Home FIOS Network - Exploring the 4 boxes and their connections

We have Verizon FIOS with cable TV service.  I've never really paid attention to how the Verizon side is wired up until Verizon recently upgraded my FIOS router and tuner box. After breaking my TV tuner by disconnecting an "unneeded" connection, I created yet another diagram of how the FIOS connections work.

This is a basic wiring diagram of the house network missing a bunch of devices.

Verizon ONT

The Verizon optical network terminal converts the optical connection into TV and network standard connections.  The ONT is actually two boxes in my situation.  One outside connects to the optical and one inside converts something into an Ethernet WAN connection. 

This results in me connecting a TV COAX and an Ethernet WAN.

Verizon TV Tuner

The Verizon TV tuner decodes and decrypts TV data that it receives over coax. The TV tuner must talk back to Verizon for any video control operations. It could talk back wireless, over an extra ethernet connection to back over the coax cable.  My tuner communicates back over the coax cable.  That coax signal must be converted onto some other data channel as it goes back through the optical network. The Verizon Router can handle this conversion.

Verizon Router

I'm using the Verizon FIOS Gateway.  It has 1 WAN connection, one COAX connection, and a few LAN connections. The Verizon GL3100A can be WAN attached over the Ethernet WAN connection or over the COAX connection if the WAN speed is 100Mbps or less.  

We have a 1GB WAN connection so I didn't connect the COAX to my router.   It turns out that the TV Tuner communicates over WAN COAX which then needs to ride on a data channel back to Verizon. I needed to also connect the COAX network to the router in addition to the WAN/Ethernet connection we use for our 1GB data service.

Computers and Devices

All computers, IoT devices, streaming devices, and others can be directly attached to the FIOS Gateway that has several wired Ethernet ports or they can join the Gateway's 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz wireless networks.

Other Options

Cable cutters don't have a Verizon Router or COAX so they can ignore part of this.

I once had a tuner box that communicated with Verizon over a private Wi-Fi channel on the Amazon Gateway / wireless router.  It appears that the new system does not do that.


Revision History

Created 2023 11


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