Us and the neighbors have been sharing an internet wifi connection through their router/modem one floor up from our apartment which has been working out ok. Streaming video works (just). However, the wifi connectivity has been really bad except for one spot in our living room and the wifi repeaters we installed caused so much lag or bandwidth loss that they were unusable.

One solution I instantly thought of was to draw an ethernet cable from the router/modem to our floor below. But this would require physical breakup of their floor and our ceiling, or tampering with the lines already in place through the walls (don't feel comfortable with that), in order to get the cable through.

There is, however, already an extension of the same telephone cable that connects to their router/modem that we can connect to on our floor. See pics:

This is where the phone line is connected to our neighbors' router.:

image 1

This is where that same line ends up on our floor:

image 2

Our apartments used to be part of the same house, that's why. I've been looking for ways in which I can tap this line and I found two technologies that either work over the TV line (moca) or the electrical lines but not over the phone line. The neighbors and us have separate power service panels with our own fuses so running it over the power lines would probably not work. Is there anything like these technologies that will allow us to get connected through their modem over this phone line?

Otherwise, the only option I see left is to get a more expensive subscription at the provider that offers internet over the TV coax line. Then we share that one with the neighbors through a moca box since the coax line also runs to both our floors.

  • Phone lines jacks are different than cable one I hope you know that but if it's the same phone line then you can only connect one modem to it which I assume is yours connected are you talking about extending that line itself or are you talking about running Ethernet cable from same gang box where you have a phone line – SeanClt Mar 20 '16 at 20:01

Short answer, no you cannot.

Longer answer: In the UK, all telephone lines were originally copper cable (wire) but fibre optic cable has replaced it in some areas. Telephone conversations are relatively low frequencies. Internet data is relatively high in frequency. In the days of dial-up connections, the telephone line could only be used for conversation OR data but NOT both. Broadband connections over copper lines allow BOTH because a filter is used to separate the low and high frequencies - low for speech and high for data:

A broadband modem/router uses its modem function to send and receive data at high frequencies without disturbing any low frequency telephone conversations. However, if another modem/router was connected to the telephone line, its high frequency data would drown out the original modem/router so that neither of the modem/routers would be able to communicate any internet data.

There are many different ways that you could share the internet data connection via the one modem/router but your question suggests that the bandwidth of the existing internet connection is not enough to service the needs of people on both floors. Internet Service Providers can restrict the bandwidth to each connection/dwelling/property and you get what you pay for.

The router function simply routes data to the device that requested it.

If there are many devices then they all share the bandwidth. Analogy: If you are at the kitchen sink with the cold water tap fully on, then someone else flushes the toilet or puts the garden hosepipe on, the flow of water in the kitchen is reduced because the 'bandwidth' of the water pipe is shared between more water tap devices, so they each get a share.


You can't simply put on another modem, but there are a few other possibilities-

  1. Notwithstanding the breakers, ethernet over Power may actually work for you - depending on other factors. It is a bit of a crap shot though.

  2. It looks like you have 2 pairs - the network connection would only be using one pair - you could use a DSLAM and a DSL modem on the other pair - but thats probably quite a complex/expensive solution. (Effectively you make one side act like a Telco, then use the second pair to run a DSL connection).

  3. If the socket in your picture is unused - and is point to point, you can probably simply wire it up as an ethernet interface - Ethernet only requires 2 pairs. Looking at the cable though, you may not be able to get great speed out of it - it looks like its not even cat 3, in which case, so think 10 megabits.

  4. The best way - although also the most risky - would be to disconnect the cable and use it as a draw string to pull through a CAT5E or CAT6 cable (ideally 2), and use that instead. Don't blame me if you loose the cable in the wall though.

  5. Try using a different WIFI setup. Instead of a repeater, configure an access point client back-to-back with an Access point - or, even better cabling it in. Newer wireless standards have a longer range then older ones, and there are HUGE differences in performance between devices even within the same standard. Ubiquity has a good reputation here as does ASUS.

  • Hey davidgo, thanks for the elaborate answer. As TuesusMalnex also pointed out its not possible to just hook up a router (to the blue and red wires coming out of the other box). Do I understand correctly from the options that you list, namely option 3, that it would be possible to use the white and orange wire (the unused pair in the picture) to create a line running from the modem upstairs to downstairs so that effectively it would be like having an ethernet cable running down merely by wiring it up as an ethernet interface on both ends? – gbos Mar 27 '16 at 15:20
  • Unfortunately not. Etherenet requires 2 pairs = 4 wires. You would need to go with option 2 if you want to use just the free pair. – davidgo Mar 27 '16 at 18:08
  • Also try googling “2 wire ethernet extender” for devices which will convert the free pair into something which looks like ethernet on either end (using DSL technology) – davidgo Mar 27 '16 at 18:12

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