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Chris has been keeping his eye on the progress, and this week we were the first on our block to get FIOS installed.

They said he might come as early as 8. But he didn’t get in until about 4. It took about 4 hours to install. They hung a box on the outside of the house, but they also had to put on on the inside. Unlike regular twisted pair phone wiring, fiber doesn’t carry power, so that means they had to put a battery pack inside the house as a backup for phone service in case the power goes out. They had to drill a hole in the wall of the house.

FIOS includes a TV service, but our neighborhood isn’t ready for TV yet. But since the guy had come out, he wanted to get it ready for when the TV would be activated. A coax cable needed to be run from the outside box into the hour near the TV. The easiest way to do this was under the house.

“Easy” is a relative term, though. There is about a 2 foot crawl space under the house, and Chris would have to swallow claustrophia to thread a coax from the living room corner out to  the far wall where the FIOS bos was hung.

He was successfull, but when he came out he was covered. He decided that the dust under the house was fine and floaty just like moon dust. He left a sifting in the house over to the bathroom where he immediately cleaned up.

“I should have worn my clothes into the shower and got them wet. It would have been cleaner.” he said.

Now, we have two buildings that needed to be served by this FIOS:the house and the office. As long as we had a cable running from one building to the other, that was fine. We did; when we built the office we had 3 runs of CAT 6 underground-rated cable.

Thing is, I’d never gotten the cable to work right. I punched down the cable on each end into RJ45 connector, the kind you use for network cable. But I’d never gotten it to work and I couldn’t figure out why. In despeartion, we’d put a strong wireless router in the office with barely and mostly reached the main house. That way I could still use my laptop to surf the web while watching tv in the living room.

Richard, the Verizon guy, was informed of my problems with the cable connecting the two buildings. He got a toner and confirmed that the cable was connected. He also checked my colors to make sure they were right. He assured me that it was indeed connected and it was punched in correctly.

I was glad to hear that I had done a good job, but that didn’t explain why it didn’t work. Richard got another tool to test each individual wire connection.

The problem was that the wires hadn’t been properly punched. Meaning, the little plastic punch-down tool hadn’t pierced the wire’s insulation enough to make reliable connection with the RJ45 jack’s metal connector.

“This is really tough cable,” Richard said. “Even using my good punchdown tool I had to push really hard.”

AT LAST! the problem was solved, and now I have FAT wireless connectivity in my home. Chris has superfast internetivity in his office and all is well.