quick menu

Is there a wireless component of the ONT or other hardware of home FIOS connection?

Is there a wireless component of the ONT or other hardware of home FIOS connection?

Posts: 7



This is a strange question, perhaps (but perhaps not, depending on the answer), so bear with me as I explain. I am a perfectly satisfied, happy FIOS customer, and cannot see why anyone in my area (Northern Virginia) would pay the same or more for inherently worse Internet connectivity (meaning any other ISP than Verizon). I plan to move in to my girlfriend's house in a few months, and want to move my service there; she currently has Comcast, I believe.

She is very anti-wireless because she has sensitivity to EMF. I assured her that FIOS uses fiber-optic cables to transmit data via light waves to an Optical Network Terminal outside my house, which then transmits the data to/from my gateway via an Ethernet cable. I explained that there is no wireless component anywhere (in fact as far from wireless as can be, since it is not only wired but fiber-optic). I explained that the only way any wireless activity would exist is if I enabled the 802.11 functionality on my gateway, which I would not do in her house.


However, she insists that a Verizon technician who came to her house when she was shopping for an ISP claimed that there is some kind of wireless signal transmitting out from the hardware Verizon installs, presumably meaning from the ONT (she is not very technical, so she did not ask for specifics). Apparently, this technician was very positive on this point, that there is wireless transmission occuring from the hardware (to a Verizon server, perhaps?), which cannot be disabled.


I told her that this did not make any sense, and that's when I explained how the connection works, as I understood it. She refuses to let me move my service to her house, because of this alleged wireless signal that is part of the basic functionality of the FIOS service.


My question is, does anyone know anything about this? I want to prove to her that this is wrong, so I can keep my Verizon FIOS service when I move. However, she did not just dream this up, but heard it from an installation technician who went to her house. When my ONT was installed, I watched and asked questions because I am interested in these things, and that friendly technician never said the slightest thing about a wireless signal coming from the ONT or elsewhere. Why would the technician tell my girlfriend that there is a wireless signal, and where/why would this happen? What purpose would it serve, if it does exist?


I hope someone can help elucidate this murky matter, because no amount of explaining by me will change my girlfriend's mind about this. She needs to hear it from someone else with technical understanding of how the installation/hardware works. If this is nonsense, please tell me! If it is really true, then I would love to know. The only thing I can think of is that there is some kind of phone-home wireless signal, but I have never heard anything about this before.


Thank you so much for your help! I'm sorry for the long post, but I had to provide the context for the question to make any sense.





Gold Contributor V
Posts: 2,801

Wow I hate to do this to you, but the Fios technician and your girlfriend are correct.

basic routers even with the wifi turned off have electro magnetic pulse. Makes no difference in the signal band as you mention in your inquiry.


the routers of today broadcast a SSID set as default. However a person can turn off the SSID but that does not cancel the signal. It makes no difference in the band used.


2.4 or 5 MHz other than distance and power of signal penetration.

in a discussion you may point out that she is subjected to signals all around her from others internet wifi, cellular phones etc. so basically having Fios is not going to kill her. I would be cautious in what your girlfriend is demanding when saying no. I would consider her moving in with you, unless some afternoon she may give you the boot.



Copper Contributor
Posts: 49

If you use a router that is also a wireless router there are 2.5Mhz and 5Ghz "radios" in the router.  There is usually a setting in the set-up or advanced set-up pages that let you turn off these "radios".  I'm pretty sure there is no "wireless" component to the ONT.  The routers supplied by or rented from Verizon are wireless routers.


Alternatevly, you do not need to use the Verizon supplied router and you could use a non-wireless gigabit router of your choice. I've been using non-Verizon routers for my home network for years.


Is your GF's router a ComCast(Xinfinity) supplied router or is she using an ethernet only router?  Have you checked it to see if it has a wireless capability that she doesn't know about?  Does she know the differnce between a router and an ONT? 





Platinum Contributor I
Platinum Contributor I
Posts: 6,325

As others have asked:

1) Does your girlfriend use a wireless device at her house (tablet, laptop)?

2) Does she have a cellphone?

3) If you goes to your place where you have WIFI, does she have any issues?


All electronic equipment gives off some level of EMF. Most of it is too low for detecting much more than a few inches fromt he device.

Even her current Comcast uses RF to transmit the TV signal to each of the boxes she may have.

If a forum member gives an answer you like, give them the Kudos they deserve. If a member gives you the answer to your question, mark the answer as Accepted Solution so others can see the solution to the problem.
Posts: 7


Thanks for your response (and the other posters') -- I had no idea there were replies until I logged in and checked (I was expecting notification emails based on my settings).

