Question How to work with Point of Presence for Optical Cable providers

rchamlen

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I folks .... I have not posted here for a LONG time .... but here goes. So.... I just did battle with a (I guess currently unnamed) optical internet provider .... ultimately cancelled my installation - but many questions were left. As usual, the provider was completely unable to give me any reasonable technical answers other than basically "is it plugged in". Frustrating.

I know basically nothing about optical networking, except for what I have been able to research over the last few days, and like I said, I have some unanswered questions that the provider was totally unable to answer, so I am trying you folks. So, I am aware of the various protocols over the fiber (EPON, GPON, XGS-PON, etc), but my questions, I believe, really have nothing to do with those protocols. It is my understanding that, whatever provider you use, THEY will supply (and interface with) a .... call it a terminator .... for their fiber that sits at their POP in the house. Most of the time this widget is called an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). Also, at least to my understanding, the ONT is the widget that converts the optical protocols, to TCP/IP 100BaseT protocols that interface with the wired (or wireless) LAN.

Although it is not a perfect comparison, for cable providers, the "cable modem" converts the signals on the cable into the same TCP/IP 100BaseT protocols, and it also carries an IP address that it then passes on to the LAN gateway/router, which then acts as a DHCP server for the LAN. Pretty straightforward stuff.

Well, I guess my expectation is/was that the ONT supplied by the optical provider acted in much the same manner - i.e. the provider would interface with, update with, and assign (basically) an IP address visible on the outside network, then the ONT would execute essentially the same protocols as a cable modem on the LAN side .... so that essentially the gateway/router/firewall (which I supply and manage) is essentially "invisible" to the provider as far as configuration and management goes. also so that essentially ANY gateway/firewall I provide should be compatible with the ONT the supplier provides.

The only thing I could get out of their "tech support", and even that just by chance, was to run the "modem" they supply (which is a full fledged all-in-one gateway, firewall, switch/wireless router) as a bridge .... which seems awfully wasteful, and probably redundant if my understanding of how things work is correct.

Am I correct in this, or am I missing something?

After many tries, I just could not get an answer to this from the provider .... and we opted not to go ahead with running the optical cable with the chance the setup I wanted would not work. For my own reference though I want to know .... you never know, I might go back to them, since the claim to have a MUCH higher bandwidth than my local cable provider gives me....
 

USAFRet

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Well, I guess my expectation is/was that the ONT supplied by the optical provider acted in much the same manner - i.e. the provider would interface with, update with, and assign (basically) an IP address visible on the outside network, then the ONT would execute essentially the same protocols as a cable modem on the LAN side
Yes, mostly.

so that essentially the gateway/router/firewall (which I supply and manage) is essentially "invisible" to the provider as far as configuration and management goes. also so that essentially ANY gateway/firewall I provide should be compatible with the ONT the supplier provides.
Maybe. Depends on the provider and their specifics.
For instance, I have 100/100 Verizon FiOS. A fiber line up to the house, then the ONT converts that to either COAX or ethernet. Then, the 'router' distributes that to devices in the house.
My setup is COAX from the ONT to the router. But could have been ethernet.

I have the router direct from Verizon, the G1100. Purchased from them. If I wanted to, I could put another router behind that.
But because I also have TV service through Verizon, that Verizon router needs to be in the mix somewhere. That is what talks to the TV STBs.


Instead of theoreticals, ask them about a specific device.
"Can I connect the FooBar router direct to the ONT. WIll it work? If not, why not?"


But, using a router/gateway not on their specific approved list may introduce problems later, when something happens. They are likely to blame your off-list router as the issue. If you buy something from their approved list, they can't easily do that.
 

kanewolf

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I folks .... I have not posted here for a LONG time .... but here goes. So.... I just did battle with a (I guess currently unnamed) optical internet provider .... ultimately cancelled my installation - but many questions were left. As usual, the provider was completely unable to give me any reasonable technical answers other than basically "is it plugged in". Frustrating.

I know basically nothing about optical networking, except for what I have been able to research over the last few days, and like I said, I have some unanswered questions that the provider was totally unable to answer, so I am trying you folks. So, I am aware of the various protocols over the fiber (EPON, GPON, XGS-PON, etc), but my questions, I believe, really have nothing to do with those protocols. It is my understanding that, whatever provider you use, THEY will supply (and interface with) a .... call it a terminator .... for their fiber that sits at their POP in the house. Most of the time this widget is called an Optical Network Terminal (ONT). Also, at least to my understanding, the ONT is the widget that converts the optical protocols, to TCP/IP 100BaseT protocols that interface with the wired (or wireless) LAN.

