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JasonC

@erprovisioning.com

TONS of Fioptics Questions

I have been searching the web all day for some real details on the new CB Fioptics that was just installed in my area. I had a sales rep come by late last week so I'm assuming it just got turned on. Anyways, there are so many mixed reviews out there and I've really jut been looking for some clarification on a few things, and this group of users seem to really know what is going on. I won't ask everything, but I'd truly appreciate and help...

1) I believe I have FTTH since the rep told me they would be running a new line to the house, then using coax from there (additionally, CB site says I'm eligible for up to 100Mbps). He also described some type of converter box. Is this box outside or inside? Either way, does it change the fiber to coax so I can use my existing jacks?

2) I've been told by the rep that I will need a box for each TV, however I have a friend from work that has Fioptics (although not very knowledgeable about it) and they have 2 TV's with no box. Could this be a different type of service?

3) The rep also told me that my modem would need to use my phone jack. Does that mean the converter box has a fiber in, and a coax and phone out? If that's the case, will I still be able to use my personal router to avoid paying for the wireless service?

4) I've read some complaints about delay and lag in signal, could that be a product of the FTTN vs. FTTH differences?

There are many more questions, but I'll start with those. I'm just anxious to jump ship from TWC but I'm nervous since I've yet to see an install truck in anyone's driveway yet.

Thanks in advance for any help!


DeathK
Premium
join:2002-06-16
Cincinnati, OH
Unfortunately I believe most of the mixed reviews are stemming from the fact that CBT decided to roll the FTTN product under the Fioptics brand. They should have called it something else and made a distinction between FTTN and FTTH.

To answer your questions...

1) The equipment is generally installed in the home. For FTTH there is a small box that splits the TV signal off of the fiber and converts it to coax. In the picture linked below (which is mine) the converter is circled in red. The large box at the bottom (ONT) handles the phone and data signals. The box on top is the battery backup so you can still have phone service if the power goes out.

»imageshack.us/a/img542/3796/fiop···hlig.jpg

2) I believe the basic TV service does not require a box. It's what my grandfather who lives near me has. He does not have a set top box. I don't know which TV package starts the requirement of an STB.

3) The router does not need nor does it have a phone jack. The ONT converts and splits data and phone service off separately. You can use your own router in conjunction with the supplied router. If they want to charge you for supplying a wireless router tell them to forget it and just give you wired. When we had ours installed a couple years ago they supplied all the equipment at no charge including a wireless Westell router (which I disabled the wireless on because we have our own). If they're charging people now for supplying a wireless router that's pretty scummy.

4) I've seen few complaints from FTTH users. The vast majority of complaints seem to be coming from people with FTTN.
--
Photos By Greg Strong


JasonC

@erprovisioning.com
reply to JasonC
DeathK: Thanks so much for the reply. I do have another question based on your photo though.

The ONT converter you circled appears to have a terminator on the coax side, is your set up not using that module? From what I understand there is another type of setup that uses IPTV as opposed to the direct fiber to coax. I believe it has some sort of CAT5 to coax conversion that will allow the use of the existing coax in the house.

From what I've heard, the IPTV version utilizes a very small DVR module that just acts as a comm. box to talk to the server where the recordings are stored (this could be the reason for the delay complaints). Is this the type of setup that you have, or is your DVR box actually equipped with an on-board hard drive?

Thanks again for the support.

CVGNet

join:2012-04-10
Cincinnati, OH

1 edit
The IPTV version looks quite different. It uses a VDSL modem by ZyXel or ZTE and ZTE set top boxes which can operate via TCP/IP / Ethernet. Some installations may use MoCA adaptors.

You can probably tell which service you are being offered by checking the address on the CB website. If it offers internet faster than 30 Mbps down then they are offering FTTP not FTTN.

On the FTTN system it is also possible to see a few of the channels on a PC etc. using VLC or similar - see:

»plus.google.com/u/0/communities/···c0435985

That is not possible on the FTTP version though most people would probably prefer the actual fiber over that minor benefit of FTTN.


JasonC

@erprovisioning.com
reply to JasonC
I'm assuming that I am being offered the FTTP (same as FTTH??) and not the FTTN based on the fact that the rep told me they will be running a fiber line to the house, and the CB site offers up to 100Mbps for my address.

With that said, am I correct is stating that I will have the non-IPTV version? I do agree that the PC viewing would be neat, but it appears that most of the complaints are from the FTTN/IPTV setup.

CVGNet

join:2012-04-10
Cincinnati, OH
Yes it sounds like it would be a FTTH installation FTTP is just Premises rather than Home.

