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GasPoweredSt

@myvzw.com

[Connectivity] Illegal to activate my own coaxial line?

When I tried to order HSI from Comcast they told me I need to have a technician come out to tap me in to the cable line before I can register my modem. I live in a 5 apartment complex in which I believe I am the only one without HSI from Comcast. I have a modem, I have a coaxial jack, and the box in which the line from the telephone pole splits to each apartment is right outside and seems to be easily accessed.

When I tried to ask customer support what exactly a technician needed to come out for, they (I spoke to two separate people) said that because my apartment hasn't had service with comcast that the physical connection needed to be "switched back on". When I asked if I could do it myself they kind of gave me the runaround, fluxuating between a definite "no you can't do it yourself," and hesitant non-answers like, "we really suggest our technician comes out it's so done properly".

Is it possible to simply open the splitter box in and make the connection myself? Is that legal? Any information on this would be great. It just seems crazy that I have to wait a week,and pay a fee, for a technician to do something that seems so arbitrary and simple.

Thanks in advance for helping me out!


DarkLogix
Texan and Proud
Premium
join:2008-10-23
Baytown, TX
kudos:3
The box on the pole is comcast property and if you access it you're breaking and entering.
--
semper idem
1KTzRMxN1a2ATrtAAvbmEnMBoY3E2kHtyv


graysonf
Premium,MVM
join:1999-07-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:2
reply to GasPoweredSt
I'd hook it up and if I got signal I would try to register the modem and get connected. If it works and you have no problems that would require a tech to come out, cancel the install appointment, get the fee removed, and tell them you did a self install if there are any questions.


GasPoweredSt

@myvzw.com
reply to GasPoweredSt
Edit: my apartment hasn't had Comcast service in three years.


GasPoweredSt

@myvzw.com
reply to DarkLogix
said by DarkLogix:

The box on the pole is comcast property and if you access it you're breaking and entering.

The box I'm talking about is actually on the side of my apartment building. It's fed one big cable from the telephone pole, and in turn feeds the cables through the basement up through the floor of each apt. Correct me if I'm wrong, but since my neighbors have comcast, Im assuming the connection that needs to be made is in that box, which i believe my landlord owns as it is part of the wiring of the complex. I could be wrong though, as my knowledge in this area is a bit limited.


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
reply to GasPoweredSt
It is illegal to activate your own service.

As far as setting up an account, then turning it on yourself? Well, that gets into a grey area. You're paying for it, so it isn't really theft of service. But it COULD be considered criminal mischief. If you're only getting HSI, and activate your service without the appropriate trap, you're also getting the video, and that IS theft of services.

Since you're just renting, you don't own any of the wiring.

I would say that the biggest drawback of doing it yourself is that there is no guarantee on the installation. If you have issues down the line, you're on the hook for service fees because it was not installed by a technician.


tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
reply to GasPoweredSt
AND the biggie...they could decide you were tampering and permanently deny YOU service. Is it worth the risk?


GasPoweredSt

@myvzw.com
reply to burner50
said by burner50:

It is illegal to activate your own service.

As far as setting up an account, then turning it on yourself? Well, that gets into a grey area. You're paying for it, so it isn't really theft of service. But it COULD be considered criminal mischief. If you're only getting HSI, and activate your service without the appropriate trap, you're also getting the video, and that IS theft of services.

Since you're just renting, you don't own any of the wiring.

I would say that the biggest drawback of doing it yourself is that there is no guarantee on the installation. If you have issues down the line, you're on the hook for service fees because it was not installed by a technician.

You're right that I don't own any of the wiring, but if Comcast doesn't own it then I could most likely get permission from my landlord to do it myself.

Also, I'm definitely not trying to steal cable (don't even own a tv) and am trying to pay Comcast for their service. The wiring is already in place, so is it literally just a switch they're flipping, or do they actually have to come and add some kind of physical device? It seems to me like it can't be anything beyond creating a physical connection via switch or simply plugging my coaxial into the splitter. Since Comcast provided to my apt years ago (before i moved in), and currently provides to my neighbors, wouldn't it already have the proper connections in place? Again, my limited knowledge may be over-simplifying the problem, so I'm sorry if I'm beating any dead horses.

I really appreciate the responses!


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
said by GasPoweredSt :

said by burner50:

It is illegal to activate your own service.

As far as setting up an account, then turning it on yourself? Well, that gets into a grey area. You're paying for it, so it isn't really theft of service. But it COULD be considered criminal mischief. If you're only getting HSI, and activate your service without the appropriate trap, you're also getting the video, and that IS theft of services.

Since you're just renting, you don't own any of the wiring.

I would say that the biggest drawback of doing it yourself is that there is no guarantee on the installation. If you have issues down the line, you're on the hook for service fees because it was not installed by a technician.

You're right that I don't own any of the wiring, but if Comcast doesn't own it then I could most likely get permission from my landlord to do it myself.

Also, I'm definitely not trying to steal cable (don't even own a tv) and am trying to pay Comcast for their service. The wiring is already in place, so is it literally just a switch they're flipping, or do they actually have to come and add some kind of physical device? It seems to me like it can't be anything beyond creating a physical connection via switch or simply plugging my coaxial into the splitter. Since Comcast provided to my apt years ago (before i moved in), and currently provides to my neighbors, wouldn't it already have the proper connections in place? Again, my limited knowledge may be over-simplifying the problem, so I'm sorry if I'm beating any dead horses.

I really appreciate the responses!

I don't know about the specific system but in general, yes, a device must be installed. It is a filter that will pass only specific frequencies used by HSI, and not those used by the majority of the Video services.

