House and fiber optic cable

What Do I Need to Install Fiber-Optic Internet in My House?

Comments 46 comments

Once you’ve made the decision to connect your services—from internet to TV to phone—via fiber-optic, you’ve done the hard work. Now it’s time to think about the installation. Here’s your guide on getting ready for your install. And having it done professionally by your provider is recommended. It’s much easier, and you’ll benefit from their experience.

How will fiber get to your house in the first place?

Fiber-optic is delivered via a cable, either from underground or an aerial power pole, that goes right into your house. This is called Fiber to the Home, which is just what you want if you can get it. Your internet service provider will bring it right to your door.

Of course, it’s what’s inside the cable that counts. Fiber-optic technology sends the data as pulses of light through hair-thin strands of fiberglass. Information travels practically at the speed of light, giving you more reliability and less latency or buffering.

You should not need to purchase or provide anything for your installation. Your provider will come to your home with everything you need. That includes your Optical Network Terminal (ONT), which converts the optical signal coming through the fiber into signals for your router and from your router to any extenders, if necessary. You shouldn’t need to have any backup equipment. Your ISP usually will supply a router, or you may purchase your own.

Who does what on install day

You Your technician
Clear a path at the access point where service will enter your home, either in your garage, basement or a closetInstalls the ONT (Optical Network Terminal)
Make sure a grounded outlet is accessibleConnects ONT to power
Have a router location designated and clear of all clutterRuns wires from ONT to the router
Tell your technician about any known dead spots in your houseTests signal strength with a Wi-Fi scan and advises on your need for extenders to improve coverage
Sit back and relaxConnects extenders if you need them
Connect all your devices to your new fiber-optic networkChecks to make sure that everything from your router to computers, tablets, smart home devices and wireless phones are all working

A few tips to make the most of your new fiber network

Router location. Pick a central location in your home, on the second floor, if you have one. Install it up off the floor. Your technician can do a walk-through with you and give you advice on your selected location and make a different recommendation.

Use your provider’s router. It’s tempting to invest in your own router. Here’s the catch: You will be 100% responsible for the software updates and maintenance. If you use the router from your internet service provider (ISP), you won’t have to worry about software updates, as they’re applied automatically. And if something goes wrong, your provider can help resolve issues by “seeing” the state of your home network devices. What’s more, they’ll take responsibility for repair or replacement.

VoIP phone service will give you a backup battery. Your fiber-optic VoIP phone service will have a battery backup located in the ONT. If there’s a power outage in your home, you’ll still have many hours to use the phone and call for any emergency help you might need. If you’re getting only internet service, you won’t have backup for your internet and router. All components need to be powered to work.

Make note of your network name and password. Your technician can show you where these are, right on the label on your router. Take a picture of the label with your smartphone. After your install, when you’re settling in to your new service, you can take the time to change these to more personal ones of your choosing.

As soon as your fiber-optic installation is complete, you can start enjoying it.

46 responses to “What Do I Need to Install Fiber-Optic Internet in My House?”

  1. Frontier Communications says:

    No two installations are the same, some don’t require any drilling, some do. Typically, our Fiber equipment is wall mounted. Sue

  2. Gail says:

    Is it worth doing now, or should you Waite till you own company puts it in. Seems like a lot of trouble for us to go through now. Please give pro,s and con,s. How do you know if the person knocking on your door is good, or just another con sales person?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Gail! If you’re in an area that we’re expanding our fiber service to of course I’m going to recommend you go with us! Now if you currently have any other service and fiber is an option, even if not with us, it’s still the superior technology so I still say go for it!

      The pros of fiber are that it’s the absolute fastest and lowest latency internet connection technology available. Every other technology and even your cell phone towers are fed with fiber. It’s also symmetrical, which means that the upload speed is the same as the download speed. Historically this wasn’t necessarily as important, which is why many technologies were asymmetrical with upload speeds only a small percentage of the download speed. More recently, that has changed. Growth for upload speed demand is greatly outpacing the growth for download bandwidth. For cons, some may find the installation a bit invasive as we have to connect your home up to the new network with an aerial or buried line.

      When our fiber service is available we may canvas neighborhoods with pamphlets or with visits from door to door reps. Our reps should always be uniformed, professional, and have a Frontier ID visible. If you experience anything less than that we want to know and you can message us on Facebook (m.me/FrontierCorp) or Twitter (twitter.com/AskFrontier). Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

      Michael

  3. Austin says:

    What is the fiber run distance limit to my house that is included in the free installation? My house is about 400 ft from the street where the fiber is.

