top of page

Technical Support

Understanding Your Devices

There are several pieces of hardware that provide you with your Internet connection.  These include your router, the ONT, and the NID. 

Router, ONT, and NID example image
Router

Your router provides the Wi-Fi signals that your devices can use to get Internet access.  This is how most of your devices will connect including tablets, laptops, smart TVs and even cell phones. 

On the rear of your router, there are also four yellow ports labeled ETH1 through ETH4 that you can use for hard-wired connections.  If you have a device with an Ethernet port, you can use an Ethernet cable to connect directly to your router.  Connecting with a wired Ethernet cable has some advantages including optimal speed and reliability.  The one big disadvantage is obviously that you will have wires running between your device and the router.  Be sure you use an Ethernet cable with 8 pins on the connector rated Cat 5E or Cat 6.

Your router also has a blue Ethernet port labeled ETH WAN.  This port should always have an Ethernet cable connected to it.  The other end of that cable is connected to your Optical Network Terminal (ONT).

Optical Network Terminal (ONT)

Your router is connected to the ONT.  The ONT is about 9 inches by 3 inches.  The picture above shows a white ONT.  Your ONT might also be black.  The exact location of the ONT in your residence was probably something that the installer discussed with you when your fiber was first hooked up.  The main job of the ONT is to convert the electronic signal coming from the router to an optical (light) signal that can be sent across the fiber.  You will see a small black fiber patch cable called a “pigtail” coming out of your ONT.  The other end of the pigtail is connected to the Network Interface Device (NID) that is mounted somewhere on the outside of your house.

Network Interface Device (NID)

The NID connects the pigtail from your ONT to the fiber running through your neighborhood and eventually back to the central office.  This provides you with your fiber connection to the Internet.

Fiber Lines 3_Adobe Stock [Converted].jpg
What do all these numbers mean?

When signing up for your Internet and when using your Internet, you encounter a few numbers related to your service.  It is often helpful to understand these terms.

Connection Speed - 100Mbps, 500Mbps, and 1Gbps

When you signed up for your service, you chose between one of three speeds, 100Mbps, 500Mbps, or 1Gbps.  These stand for 100 megabits per second, 500 megabits per second, and 1 gigabit per second. 

Networks transmit all information in bits.  A bit is either a zero or a one.  Everything that computers and networks do depends on this basic element of information, the bit.  Everything you read or see on the Internet is represented as bits.  How that works is a little complicated (lots and lots of math), but it works.  On Ethernet cables, those bits get translated into different electric frequencies.  On fiber cables, they are represented in different frequencies of light.  Your Wi-Fi devices transmit bits using radio signals.  The speed of your service determines just how fast those bits can be sent across your connection.  A 100Mbps service is capable of transmitting 100 million bits of data every second.  The 1Gbps service can transmit 1 billion bits of data every second.  That’s fast!

Wi-Fi Frequencies - 2.4GHz and 5GHz

A couple other numbers you will come across are your Wi-Fi frequencies.  These frequencies are unrelated to the speed of your service.  They just determine the radio signals that you will use to get a Wi-Fi connection.  Your router supports two radio frequencies, 2.4 GHz (gigahertz) and 5GHz.  These radio frequencies are used for communication between your Wi-Fi devices and your router.  It is very similar to how an FM radio works.  Every radio station has its own frequency.  For example, the FM station at 101.9 is transmitting at 101.9 MHz (megahertz).

 

The 5 GHz Wi-Fi frequency is great for devices requiring high speeds.  A high-definition smart TV is a great example.  It needs maximum speed to provide you with clear pictures and sound.  2.4GHz is a bit slower, but because it transmits at a lower frequency, it can go for longer distances, especially if there are walls between you and your router.  If you are sitting on your front porch with your laptop or tablet, the 2.4GHz channel might give you better performance.

Fiber Lines 3_Adobe Stock [Converted].jpg
Troubleshooting Your Internet Connection

If your Internet has stopped working, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot your connection.  The first thing to try is rebooting your router and your ONT.  The easiest way to reboot them is to just unplug them and plug them back in.  After the reboot, wait a couple minutes and try again.

If rebooting doesn’t work, double-check your connections.  The Ethernet cable connecting the router to the ONT should be connected to the blue ETH WAN port on your router.  Sometimes when customers move the router from one location to another, they will disconnect and reconnect that cable but forget to connect it to the blue ETH WAN port.

Another thing you can do is to check the status lights on the front of the router and the ONT.  From top to bottom on the router, here is a list of the status lights and what they mean.

  • Internet – This light needs to be green (flashing is OK).  If it is off, again, double check your connections from the router to the ONT.  If it is red, check the ONT status lights (see below).

