Dear IT User,
Are you looking for guidance on moving your ONT and before you do, how much it's likely to cost, and whether it's worth exploring cheaper options that can save you time and money.
Ever wondered why your Fibre termination or ONT as it's known in the IT world is in your garage or bedroom closest to the road? When Chorus initially rolled out Fibre it was free (subsidized by the govt) for residential homes, so the quickest place to install the ONT was selected - assuming you wanted a free installation. If you wanted it in your living room or back office, it would have cost you $$$$ - the actual cost of doing a standard installation was around $3,000 but this was never passed onto the customer (i.e. you). We regularly visited homes in the early days of Fibre and quotes were wild, up to $5,000 to move an ONT from one side of the house to the other.
But now you've just bought a new house or aren't happy with the ONT location, what can you do?
You can call your Internet Service Provider (i.e. Spark or Vodafone) and ask them to relocate it. They will get a company called Enable to relocate it for you. Often there's a fee of $240 including GST but what the ISP doesn't tell you is that this is quote and scope the work as there is no Govt subsidy for moving fibre ONTs, unless it's a simple job that can be done quickly.
For easy moves this may be the max you pay, but often there will be additional time and materials required. If you've got roof space, a simple up and over is likely, but those without roof space, drilling through walls or under floors is your only option. This will quickly escalate your bill from $240 to $1,500+. Often you won't find out about the extra fees required until your callout slot, and then you've already forked out $240 just to meet the technician.
Kapiti.IT is often asked if we can move the ONT for you and unfortunately we can't. The only company allowed to move these is Enable, booked your ISP. You may find some electricians are confident doing this, but exercise caution.
So what are your options that are cheaper and more affordable?
From your ONT, assuming you have a spare power plug you can purchase power line network adapters. Using your internal electrical circuit you plug one in near the ONT and connect a Cat 6 cable to the first powerline adapter, then plug another one in at a more central location such as living room or office, then connect this to your router, or access point. Powerline adapters cost around $100 - $200 but certain models should be avoided so check for high quality reviews before ordering yours to ensure your brand is reputable. Where you have two electrical circuits these will not work.
From your ONT you can run a Cat 6 cable - choose Cat 6A for future proofing but more expensive. For long runs over 50m it's cheaper to buy cable rolls and terminate your own ends (a sparky can help here) however most homes have 10-20m runs so buying the cables with connectors on either end is easier. We recommend checking out Ubiquiti as they offer super slim cables which can be fixed to skirting boards or run up the wall into the roof and covered with conduit or cable raceways. If going to the ceiling a 10mm hole will be sufficient for these cables, else a 16mm hole for standard cat 6 jacks. Run the cat 6 cable to your living room and place your router or access point.
3. Mesh Wireless
Probably the cheapest and most cost effective option given the advancements in Wireless technology. You will buy a 2 or 3 access point which is meshed together to create a blanket of wireless around your home. You'll connect the first access point to the ONT by a cat cable either a short run or right next to it. Then the others around your home. For small homes one either side of the house is fine, for larger homes you will need one upstairs or in the middle of the house. The beauty of mesh is you can continue to add access points as your house or wireless signal requires without needing to replace the router. Mesh wireless comes in two types - Fibre ready and ADSL/VDSL only so be sure to buy the right one - the Fibre ones are cheaper as it's newer technology.
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