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enicar's profile

13 Messages

Tuesday, November 21st, 2023 5:37 AM

Will a basement installation be successful? Need help prior to technician coming

Greetings!

 

I received the upgrade-or-else letter from AT&T and will be calling soon to schedule an installation. Before doing so, however, I could really use some help understanding the installation process as I have a difficulty affecting installation. It's essential that I'm prepared.

 

My situation is that there will be no way for the installer to access the living quarters of my house, only the basement. Suffice it to say it's impassable. I'm therefore trying to determine the feasibility of putting the fiber gateway in the basement. Basically, I'm wondering if it will perform from there or if I will need to look for another source of internet.

 

For context, I have a roughly 35-foot square frame house, two stories plus basement. My Internet 50 service enters on the east side of the house into the basement. From there it is wired to a jack in the front or south side of the home on the first floor. A BGW210-700 gateway provides Wi-Fi throughout the house. It works fine, even in the far northwest second-story corner of the house where my office is.

 

Here are my questions:

 

1) If the gateway is installed in the basement, will it provide adequate Wi-Fi coverage to the second floor?

I understand that there are many variables, but is the unit theoretically capable? Is this kind of installation done successfully on a routine basis? Anyone with a similar sized house doing this now?

 

2) How can I tell where the fiber line will be coming from so that I can anticipate where to place the gateway?

 

I believe the fiber lines are on the poles directly in front of my house. They were installed about a year ago, and I can see the "mufflers" every so often. Does this mean they will drop a line from these poles, or is it possible it will come from some access point at the back lot lines like my current service wire?
 

I'm hoping the fiber can come into the house where the current service enters on the east side, simply because the installation will be hidden from view by bushes. If they bring it in through another basement wall, will there be an eyesore box on the outside?

 

3) When they bring fiber through the wall, does it terminate in a jack or go directly into the gateway? Can the gateway be placed remotely, say on a different wall or in a different room?

 

If it goes directly to the gateway, this means there has to be a place to set the gateway and there has to be 115 V power. I can think of two likely spots. One along the east wall where the service currently enters. The other in a small room at the front of the house below where the gateway currently resides. That room, however, is where my breaker box and power meter are located. Would the Wi-Fi from the smart meter or the power lines themselves cause issues for the gateway that would rule this location out?

 

4) How long is the gateway power cord? Not a lot of outlets available, so I need to plan ahead.

 

5) Will they mount the gateway to concrete block walls? Is the mounting bracket/shelf provided?
 

6) Is the existing "Uverse" wiring compatible with the new gateway? In other words, should the Wi-Fi in the basement not work adequately, would it be possible to use the existing wiring to connect the fiber gateway in pass-through mode to my existing gateway (or similar) on the first floor, since we know that location already works? Will AT&T confiscate the old gateway even though the service is being obsoleted or can I keep and use it?

 

I really wish I could just get AT&T's "Air Internet" and skip this hassle, but apparently they don't allow it where fiber is available.

Thanks so much in advance for any assistance.

Community Support

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229.9K Messages

3 months ago

Hi @enicar, We understand that you are looking for answers about the Fiber installation, and we are happy to help!

We would like to connect with you via direct message. To get started, please look for a chat notification next to the bell icon in the upper right corner of the page.

Looking forward to connecting with you.

JasmineS, AT&T Community Forum Specialist

ACE - Expert

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23.8K Messages

3 months ago

If the gateway is in the basement, you may have WiFi issues in the upper reaches of your home because the fiber gateways, for a lot of folks, do not have good or reliable WiFi. I can't answer the other installation questions but you might want to think about how you could run CAT-6 cabling so you can use a third party router (ideally a mesh WiFi system), with satellites, to give you much better and more reliable coverage anywhere upstairs.

Former Employee

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22.1K Messages

3 months ago

Most of the questions would best be asked of the installer…

the fiber drop will come from the assigned fiber terminal for your account… the tech will have that location on their work order.

A Fiber NID should be installed on the residential that ideally will be as short and straight line from the fiber terminal.

From the NID a separate fiber line is brought inside to the location where the ONT will be placed, the newest gateway (BGW-320) is Ann all in one unit with ONT, and gateway as one device needing just one power source instead of two if devices were separate.

I do not expect wireless 5Ghz signal to travel 2 stories, if placed in basement will need extender or mesh system.

A thought is to have the NID placed on opposite side of wall to where your equipment is located, tech drills a hole straight through, mounts a fiber wall plate and installs at desired location… no basement access needed as everything stays at ground level. 

13 Messages

3 months ago

Thanks for the input! Not sure how to reply to individual posts here.

@my thoughts : The tech cannot access the ideal location to do the installation, hence my need to put it in the basement. Can the gateway be run at 2.4 Ghz for greater reach? My current gateway goes through one floor and walls. This would actually be a shorter distance, just two floors (and potentially less walls). Also, I don't want a presumably ugly NID on the front of my house, which is where it would have to be for the ideal inside connection.

