Super User

Ok. Thanks for answering the black Ethernet cable.

Based on the pictures you provide, it seems currently they are two CAT5e cables routing from the ONT to the Telephone patch panel both only using one twisted pairs. If you need two POT (Plain Old Telephone) lines, try to use another twisted pairs from the other cable, such that two telephone wires are carried through a single CAT5e cable. Given CAT5e cable has 4 twisted pairs (in a total of 8 wires) and one telephone line only needs 1 twisted pair, you can wire the other telephone line in another twisted pair, while still leave 2 twisted pairs in suspense.

This would leave you with an "empty" Ethernet cable running from the ONT to the telephone patch panel. As gs0b pointed out, the current terminals are all made for telephone, you will need to cut them off the cable and re-terminate all 4 twisted pairs using RJ45 connector and crimper. If you want a patch panel for Ethernet jacks, you can buy that too. 

Re: Connect ONT to existing ethernet
Hva9911
Enthusiast

Thank you! I suppose the crux of my question is whether I can hook my ONT in using a method other than to jack into the ethernet port on the unit and running a cable through the walls to where the rest terminate - e.g., using the existing phone cabling or MoCA. I'm in more familiar territory once I get past that. You've been incredibly helpful and given me some new ideas, so thank you

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Re: Connect ONT to existing ethernet
Cang_Household
Super User
Super User

Yeah, like I said, migrate both phone lines to a single Ethernet cable, then use the other Ethernet cable for actual Ethernet. You need to re-terminate though. This is a required step.

Are you subscribing to Fios TV too? If so, please say so because that complicates the setup. MoCA is no good for WAN transmission because it introduces latencies. Use MoCA only when no Ethernet wire can be used.

Re: Connect ONT to existing ethernet
Hva9911
Enthusiast

This is exactly what I needed. Thank you! The phone lines aren't currently used, and I'm not subscribed to TV, so I believe what you're suggesting should work.