  4. Kevin says:

    If a conduit is needed underground to install fiber from the pole to my garage, what size conduit do I need. It will be 75 feet long from the pole to my garage.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Kevin. You would normally want a 1.5″-2″ conduit, but you would not typically have to place this yourself. We will usually do this as part of the buried drop work, either with conduit or direct bury, at the time of install. ^Michael

  5. Garrett says:

    My existing internet (cable) and plain old telephone service (copper wire) both are in separate 2 inch conduit. Can Frontier use the same telephone conduit for the fiber?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Garrett. Typically this would not be an issue but it will depend on where the terminal your home would be connected from is located.

  6. Lisa says:

    Hi I was wondering how I can get fiber ran or is it even available in my area ? I need something my kids are in school and need internet badly. I have HughesNet but it’s terrible. Please I hope yall can help.

  7. Frontier Communications says:

    Hi Lisa! We’re working to expand our fiber footprint as quickly as possible. We’ve made it available to more than 4.4 million so far on the road to adding over a million this year. Our goal is to pass 5 million homes and businesses in total this year and our moon shot is to exceed 10 million fiber eligible homes and businesses by 2025. Much planning goes into our fiber build, but our priority is bringing connectivity to our existing customers in the communities that need it most. If you reach out to us on Social Media – Facebook PM (https://fybr.to/3dZnS6p) or Twitter (https://fybr.to/3Q6UmJH) we can check to see if Fiber is available or if we have updates on builds in your area. If it is available, you would probably be aware from recent construction efforts in your neighborhood, but we’re still happy to check and see if we have near term plans for your area!

  8. Douglas Roth says:

    Flyers were distributed in my neighborhood, and I’m told Frontier FTTH will be arriving in September 2022. My neighborhood has underground powerlines – no telephone poles. The power, phone, and cable all terminate at one corner of my walkout basement and enter the house into our utility room where the breaker panel is located.

    My question: There is no ethernet cable in the house. I assume the OTN will be located in the utility room, but I would need the WiFi Router located two floors up on the other side of the house. Will the Frontier technician run Cat 6 cable through the house, or is that the homeowner’s responsibility?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Douglas, in some limited cases our techs will run new cabling, but generally that wouldn’t happen across 2 floors. Instead, we utilize existing coaxial wiring using MoCa technology, which supports up to 2.5Gbps of bandwidth, more than enough to transport all the way up to our 2Gig symmetrical service from the Optical Network Terminal to the home Router and Eero Mesh devices.

  9. Ann says:

    My existing phone and internet service is underground and the fiber optic cable is aerial on the electric line. How is the fiber optic brought to the house from the other side of the road? Also will a unit need to be placed outside on the house (like the existing service) and a unit inside the house (like the existing relay switch). Can I have two lines from the ONT run so I can change the location of the router or is it one line and make the router location permanent forever.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Ann, if you’re referring to our fiber footprint it’s odd that we would put the fiber in aerial if ours and any other service are buried in your neighborhood today. With many of your questions, including this one, I can only speculate. We can install with an aerial drop directly to your home if that’s how our fiber is to be connected at homes in your area or it may require a bore under the road in front of your home and be buried. The fiber can terminate at the ONT in a weatherproof enclosure or ingress into the interior with the ONT mounted inside. From there, we can use existing coaxial wire or Ethernet between the ONT and router. The coax would use a technology called MoCA 2.5 which can transmit up to 2.5Gbps and the Ethernet would be either Gigabit or 2.5GBaseT. Our tech will usually only set up a single cabling option from the ONT to the router, but it’s possible if you have coax in your home you’d have several options readily available and additional drops as Ethernet can always be done as an option. We also have Eero 6 Pro mesh available which may preclude the need for additional cable runs or help to better support them by having multiple Eero units wired. I hope this answers all your questions! ^Michael

  10. Delores Glenn says:

    Hey, I’m wondering also when will this service will be up and running in my area? The lines have been run along the power poles and yes I have internet service with HughesNet which isn’t worth having and my daughter lives close to me and she has 2 children in school, she has no internet except her iphone hot spot. Help! Thx

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Delores, if you’re in our service area, when we complete the build we offer it for sale as quickly as possible. If you can reach out to us in private on Facebook or Twitter (m.me/FrontierCorp or Twitter.com/AskFrontier) we would be happy to check for you. ^Michael

  11. Mary Ann says:

    Can optic be run on a pvc pipe yhsts buried under a paved driveway that contains an extension cord if there is space for the cable, & where it’s exposed, can it be covered with a piece of rubber hose?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Mary Ann! I suppose it can, but we wouldn’t normally run a buried drop in such a way that any part of it would be exposed. When we bury a drop the entire path is buried including under driveways and side walks and sometimes even the road. If you place an order and have any additional questions or concerns about the buried drop we’re happy to help out, please reach out to us on Social Media, either Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. ^Michael

