Prevent Verizon FiOS internet/power outage by modifying your Online Network Terminal
As I was studying for the MCAT last night, we had a series of power outages. The first 6 were flickers. Though annoying, the backup power supply I have for my computer made the outages tolerable while I was studying. The thing is, while you’re taking timed internet-based practice tests, it’s not in your advantage to take a break (because your internet goes down) while the clock is still ticking! My internet service provider is Verizon FiOS. Along with your [Verizon] service installation comes a Online Network Terminal (ONT) with a Battery Backup Unit (BBU).
These BBUs are installed in case your power goes out/is cut during an emergency/robbery — in such a case, you will still have the means to use your Verizon land-line to call emergency services. I however do not have a land-line, and expected this BBU to provide backup to my internet connection for an extended period of time. Boy was I wrong! On the 7th power outage, it remained out for more than 45 minutes. After 10 minutes, my internet connection was terminated. Fortunately, I wasn’t taking timed practice test at the time, but it did make me seek a contingency. After calling Verizon (no success) I searched online to find a way to allow my internet connection to use the BBU that a phone line would use in case of a power outage. I found several topics about this, but a detailed blog post (http://bit.ly/IcjwOi) really sealed the deal to performing the self-modification. I suggest you check out these instructions as well, in case you have a different model ONT/BBU.
Warning: Although this modification is extremely easy and easily reversible, you claim all responsibility in making these modifications to your Verizon hardware.
The first step is unplugging the AC power to the ONT. You will probably hear a loud beep which indicates it is now running solely on its battery power supply. Open the front cover to the ONT from the left side. In the lower left corner inside the cover, you will see a green connector with many wires running into it. Before removing everything, take a picture or note which wires are connected to the “On Battery” and “Missing Battery” terminals. In my case a grey wire was leading into the grey hub and a blue wire was leading into the blue hub (the other tutorial had an identical color scheme). After, unplug the green adapter by gripping it firmly and pulling downward (obviously don’t grab by the wires).
After you remove the green wire connector you can use a flat-head screwdriver to leverage the hubs up securing the wire to the green connector. The following picture shows the two hubs in the up position.
At this point you can remove the wires from the green connector. Both wires will be crimped at the end, as the green connector hubs actually splice through the insulation around the wire to complete the circuit. Switching the wires (in my case, grey wire into blue hub and blue wire into grey hub) was as easy as it sounds, with one caveat: lining up the spliced notch in the new hubs proved rather difficult. In the end, I used my fingernails to pull off the 1/4 inch of insulation and then inserted them back into the hubs with no problem.
Once the hubs are closed, insert the green wire connector back into the ONT, close the door, plug back in the AC adapter to the ONT, and there you go — you should maintain an internet connection while your power is out (providing you have a backup power supply for your router and computer)!
One last note: I have read that this battery can keep your internet connection streaming for upwards of 7 hours. Although, I can not confirm those figures, I personally tested it for 75 minutes with two servers constantly serving, a computer browsing the internet, and two HD televisions on throughout the house, and the internet connection lasted without issue.