Although it is not a perfect comparison, for cable providers, the "cable modem" converts the signals on the cable into the same TCP/IP 100BaseT protocols, and it also carries an IP address that it then passes on to the LAN gateway/router, which then acts as a DHCP server for the LAN. Pretty straightforward stuff.

Well, I guess my expectation is/was that the ONT supplied by the optical provider acted in much the same manner - i.e. the provider would interface with, update with, and assign (basically) an IP address visible on the outside network, then the ONT would execute essentially the same protocols as a cable modem on the LAN side .... so that essentially the gateway/router/firewall (which I supply and manage) is essentially "invisible" to the provider as far as configuration and management goes. also so that essentially ANY gateway/firewall I provide should be compatible with the ONT the supplier provides.

The only thing I could get out of their "tech support", and even that just by chance, was to run the "modem" they supply (which is a full fledged all-in-one gateway, firewall, switch/wireless router) as a bridge .... which seems awfully wasteful, and probably redundant if my understanding of how things work is correct.

Am I correct in this, or am I missing something?

After many tries, I just could not get an answer to this from the provider .... and we opted not to go ahead with running the optical cable with the chance the setup I wanted would not work. For my own reference though I want to know .... you never know, I might go back to them, since the claim to have a MUCH higher bandwidth than my local cable provider gives me....
There was a similar question about ISPs requiring THEIR hardware. There are benefits for the ISP. Most of the time, the requirement is to allow the ISP to provide services besides internet service. TV or VOIP may require specific ISP hardware.
 

gggplaya

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This really depends on whether or not they're charging a rental fee for their router? If it's free, then have them put the router into what's called "Bridged Mode" and use your own router.

With some fiber setups, if you can plug the ONT directly into your laptop and get internet. Basically no authentication is needed beyond the ONT. Then there's no need to use their ISP router. Just buy your own and plug the ONT into the WAN port and power cycle everything.
 

USAFRet

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This really depends on whether or not they're charging a rental fee for their router? If it's free, then have them put the router into what's called "Bridged Mode" and use your own router.

With some fiber setups, if you can plug the ONT directly into your laptop and get internet. Then there's no need to use their ISP router. Just buy your own and plug the ONT into the WAN port.
Or even if it is rental, you can often purchase the same one direct from the ISP.
That's what I did.

Upgraded to the G1100, then purchased it from them instead of the monthly fee.
They even split the $100 purchase across the next 3 months regular payments. $33.33/month.
 

rchamlen

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thanks for the comments. Just a couple clarifications on my side.
  1. for this install, I ONLY need the computer network connection, no VOIP or anything else .... so on my side I only need the basic TCPIP router/firewall
  2. I already have a well established LAN, using a Linksys Mesh master node, which acts as firewall, master router, and initial node for the wifi mesh. This setup has worked very well, and been really stable. I would rather keep it as-is (i.e. plug and play with the modem/ONT - if possible
  3. Yeah, I can use "their" hardware as a bridge - it just seems so wasteful! Another plug to manage, more network cable in a relatively small basement location, and one more point of failure in the setup. I dont know, maybe I am being too much of a purist with that last concern... :-(
Not sure what I will do. I have been warned that even though they offer "free" installation of the fiber to my inside POP, in reality they get there, then say ... "oh, that is a longer run of cable" (or something similar), then try to hit you up with "extra" charges (who knows what else they will spring at the last minute). I wont accept that type of practice on principal....

On the other hand, I have yet to experience the higher speed that last-mile optical can give, and I am curious if it is faster/more consistent than my current cable based service....
 

USAFRet

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Not sure what I will do. I have been warned that even though they offer "free" installation of the fiber to my inside POP, in reality they get there, then say ... "oh, that is a longer run of cable" (or something similar), then try to hit you up with "extra" charges (who knows what else they will spring at the last minute). I wont accept that type of practice on principal....
I've had Verizon FiOS installed 3 times.
That has happened never.
Even all the way across the house. ONT at one end, Verizon router at the other end.

Denote where you want the router, they will run a line to that location.
Now....they will NOT do all the in wall make it look absolutely pretty stuff.

If a long run, they would likely run the coax or Cat5e outside to nearer where you want the router, and then through the wall.


For my last install, second time at the same house, I already had the coax run from where I new the ONT was going to be, to where the router was going to be.
Since it took him all of 20 minutes to finish, he hung out after and we conversed.
They (Verizon, anyway) block off 4 hours for an install.

Since I had done most of the work for him, he gave me a MOCA device and good quality coax splitters, for free.
 

USAFRet

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Even before, when I had Cox Cable.

From the little box next to the curb....all the way around the house to the complete opposite corner.
Twice, due to issues.