  12. Lynn says:

    Hi
    The outside of my house(middle terrace) is ready for fibre but my kitchen is at the front where it would be and my tv is right through the other end of the house at the back would it be possible to put the cable over the top(roof)and come down at the back wall into the lounge.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Lynn, the installations are very versatile and no two are the same so it’s unlikely there would be any issue. The fiber connection and optical terminal are usually located in a garage or utility area near where other wired utilities (power, copper phone, cable) would come in and then utilizes existing home wiring for connectivity within the home. Hope this helps clear up some info. ^Michael

  13. Jack Welchon says:

    I have COMCAST now. Can you hook GOOGLE to the existing coax line already running into my house? I am rarely home thru the day and will not be there to let a tech inside. Could I do the inside setup myself?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Jack, at the present time we don’t have a self installation option and we do need someone over the age of 18 to be present during the installation. The fiber install does require the set up and placement of equipment inside and outside the home that requires someone who can help make decisions throughout the process. ^Michael

  14. Carole says:

    How long does a installation usually take. The appointments are scheduled as two hour increments.

  15. Joe says:

    I currently have Comcast’s cable running through about twelve feet of half inch conduit from their box on the wall to the modem. It has one gentle bend. Can Frontier use the same path? I want to avoid an exposed cable.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hello Joe. Based on the description you’ve provided I don’t believe this would be necessary for the optical cable, but ultimately it would be determined at the time of install with our install technician. When we bring Frontier Fiber to your home it connects to an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) that is usually placed on an exterior wall in a weatherproof enclosure or the interior side of an exterior wall without much cable routing being necessary. The ONT is then connected to the router with Ethernet which routes very easily. ^Michael

  16. David Vega says:

    I got an exterior box that has Spectrum connected,It’s that the one they will use for connecting the fiber optical wires?I have Internet on la no tv..

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi David, good question! While our install may use the coaxial wire inside your home the outside ingress point for cable service wouldn’t typically be shared or used. Fiber requires a device called an Optical Network Terminal which the fiber line connects to. The ONT is sometimes mounted in a weatherproof enclosure outside the home near the other utilities or inside with the fiber line being routed to it. The best choice is typically determined on install day between the homeowner and our technician. ^Michael

  17. Will says:

    I currently have a cable modem, and a separate router. Both are located close to the ceiling in a bookcase centrally located on my first floor. My current router is very new and supplies. my entire property with good service without any mesh extenders. Can you run fiber from your ONT through my basement and up into the bookcase where the present modem is? Can I then use just your modem with my present router? Is there a discount if I don’t utilize your Aeeo router and would this be a good idea?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hello Will, good questions. You’re welcome to use your own equipment and in most cases it should work, but we’re not able to provide any support or guidance on what types of settings you may need to use in order to do so. To clarify further, the Optical Network Terminal is the point that the fiber terminates at and the connection from there the cabling would be Ethernet or Coax using MoCA 2.5 technology capable of 10Gig and 2.5Gig respectively. There is no modem in a fiber install and currently the mesh hardware offered to new customers is at no charge so there is no discount offered for declining them. ^Michael

  18. Victor Alarcon says:

    Technician came to residence and told us that our TV is old that we should go purchase a new model TV. Is a newer model TV is needed for Installation?
    Who should I contact to verify that comment?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hello Victor, good question! Typically, no, a new TV wouldn’t be required but this is said with some possible caveats. In the modern era, TVs and TV and streaming equipment have become dependent on modern HDMI connectors for video signals. It is possible that if you own an older television that predates this technology it would require a new TV or additional signal conversion hardware provided by you to adapt the HDMI signal to an older TV type. ^Michael

  19. Marta Toro says:

    Can I get Fiber optic in a condominium?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Thanks for the question, Marta! We do install in apartments and condos though availability is often determined by the entire property being installed through an arrangement with property management. ^Michael

  20. Barbara David’s says:

    We are rebuilding our house and would like to prepare for Frontier internet. Should we have our builder lay the interior cable since access post-dry wall will be more difficult. If so, what are the wire specs?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Barbara, this is an outstanding question! Specific to our service install there is no fiber wiring you would need to install yourself. The same is not true about wiring used for computer networks, though, it’s always a good idea to have wired networking options! I recommend installing as much Category 6, 6e, or 7 around your home to a central wiring location as possible and including a line or path from where lines for service with us currently ingress to that same central location. Cat6, 6e, and 7 wiring, which is a common network cable type widely available at hardware stores and to builders, is capable of supporting Ethernet speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second. This is what I do and have set up in my own home. With or without special wiring our install technicians will make sure our fiber service is installed and working in your home but having optional wiring ready to go is not a disadvantage! ^Michael

  21. Charles says:

    I would like to have fiber optic installed in my home. It is a old home and doesn’t even have coaxial cables. It only has copper lines for the telephone. Will fiber optic also allow me to sign up for phone service or is that only for Internet service?

