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Got Fibre: how to replace Actiontec modem that is still connected on old copper line?


Hi all,


I recently got upgraded to fibre, but I'm not happy with the way the tech has set it up. I'm looking for your advice on how best to fix it.



Fibre enters the house at a far corner, where it is met by Nokia ONT. From there, it goes into another small white box (wall-mounted), and leaves the house again to connect to the old copper wire. The Actiontec 3200M legacy modem is hooked up to that old copper. The reason for this is that the wire travels through dropped ceilings and could not readily replaced. The modem is in a more central place in the house, and is connected by ethernet devices -- home phone base; Arlo camera hub; Wifi booster base -- that would not work anymore if they were all relocated near the ONT.



I have a few of the TELUS boosters set up, and while the WiFi is generally stable it is not fast. The quality of the what the boosters provide seems to have deteriorated lately.



Install a more powerful mesh-able WiFi-6 router at the ONT, and extend with a booster (the house isn't that large).

Run ethernet cables to better location for the other wired devices/hubs.



Is it possible to connect a 3rd-party router directly to the ONT?

Or do I need to keep using the Actiontec modem as a bridge? (In which case, are there good step-by-step instructions on how to set this up?)

Or is there a better solution altogether to bypass the copper bottleneck?


Thanks so much for your help/advice!  We've come to rely so much on good home WiFi with everyone working/schooling from home, but I don't want to purchase any new equipment without having been able to think through the entire setup...








Community Power User
Community Power User

If you plan to run Ethernet to other locations from a new router near the ONT, why not run Ethernet from the ONT to your current router location? Is is a do-it-yourself level task.


Yes, you can use a different router than the supplied T3200M, as long as you don’t have Optik TV. Most third party routers don’t handle the multicast signal used by Optik.


If you find a post useful, please give the author a "Kudo"

"Yes, you can use a different router than the supplied T3200M, as long as you don’t have Optik TV. Most third party routers don’t handle the multicast signal used by Optik."


Some of the better ones do, but fail due to PEBKAC error.


In this case a SFP ONT with compatible L3 switch works perfectly.  Had this setup before with Actel networks L3 switch with 4 fibre ports and Telus SFP hooked right into it. To my surprise this configuration would assign an external Telus IP address to every device connected to the switch. From there simply hooked up the T3200M and the switch with a couple of Intel SFP's and she worked perfectly with the Telus Optic TV running on its own separate network. A second fibre link went from the switch to Pfsense router for main networking with hardware VPN encryption running on a completely separate external IP address than the Optic TV.

As i have alluded to in a few posts now there are many things getting rid of the wall hanger lasagna boxes in favor of a direct hookup with an SFP ONT's will allow people to do if they have a little bit of technical aptitude and do some research.


Expanding on that to the OP's situation.


Re-Reading the OP's post, you mention "old copper" several times. This got me thinking.. If this is Rj-45 cat 5 or better networking cable (how could they possibly get the 3200 working via DSL on the copper phone cable originating from Nokia Fibre ONT?) then is it safe to say you have no issues with the WIRED performance the way they have it hooked up aside from maybe aesthetics?  In his proposed solution though you mentions "Run ethernet cables" so I assume OP knows difference between RJ14/11 and RJ45.. so if this is the case...


If your house is wired for COAX get a second T3200M modem to compliment the original one, and connect them over COAX. This gives you both a WIFI extender and 4 port hardwired switch at both locations. The 3200's actually have quite a strong /stable signal. Would personally get a second one cheap used (Telus won't have to provision it, its on your internal network). Also keep in mind you can bypass that telus "white box" ONT as well with a SFP ONT (also available kijiji IE), unplug the black cable from telus white box, attach the SFP and plug it directly into your 3200 at it's location if the cable will reach. Should give you a lot more options.


The old copper wire that you mentioned is at least a CAT-5?


Q:"Is it possible to connect a 3rd-party router directly to the ONT?"


With the right gear you can hook the SFP ONT directly to a third party router. PersonalIy I perfer to bypass as much consumer grade equipment as possible.

Below the SFP is hooked directly into a 1U enterprise server E3-1270 V3 with 16G RAM running open source PFsense, more enough to let you run full AES 256 VPN encryption on even the 1.5 Gigabit packages, full duplexed at line speed. Telus will not support this for multiple reasons.





Yes. You could use third party router and connect it directly to the ONT device.