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Verizon installed their FIOS router in my apartment a year ago and hooked up both the Ethernet and coax connections on the back of the router.

I am moving my routers around and I don't have a coax outlet where I would like to place the router. I tried connecting only the Ethernet and to my surprise it works fine. Do I need the coax connection, what does it do?

If it truly isn't needed I am considering returning their router to avoid the equipment charge and just using my own router (I haven't tested if this will work just yet). Would there be any reason to keep renting their router?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you have FiOS TV, that coax cable is providing network access to your set-top boxes.

Without it, they'll lose their channel guides, won't be able to access on-demand programming, and won't install firmware updates. They should continue to function as dumb cable boxes.

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are the FiOS boxes connected over fiber? If so why the heck don't they just use that connection for data. – Matthew Whited Oct 2 '09 at 13:24
The set top boxes connected over plain coax (they're regular ol' digital cable receivers) — just like your router's connected over ethernet (or coax) and your phones use POTS. The Big Deal with FiOS is that all of those connections terminate in your basement instead of across town, and there's just one cable running to your house. – Sidnicious Oct 2 '09 at 13:37
Hmm, interesting... I haven't actually hooked my TV back up yet. So how exactly do the set top boxes get data from the router? There is no direct connection between them. – Bob Oct 2 '09 at 13:49
The router establishes a MoCA network over the coax in the house. From there, it's plain old IP. Each connected STB gets an IP address. – Sidnicious Oct 2 '09 at 14:50
Ohh awesome, I had no idea, thanks! – Bob Oct 2 '09 at 14:53

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