    If fiber optic allows for phone service does that mean all the copper wires need to be pulled out and replaced with fiber optic to each room of the house in which copper phone lines currently exists?

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Charles, great questions ! Yes, you can have phone service with Fiber! Your phone service will still use the same copper wiring within the home. What will change is that the router for your Fiber internet will connect to one of the phone outlets and supply dial tone using Voice over IP technology rather than copper lines coming from outside. ^Michael

      • Charles says:

        Thanks for the reply Michael. That’s is really helpful info. I hesitated to switch over until I read your reply. BTW, can I keep my existing number despite switching to VOIP?

        • Frontier Communications says:

          If you sign up with Frontier; You would have to let the sales rep know that you would like to keep your old number from either us or another provider. They would then place what is called a port order, and then it would be up to the old provider to release it to us or not. -Justin

  22. Frontier Communications says:

    Please reach out to us at https://fybr.to/3iYXkp5 And we would be glad to look over that for you, We just need more info. -Justin

  23. David J Byler says:

    Your site says there is fiber available to my residence. Are you able to connect to coax cable or does it have to be Ethernet? I had Concast cable in the past and the coax cable is still present from an exterior box into the house.

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi David, yes we can use coaxial cable. The technology we use for coax wiring is called MoCA 2.5, and it operates at speeds up to 2.5GBps. We will also run an Ethernet drop if it’s required on install day. ^Michael

  24. Frontier Communications says:

    If it is for fiber install, a tech will locate or install a small ont (converts the fiber light to Ethernet) box inside or an ont unit outside then run wiring into the home to connect to the router. -Justin

  25. Steven says:

    I’m having fiber installed to my house with a 1 gig plan and have a bunch of questions:

    My house if ~700′ off the road with the utility pole across a paved road from my driveway. I have a buried 4″ sch 40 conduit installed along the edge of my driveway with copper phone cable that was installed 17 years ago. The 550′ long 4″ conduit terminates at a Frontier “post” and transitions to a ~2″ conduit where is runs ~ 150′ to my house.

    Question 1 – when the new fiber cable is installed will they use the existing conduit and if so, will they use the existing copper cable as a pull “string” and then replace the copper cable temporarily, so we are not left without current phone and internet – until the work inside our house is complete? There are no spare conduits along my driveway.

    Inside our house and in our unfinished basement is coax cable, cat 5 and cat 6 – both coax and cat 6 in our basement can run from your ONT to my network closet on the second floor where the router will be installed. I assume the ONT will be installed in our basement next to our breaker panel. That’s where the power enters our house and the current phone box is located – immediately next to our elec meter. The breaker panel is mounted on an oversized plywood backer with 120v outlets and plenty of room for the ONT.

    Question 2 – None of the existing coax or cat 6 cables are long to connect to the ONT directly, is it acceptable to splice either of these cable to make them longer or is a home run required between the ONT and my network room, where the router will be installed, and, from a performance perspective, which would be better to splice – coax or cat 6?

    Question 3 – I have a fairly large house and my install includes an EERO Pro 6 router. If there are gaps in my WiFi coverage and I need an additional router/extender for the mesh to cover my entire house will the tech provide that and is there a charge, or will I have to buy an additional EERO router/extender. Again, my install is for the 1 gig plan.

    Thank you in advance for your answers. And sorry for so many questions

    • Frontier Communications says:

      Hi Steven, these are great questions and while I’ll do my best, some of these details will likely need to be deferred to the field upon our initial visit. I can say that yes our fiber drop can be pulled or pushed through existing unobstructed conduit but our techs will need to determine the viability of that when we come out. Regarding your cabling question, a home run from the primary gateway router is better than a cable that has been spliced, but assuming it was spliced properly it should be fine. For coaxial wire, we can do up to 2.5Gb/s of bandwidth using MoCA technology adapters and Cat6 can do up to 10Gb/s on shorter runs. Cat6a and Cat7 can do up to 10Gb/s (10GBase-T) at lengths up to 100M. For your mesh, my first recommendation is that if at all possible, wire each mesh access point. This will give you a fully connected network, meaning that every AP can go directly to another. If several are wireless, they may be relaying from another one that’s relaying to the gateway. You may not necessarily notice this in practice today, but over-saturation could lead you to noticing it in the future as bandwidth needs potentially increase. As for the number of access points, depending on your order we can provide up to two and additional Eero 6 Pros are available at 5 dollars per month. Considering their cost to purchase, this is a pretty fair deal! Our tech can add them on install day to your account. You can also choose to purchase Eeros directly from Amazon or build your own network with a different brand of hardware entirely. And no apology necessary, it always pays to try to be prepared! If you need more help, remember we’re always available on Social Media linked below. ^Michael

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