In addition, if it were disconnected properly, the ports on whatever is in the box will have security sleeves or terminators on them prohibiting you from actually making the connection.

rody_44
Premium
join:2004-02-20
Quakertown, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to GasPoweredSt
Its a mdu and your landlord doesnt own that plant. Comcast owns it. A MDU setting isnt like a single home where once it gets to the building the owner owns it. Comcast always owns mainline no matter where its installed. That being said no its not acceptable for you to be messing with that as it can effect your neighbors.


graysonf
Premium,MVM
join:1999-07-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:2
reply to burner50
said by burner50:

I don't know about the specific system but in general, yes, a device must be installed. It is a filter that will pass only specific frequencies used by HSI, and not those used by the majority of the Video services.

This is definitely not the case with Comcast. Cable TV and HSI come in on the same coax. You don't need any filters or other devices other than a cable modem and TV box.


beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5
said by graysonf:

said by burner50:

I don't know about the specific system but in general, yes, a device must be installed. It is a filter that will pass only specific frequencies used by HSI, and not those used by the majority of the Video services.

This is definitely not the case with Comcast. Cable TV and HSI come in on the same coax. You don't need any filters or other devices other than a cable modem and TV box.

Yes, it is. Many areas still install physical traps to only pass HSI/CDV carriers / frequency ranges and block the video carriers if the subscriber is HSI or CDV only. They are moving away from it as more areas go all digital, but it's still done and common.


graysonf
Premium,MVM
join:1999-07-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:2
Never had any of that stuff here and cable has been for more than 25 years.


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
reply to graysonf
said by graysonf:

said by burner50:

I don't know about the specific system but in general, yes, a device must be installed. It is a filter that will pass only specific frequencies used by HSI, and not those used by the majority of the Video services.

This is definitely not the case with Comcast. Cable TV and HSI come in on the same coax. You don't need any filters or other devices other than a cable modem and TV box.

I never insinuated that they were on separate lines.

You don't understand what I'm saying. You don't need any device to receive the signal... Comcast needs a device to BLOCK the services to which someone may not subscribe... This has traditionally been done with a trap or filter. If the local cable system is 100% encrypted, then a device would not be necessary.


graysonf
Premium,MVM
join:1999-07-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:2
I know what you are talking about.

30 years ago where I had cable TV they put a notch filter in the line to filter out channel 5 which was HBO.

The don't place filters here to prevent HSI from being consumed without payment, they authorize the modem instead.


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
said by graysonf:

I know what you are talking about.

30 years ago where I had cable TV they put a notch filter in the line to filter out channel 5 which was HBO.

The don't place filters here to prevent HSI from being consumed without payment, they authorize the modem instead.

No, but they DO place filters to prevent VIDEO from reaching CPE when it is not subscribed... Unless the system is 100% ENC, then you would need a DTA on every TV and THOSE could be authorized at will...


graysonf
Premium,MVM
join:1999-07-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL
kudos:2
They don't do that here. Every TV set needs a box.


beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5
Then since that has been enacted, they wouldn't use a filter to block video on HSI subs, they can just rely on addressable CPE.

Prior to that though, it was extremely common since the dawn of cable internet. Same principal for the old filters that blocked HBO, Disney, etc.


burner50
Proud Union THUG
Premium
join:2002-06-05
Fort Worth, TX
kudos:1
reply to graysonf
said by graysonf:

They don't do that here. Every TV set needs a box.

Well, that is a relatively modern system. Most systems around the country haven't been upgraded and are not 100% Encrypted like yours.


nerdburg
Premium
join:2009-08-20
Schuylkill Haven, PA
kudos:1
reply to GasPoweredSt
said by Anon80:

Is it possible to simply open the splitter box in and make the connection myself? Is that legal? Any information on this would be great. It just seems crazy that I have to wait a week,and pay a fee, for a technician to do something that seems so arbitrary and simple.

If the box is unlocked and there is an open port, nobody is gonna' care if you hook it up yourself. The cable police aren't going to come after you.

The downside is that that tag on your line will be wrong and the next Comcast tech that looks in the box will disconnect your line. Also, any open ports should be protected with a locking terminator, which you can't get off without the right tool.

Probably easier to just pay the $40 and have it hooked up properly.

jbstanford

join:2012-10-19
Salt Lake City, UT
reply to GasPoweredSt
So, an incident comes to mind-

A few years ago we had some renters in our house. They had Comcast TV.
They moved out. We moved in. We ordered Comcast internet a few days later.

A tech came around a few days later. I asked "Are you hooking up our internet?". They said "No, we're disconnecting the cable and locking it up". I told them that we had just ordered Cable Internet.

The tech said "Really? Well no point in disconnecting it then" and shut the box back up and put the tags on it.

When we got our Install Kit in the mail a few days later, I plugged it in and got the regular activation page. But when it wouldn't activate - and I called up - the agent on the line gave me a ton of hassle because they said that I had to have a tech come out (and, of course, 'we'd need to charge you $xxx'). I asked them why they had to have a tech, when my modem was clearly initialized and synched up and all they needed to do was add it to my account (I'd gotten the self activation page, geez... but they didn't care)

Eventually, after I tried to ask them to explain, and repeated that over and over again, they agreed, and it began working great.

So, my advice would be to just plug in a Modem (or, heck, a digital receiver that supports Cable) and see if you get anything. If it connects immediately, you should be able to just activate your account online. If you have to call, you can tell them that you moved in and it was already connected. Can't hurt.

If you plug it in and you get no signal, then it's probably not worth messing with the wires to connect. I'd get a tech to swing by.

BTW, I'm sure problems like this are nothing new. Especially in homes where they have added apartments. I knew one person who lived in someone's basement and had their own service, but it was a pain anytime they had to call up because the people upstairs also had service (same address) resulting in similar issues.