I have a large house with plenty of kids, so there is a lot of internet traffic, including Netflix, etc. I've had issues whenever Netflix uploads were occurring, which effectively rendered my PC internet traffic useless for periods at a time. Verizon recommended that I order a 2nd ActionTec router from them to alleviate the problem - so that I would use the 2nd router for my PC internet traffic, and the original router would be used for my kids' vile purposes. So I figured I could have the kids' original router in the basement, with their XBox and other devices using it, and the 2nd router could be in the top floor of the house for my PC traffic, etc. Plenty of coax connections everywhere, each one capable of supporting a STB or an ActionTec router.
So I ordered the 2nd router ($125), but it came with no instructions whatsoever. I assumed that just a simple plug-and-play would work, and for a few days it appeared to be working. But after a short while, we were intermittently losing internet connectivity - I assume there is some sort of conflict between the two routers, maybe only 1 IP address assigned by Verizon, etc.?
Turning off either of the 2 routers restores internet life, but then it gets me to where I was originally. Question is, how do I configure my ActionTec router(s) to co-habitate under the same roof?
I'm not sure what Verizon was thinking here ... only thing I can think is that they want you to buy a second Internet service connection and provision it on a different channel. Verizon would have to do this, not you ... and I'm not sure I would have approached it this way as there are certainly other ways to do this.
At the end of the day, I think you've diagnosed the problem correctly -- you can only have one router on the connection at a time. Whichever one get's the IP address that your ONT will assign out to the WAN interface on the routers first, is the one which will work.
Time to talk to tech support maybe at Verizon and see what they may have been thinking of having you do. Perhaps they wanted you to set the router up as a second "access point" only and give it a different radio frequency / SSID to offload an overloaded wireless network (but your message seems to imply a general overload involving hardwired devices as well, so this wouldn't help).
My approach to this would have been different. The easiest provided you're not doing anything fancy with your home network would have been to setup a dual router / double NAT scenario using a second consumer grade router which possesses QOS features (the verizon router has it, but it's a royal pain to configure and I'm not sure I have it figured out yet myself).
What I would do is get a second router (Linksys, Dlink, Belkin, Netgear, etc.) -- just make sure they have a port or mac based QOS capability -- most do nowadays -- and connect the WAN port of this router to a LAN port on the Verizon router. Let's say you're using a Linksys. Give the LAN network behind the Linksys and network address range of 192.168.2.0/255.255.255.0. Turn off the wireless on the Verizon router and use the wireless on the Linksys. To be really complete, I would statically assign an IP to the WAN interface on the Linksys in the 192.168.1.0 range and make that address the DMZ host on the Verizon router, but that's not absolutely necessary.
Now, connect everything to the Linksys box. Using the administrative interface on the Linksys, prioritize the traffic (by port or mac) of your PC over everything else.
Now ... whenever your PC wants bandwidth, it will get it over everyone else.
I know this sounds a bit confusing, but perhaps it'll give you some idea on where to start.
the link above is just to get the two routers to co-habitate. I think lasagna has the better solution for you, but try the verizon one since you already have the second router, and if it works great, if not and your problem is not solved, then maybe visit us again and we can go through some different scenario's.
Don't remeber if the verizon router has QoS if it does turn it on. If not, don't get another verizon router, just buy a good ($50?) with QoS. This will help the most with prioritizing packets that come from the router.