[TriplePlay] Switching from Comcast To Verizon FiOS!

Verizon FiOSI was reluctant to switch to Verizon FiOS. However, after more than a few dropped calls every time I was accessing my Mobotix live feed in the house on the wireless I decided to give the guys at Verizon a call. (Side Note: If the guy/gal on the other end knows you are considering switching from Comcast they become even more excited to win you over. They are good sweet talkers) Plus, the promotion Verizon FiOS was running better than its rivals. The triple-play bundle cost ~$90/month w/o taxes and fees considering you get 15MB download and 5 MB upload over fibre connection straight to your home!

The installation took roughly about 6 hours total to complete:

  • The installer inspected of our home for the best place to run connections and we discussed several options before proceeding. I like how he took what I had to say into consideration.
  • Run fibre cables from pole to pole, then directly to our house going to the converter box mounted outside the house.
  • Install the Digital Media Converter (DMC) and run Ethernet/Coax to the server room in the house
  • Activate Services (Transfer phone number from Comcast)
  • Install HD Transceiver and program all channels

The installation was very neat. The tech even beautified the ugly cable runs made by Comcast and did not have to run new wiring! I loved the fact he did not mind me watching all he was doing and was happy to answer all my questions. The Comcast tech had a problem with me watching and thought being asked too many questions was a bad thing. Go figure! Well everything worked fine except one thing! My personal Firewall, a Juniper SSG5, was not able to obtain a public IP like it did when I had Comcast without any manual intervention.

The VerizonFiOS router, by default, has

  • one (1) WAN port in addition to about
  • four (4) regular LAN ports (10/100MB) and
  • one (1) Coaxial port.

The WAN port (Ethernet) on the FiOS router is not activated by default, instead Internet Traffic (Voice, Data & Video) is allowed to flow through the Coaxial cable alone. The LAN ports are where local computers are connected and they will receive an internal IP address such as 192.168.1.X/24 form the internal FiOS DHCP server on the router. I do not like this because I prefer to use my Firewall to better manage the outside world and manage security myself. Go figure! -:)

My situation is I have a Juniper SSG5 router at home. If I connected the Untrust on Interface of the SSG to any one of the LAN ports on the FiOS router, the SSG is given a local Class-C address. This is expected, but bad for me because I want to use my router to filter Internet traffic and I need a public IP to do that. Unlike Comcast Cable which allows piggy-backing, by default, of their WAN port Verizon does not. Unless, you specifically tell the tech to activate the WAN port on the modem. Something I realized after the installation was done. So, after switching to FiOS, I realized that the WAN port on the FiOS router was not active by default. I thought I would have to switch back to Comcast Cable, but Verizon had an answer. “Switch from Moca to Non-Moca” and allow only Internet traffic to flow through the WAN (Ethernet) port of the FiOS router.

After the service call, a Verizon tech said the “cross-over” was complete and now Internet is only active via the Ethernet cable going from the ONT (Optical Network Terminator?) to my personal Firewall. Well, the problem was the initial install did not use any Ethernet runs! Wish I knew this before the installer left or I can try this myself.

After opening a case, support suggested that I switch to “non-Mocca” for Internet traffic only and “Mocca” for Video and Voice. I watched the installer, I knew just what to do without having a technician come out to my house. “Mocca is code word for Coaxial and “Non-Mocca” is the code word for Ethernet. Now all had to do was run an ethernet cable direcly from the Verizon ONT directly to my SSG’s Untrust port. The end goal is to allow my SSG router be given an External-IP instead of an internal Class-C IP. This effectively allowed me to use my router for Internet traffic instead of the Verizon router. And it worked beautifully!
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