  • ETH WAN – This light also needs to be green.  It indicates that your router is connected to the ONT using the blue ETH WAN port on the back of the router.  If this light is off, double check your connections and check the status of the ONT.

  • 5G WiFi – This light indicates that your router is transmitting on the 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency.  If the power light is on and the 5G light is off, your 5GHz frequency is turned off.  To turn it back on, look on the back of the router.  At the top, there are two small buttons labeled 2.4G and 5G.  Hold down the 5G button for 10 seconds.  This should turn your 5GHz frequency back on.

  • 2.4G WiFi – This is just like the 5GWiFi light, except for the 2.4GHz frequency.  The steps to turn it on are the same as 5G except you use the 2.4G button.

  • WPS – This light indicates the status of WPS security.  You don’t need to be concerned with this one.

  • ETH1 through ETH4 – These lights indicate if you have devices connected to the yellow Ethernet ports on the back of your router.  If a connected device is powered off, the corresponding indicator light may not be on.

  • USB – This light indicates if you have anything connected to the USB port on the back of your router.  It is unlikely you will need anything connected to this port, so it is usually off.

  • Power – This light must be green before anything else on the router can work.  It indicates that the router is powered on.  If it is not on, there are a couple of things you can check.  First, make sure the power cable is connected securely to the router.  Also, be sure the other end of the power cable is plugged into a working outlet.  Plug something else into the outlet to be sure it is working or try another outlet.  One other thing to check is the power button on the back of the router just above the power cable connection.  Make sure it is in the On position (pushed in).

The status lights on the ONT are as follows: 

  • VOICE – If you have voice service through REMC and your phone is connected, this light should be green.

  • LAN – This light should be green (flashing is OK).  If not, check the connection to your router.  The Ethernet cable on your router should be in the blue port.

  • FIBER – This light indicates a proper connection to the central office.  This light should be green (flashing is OK).  If not, contact REMC.

  • POWER – This light must be solid green.  If not, check the power connection to the ONT.

ONT lights example image
Fiber Lines 3_Adobe Stock [Converted].jpg
Troubleshooting Speed Problems

If your Internet connection is working but your performance seems slow, here are some things you can try.  Slow performance can cause jittery audio, buffering when streaming, poor picture quality, and web pages loading very slowly. 

Sometimes a simple reboot of the router and ONT can resolve speed issues.  Just unplug both the router and ONT and then plug them back in.  Once everything comes back up, try again and see if that fixes it.

If you are using a Wi-Fi connected device streaming audio and video and experiencing performance issues, be sure you are connected to the 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency.  The 5GHz Wi-Fi frequency provides the best performance.  However, if you are far away from your router or have several walls between you and your router, you might actually be better off using 2.4GHz. 

Another Wi-Fi issue can be frequency congestion.  If you have too many devices connected to either 2.4GHz or 5GHz, it can slow down performance on that frequency.  Try moving some devices from one frequency to another to balance things out.

Another less common issue to check for is interference.  Gaming devices and microwave ovens near your router can cause issues.  If you suspect this might be your problem, try relocating your router to an area away from interference.  Another possible cause of interference is any sort of large metal obstructions near the router.  These can include things like metal walls, filing cabinets, or any other large metal objects.  Again, relocating your router to another area could help resolve the issue.  If you need assistance relocating your router, contact REMC.

There are many possible causes for slow performance, many of which have nothing to do with your REMC Internet connection or the location of the router in your house.  These are situations outside of the control of the REMC and can include problems with the broader Internet, the server(s) you are connecting to, and the devices in your home.  Unfortunately, in these situations, all we can do is wait.

You can check your Internet speed using http://speedtest.seidata.com.  Perform at least three speed tests, 5 minutes apart, prior to calling REMC for help.  Use either a wired device or a Wi-Fi device connected to your 5GHz frequency.  (Wi-Fi devices connected to 2.4GHz typically cannot perform better than 100Mbps.)  It is important to use http://speedtest.seidata.com when contacting REMC to report a speed issue.  Speed tests through this site are recorded at REMC and used to help troubleshoot.  If you contact REMC to report a speed issue and have not conducted speed tests at http://speedtest.seidata.com, they will ask you to do so at that time.

How to Contact REMC

When contacting REMC to report a problem with your fiber service, please be prepared with information about the status lights on your router and ONT. 

Other reasons to contact REMC include visible damage to cables outside the house or on the road, even if your service has not been impacted.

REMC can be reached at 800-737-4111.  Member representatives are available to take your calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Problems reported outside normal business hours will be addressed the next business day.  Normal business hours are 7:30am to 4:30pm Monday through Friday except for scheduled company holidays.

bottom of page