@OttoPylot : Is this unit worse in reach than my current BGW210-700? That one works just fine. All I'd be doing is adding another floor but less walls to go through. Also, is CAT6 what I have now running from the Uverse service entrance to my modem?

ACE - Expert

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23.8K Messages

3 months ago

@enicar  That AT&T fiber gateways are hit and miss it seems for reliable WiFi. For your 2.4GHz devices what seems to work best is to use the Guest Network (which is 2.4GHz typically) and point all of your 2.4GHz devices (IoT) to that. For a little bit of extra reliability and security, you can change the SSID to something else and assign a password to it which is separate from your primary network.

I have no idea of what kind of CAT-6 you have running now but my guess is that it is standard CAT-6, which should be fine. What I ran inside my walls and between floors was solid copper core CAT-6, non-CCA/CCS cable that was not terminated so I terminated it myself with punchdown keystone jacks.

Personally I think you'd be better off to consider the option of using a mesh WiFi system with your gateway and let it, the mesh, handle your routing and WiFi duties. At least look into the option and see what you can do if using the gateway alone results in less than satisfactory WiFi performance at the extreme areas of your house. 

Former Employee

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22.1K Messages

3 months ago

What is the best speed available for your address?

What speed tier did you order?

You do not have ATT Phone (VoIP) service, correct?

If you will be GPON service the tech may be able to install a 010 ONT (needs power) in the basement then use the cat5e or better wiring to your gateway location and leave the BGW-210 intact, no gateway upgrade.

If ordered internet 2000 or 5000 the gateway needs to be replaced with BGW-320, but speeds of 300, 500 and 1000 could stay with existing gateway and just install ONT in basement… this is if the existing xDSL line is reachable, usable.

Have the tech do a walk through expressing your concerns, the tech can plug a gateway up in the basement (power only) and you can check if the signal is reaching upstairs. Purchasing extender(s) or mesh system would be best solution if an acceptable placement cannot be found.

13 Messages

3 months ago

@OttoPylot Sorry, you're a bit over my head with the technical side of things. I'm not entirely clear what a mesh network involves. I presume it's a relay system using Wi-Fi, like the AT&T extenders, which I do not want to rent. All I know is that my current gateway is good enough, and if I can get the fiber to talk to that or equivalent (presuming it doesn't work out of the box), then I should be fine. My house really isn't that big. My thought was if the fiber gateway is insufficient from the basement, that I could perhaps use the existing wiring to a gateway located where mine is now. Wouldn't have to rely on Wi-Fi mesh. Wouldn't require the technician changing any wiring. But I don't know how to identify what I have. I remember when they upgraded from DSL to Uverse, the installer had to connect unused wires that were already in the cable. I believe that was to make twisted pairs for stronger signal, but does this make it Ethernet?

13 Messages

3 months ago

@my thoughts Thanks for the further info. I have not called yet to upgrade because I wanted to know what I'm getting in to, so I don't know what speeds are available. I believe it is all 1Gb or less. The AT&T offers I have received have said up to three times your current speed for same price. I have Uverse 50. Frankly, I don't need a faster line, but wouldn't turn it down.

So if I'm understanding correctly, the technician could run the fiber and bring it into the basement, testing first with a new fiber gateway. I can let him know if it's reaching where I need it to reach. If so, great. Mount the unit somehow and it's done. If not, he would install an ONT and use the existing wiring (Uverse) to the existing gateway, no real changes necessary there? All of this could be handled and tested without requiring access upstairs?

Is the ONT a unit requiring a shelf or is it wall-mountable?

Do installers have mounting hardware for the ONT or the gateway?

How far can the gateway be placed from power?

How far from the ONT or entry point?

Thanks so much for the clarifications.

(edited)

ACE - Expert

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23.8K Messages

3 months ago

@enicar  The use of extenders, especially AT&T's extenders, may help if they are wired directly back to the router but they do not provide the reliability and speed that a wired mesh WiFi system provides. And AT&T's extenders are just not that good. So, if WiFi coverage with the gateway that AT&T installs has coverage and reliability issues, then all I'm saying is the only option you have is to one, use an extender, which will probably cause more issues than solve any, or two, consider the much better alternative which is a mesh WiFi system. They are different in the technology that they use when it comes to extending your WiFi, and there is no cost involved other than the initial purchase.

13 Messages

3 months ago

@OttoPylot Thank you for the further info. I guess I lack a basic understanding of the terminology and differences between units and how they would be connected or set up. 

I’m also confused by other posts on these forums where people are having issues with third-party units they bought outright that quit working because they weren’t paying the $10 a month fee, as if it was detected they had unauthorized units attached to the network. 

Can you explain like I’m five (girlfriend would probably say I am)? I’ll try first. If the fiber gateway doesn’t work alone, you are suggesting a third-party mesh. So I would somehow put the fiber gateway in pass-through mode. It would then connect by wi-fi to the mesh unit, which I would place probably on the first floor. That would provide wi-fi hopefully to my second story as well, I’m assuming since my current gateway coverage is great. Is this correct? Is there a security issue when in pass-through mode? Is the login/security handled at the mesh unit then?

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