If they are offering FTTH you will probably be able to spot something nearby like the the (huge) picture part way down this thread:

»Fioptics HD


DeathK
Premium
join:2002-06-16
Cincinnati, OH

2 edits
reply to JasonC
said by JasonC :

DeathK: Thanks so much for the reply. I do have another question based on your photo though.

The ONT converter you circled appears to have a terminator on the coax side, is your set up not using that module?

We do not have TV service, only phone and internet, so that's why the coax output is terminated on the transceiver. It's an Alloptic MNTH156. You can read about it here if you like: »www.tvcinc.com/downloads/MicroNode150.pdf
--
Photos By Greg Strong


JasonC

@erprovisioning.com
reply to JasonC
Click for full size
Yes, this is a photo of the pole directly if front of my house.

So it sounds like I am eligible for the FTTH/FTTP service, which appears the be the better of the two in terms of reliability and quality of service.

With that said, can I be certain that I am not getting a quote for the IPTV setup? I don't want to schedule an install only to find out I was mistaken.

I am hoping that I will get a similar setup to what I currently have with TWC, just better service and lower bills.


DeathK
Premium
join:2002-06-16
Cincinnati, OH
You will not be getting IPTV service with a FTTH install.

CVGNet

join:2012-04-10
Cincinnati, OH
reply to JasonC
Yes that is a direct fiber drop - no danger of you being provided with the FTTN / VDSL setup. Go for it!


JasonC

@erprovisioning.com
reply to JasonC
Thanks so much to both of you guys for the help! You guys kick A$$...this is by far the best advice I've found after days and days of searching the web.

If I come up with any more questions I'll be sure to ask, and if not, I'll post again after install to let you know how it is.

loudclapper

join:2012-05-28
Cincinnati, OH
reply to CVGNet
This made me laugh. What a huge picture!

jfkriz

join:2012-12-14
Loveland, OH

1 edit
reply to JasonC
Click for full size
FiOptics FTTH Installation - Nov. 2012
I have FTTP (FTTH), it was installed about 3 weeks ago. I can confirm, based on several conversations with FiOptics support, that they are no longer deploying non-IPTV service, at least with FTTP/FTTH. I was also under the impression that I'd be able to tune basic channels on cable-ready TV's, but there isn't anything to tune, since it is IPTV. They used coax to hook up my set-top boxes, but only because that didn't require running CAT5 (they install a MoCa converter to send IP traffic over the coax). The set-top boxes are IPTV, and can be connected with ethernet, or coax carrying IP traffic. This is a totally different setup than other people I know who have FTTH, but the ones I have seen previously were all installed a year or more ago.

My setup of Cincy-Bell-provided equipment looks like this:
•ONT: Alcatel Lucent I-241G-B (7342 family)
•Wireless Router: ZyXEL VSG1432-B101
•MoCa Converter: ActionTec ECB2500C
•Set-Top Boxes: ZTE ZXV10 B700V3A (IPTV)

Topology:
•Optical drop -> ONT
•ONT WAN -> ZyXEL WAN
•ZyXEL LAN -> ActionTec MoCa converter
•ActionTec MoCa converter -> Coax Splitter -> STBs (3)
•ZyXEL LAN -> My internal LAN
•ONT POTS -> Outside demarc -> POTS lines (3)

I've been working on getting my MythTV PVR going, tuning some of the unencrypted channel streams, and have had some good success with that, but it is kind of a bummer to not be able to hook up a TV directly to the cable anymore. There is a coax TV-out on the Alcatel/Lucent ONT, but it appears to not be turned on, and is probably not provisioned. See the photo above for my setup. That is all there is, I don't have the big grey "FiOptics" box like some others have, nor do I have the smaller ONT.

CVGNet

join:2012-04-10
Cincinnati, OH
It would be interesting to know if you can watch any of the free channels directly on a PC using VLC or similar and the rtp URIs shown here:

»plus.google.com/u/0/communities/···c0435985

jfkriz

join:2012-12-14
Loveland, OH
Yep, I can. I'm using MythTV to stream them, but VLC works too. Mine are slightly different (found them by sniffing network traffic while changing channels on a STB), but they work fine. You have to be sure to isolate the multicast traffic, but it is a nice "feature" of this type of installation.


DeathK
Premium
join:2002-06-16
Cincinnati, OH
reply to JasonC
That's messed up. If that's what they're doing now for all new FTTH installs then it appears some of my info was wrong. I guess they wanted to make the equipment footprint smaller and save on installation costs. That and unify more to IPTV, catering to last mile copper's needs instead. Bummer. Are they still supplying battery backup?

Thanks for the info and picture.
--
Photos By Greg Strong

jfkriz

join:2012-12-14
Loveland, OH
They do offer a battery backup, but they couldn't give me a price for it, and didn't know if it was a one-time cost, or a monthly charge, so I just hooked up my own UPS...