Never had an issue of "we gotta charge you more'
 

bniknafs9

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you got it right , ONT is where the optical signals (mouse Laser) end , and electricity is used instead , essentially a modem ... in USA they prefer COAX to connect it to the computer and in Europe they prefer Ethernet.
GPON runs for a couple of dozen kilometers , 30 to 40 before losing signal . much better than adsl that starts getting crappy after the first kilometer.
Optical is much better , like in call of duty you can hit players from another continent.
 

rchamlen

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thanks again for all the additional comments on experience.

Ok ... I will get specific. This is Centurylink in the Minneapolis area. The installer himself "warned" me that they will frequently tell people "we gotta charge you more" (specifically around running the fiber from the pole into the house (not inside the house).

Interesting to hear the comments on faster speeds......
 

bniknafs9

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3 times what speed?
on my isp issued ONT my speed is capped at 100 .
on my router and new MAC it is about 360 mbps
when i download games it's usually 30 MB/s
almost 3 times the speed isp intends ...

if they cap my speed again , i come up with a new MAC
i ring my isp and ask them to approve my new MAC
the speed gets back to 360 again ...




This is my download speed right now , in the morning its slower around 200 something

my upload speed never reaches 100 it's around 90 (capped at 100 ) for sure , even with a router and a new MAC .

cheers
 

bniknafs9

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thanks again for all the additional comments on experience.

Ok ... I will get specific. This is Centurylink in the Minneapolis area. The installer himself "warned" me that they will frequently tell people "we gotta charge you more" (specifically around running the fiber from the pole into the house (not inside the house).

Interesting to hear the comments on faster speeds......
it's always better to use drop cables , as they call it , inside the house and run the fiber all the way to your computer room (This way there is no loss in speed and ping ...)
they use a passive splitter between the drop cables run inside your house and the core cables run outside your house on the poles .
i don't know what they call them in USA , or how it's done over there .
 

bniknafs9

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This is my upload speed :



it's capped at 100 for some weird reason i don't know if it's the ONT i'm using or my fibers ? i don't know



This is my ONT. some old taiwanese brand from the year 2011 . they only use it here and in china .





This is the access point i use to get that speed.
A mikrotik RnD something




And this is a CAT 7 CAT 6 wall socket i installed yesterday by myself , to distribute the internet throughout the house and to my parents.
 

gggplaya

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This is my upload speed :



it's capped at 100 for some weird reason i don't know if it's the ONT i'm using or my fibers ? i don't know



This is my ONT. some old taiwanese brand from the year 2011 . they only use it here and in china .





This is the access point i use to get that speed.
A mikrotik RnD something




And this is a CAT 7 CAT 6 wall socket i installed yesterday by myself , to distribute the internet throughout the house and to my parents.
What's the exact model number of the ONT and router? Do either of those have 100mbps ports??
 

bniknafs9

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What's the exact model number of the ONT and router? Do either of those have 100mbps ports??
ONT is Zyxel , pmg5317-t20b , with custom firmware added by myself .
it's old zyxel they don't use in taiwan itself . only in china and here.

router is
RB2011UiAS-2HnD-IN


.
the ONT has four gigabit/2.5 g ? ports
the router has 5 gigabit ports and 5
100mbps ports
but i'm not using any of those 100mbps ports ... so to say
 

rchamlen

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it's always better to use drop cables , as they call it , inside the house and run the fiber all the way to your computer room (This way there is no loss in speed and ping ...)
they use a passive splitter between the drop cables run inside your house and the core cables run outside your house on the poles .
i don't know what they call them in USA , or how it's done over there
I wish. Unfortunately, my POP is (or rather has to be) in the basement because of the relationship between the house and the nearest pole. AND .... the house is completely "sealed up" in terms of drywall and finished spaces. No way to run any more cables or fiber from basement to computers without opening up the walls (which is not going to happen). Also, we do not have any "one" computer room .... quite a few locations/rooms in the house are (or can be) used as a computer location. Good news is that before we closed up the walls all those locations are wired with ethernet (Cat6), and all routers/switches are gigabit....
 
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rchamlen

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OK...and now we've veered far from your original question.
Thats ok - go for it! :) I pretty much got my question answered. I'll keep following and see if there are any nuggets I can pick up.

Some of the speed discussions so far are enlightening (and also go to the question of whether they are blowing smoke up my .... you know what)

Right now with my cable I am seeing 225 mbps upload and 5.5 mbps upload (I am paying for 250 or so). The optical provider claims they support 940 mbps up and down. Right. I'll believe it when I see it ..... but I wont see it unless I have the fiber strung to my POP...
 

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