I should clarify something about my original post. I am fully aware of the WiFi settings in the firmware of the router, as far as bands and SSIDs. I personally have my router set to use 5 GHz with no SSID broadcast and MAC address filtering, just because those options are available and I think it is fun to do it (I even assigned a frightening name to the SSID, in case it is picked up by someone somehow). I have 2.5 GHz disabled. Whenever my girlfriend comes over, I turn the 5 GHz WiFi off completely, although I leave the gateway on so that I can still access the Internet via the Ethernet port.


The way my girlfriend described her conversation with the Verizon technician, it sounded as though the technician had told her that there was some wireless signal involved with the ONT, outside of the house. It's possible that the technician meant what you are explaining, that even with WiFi turned off there are still some basic signals, but I seem to recall her stressing that she was told about some active wireless signal coming from somewhere.


Believe me, I have pointed out the prevalence of signals everywhere, even using a WiFi analyzer app on my phone to demonstrate just how many signals were detected from the house. Her reaction was to cover the windows in her bedroom with layers of aluminum foil, taped securely along the edges so that spot was left open. She has three tenants, however, who all get their access from an AP on the first floor. She insists that they turn off the router/AP at a certain hour each night. She is mostly concerned with the effect EMFs, etc., will have on her sleep, since she understands that they cannot be utterly avoided.


I appreciate your feedback. If I understand you correctly, then she would be getting the same low exposure to signals/EMFs with my Verizon router that she is currently getting with whichever router (I forget the brand) she currently has. In other words, what the technician said applies equally to a FIOS setup and to her current setup. Is that correct? I'm afraid this is a losing battle for me! Obviously, FIOS service is not -that- important to me that I would refuse to move in because of it. I was just hoping I could keep the service, since I like it so much!


Thanks for your help!

Posts: 7

My second post (the previous one) was a reply to jonjones. When my reply appeared, it did not seem to indicate who I was replying to (although I clicked the reply button for jonjones' post).

Posts: 7

Reply to Bob1692 --


Thanks for replying!


I am pretty well familiar with how routers work, including my own and hers, however, what she told me was that the Verizon technician told her that there is some constant signal being sent by the hardware that is part of the installation outside of the house (which I assume refers to the ONT, since I don't know what else it would be). Her tenants all share a router and connect to the AP via WiFi; noone uses a wired connection. She has strict rules about when the router must be shut down completely, at night when she goes to sleep. I believe it was supplied by ComCast directly. I've already been in the firmware settings when I set the AP up for her a long time ago, configuring the SSID, key, etc.


The mystery that I am trying to demystify is this alleged signal that is sent out at all times. It seems like jonjones' suggestion might explain this, but I'm not sure because she was so adamant that the technician was referring to a signal from the installation outside the house (the ONT). This ONT does not exist, since she declined to get the service, but that was the reason she did decline the service.


I have explained that I would fully disable any WiFi signals from my router if I move in and transfer my FIOS service there. Her response is that it does not matter, because of the permanent signal from the hardware (allegedly).


I know this is a strange question, so I really do appreciate everybody's help! Thanks!

Posts: 7

Reply to CRobGauth --


The only wireless device my girlfriend ever uses is her iPhone, but she keeps it on Airplane Mode at all times unless actively using it. This is a very serious issue for her, so she is very careful about any possible exposure to EMFs/RF signals. However, the three tenants living throughout the house share a router and connect via a 2.4 GHz connection; the router is shut off completely at a certain hour each night.

Re your 3rd question, she does not seem to have any issue when she comes to my place when I have WiFi on (i.e., when I forget to turn it off before she comes over). If she is aware that it is on, she will tell me to turn it off, but if she is not aware, she does not seem to be affected negatively. This is an ongoing debate between the two of us. I say that studies about the harm of these RF frequencies are inconclusive, and she replies that it is proven they are harmful, and that she feels the effects. The only way through this for me is I have hard evidence that there is no permanent signal being sent out by any hardware (whether the ONT or the router). To be clear, I do not believe there is such a signal, but she does, so that is what I have to figure out. I wish I could have spoken to the technician she talked to!


There is no TV service in the house, as far as I know, only Internet (which is strictly scheduled, as I explained, off at night that is). She even has an EMF detection device that she occasionally pulls out to demonstrate how prevalent all of these signals are. It certainly does haywire when we pass, say, a cell phone tower, or if we stand close to a running microwave. However, I do not know what is normal, so I don't know whether this meter is indicating a dangerous amount or just a normal amount. I think that because it starts beeping rapidly, she assumes that this means "danger."

I appreciate everybody's help, and apologize for the late replies (I had no idea I had replies waiting for me until just a moment ago). 


Do you think I should try to call a technician so I can get a more conclusive answer about this? I am hoping to get a firm "yes" or "no" with an explanation, so I can quote it to my girlfriend and hopefully change her mind. I have sworn up and down that a fiber-optic to Ethernet to router Internet connection is probably the best choice for her, but she is stuck on this idea of the permanent signal being broadcast at all times.


Thank you for your reply.

Gold Contributor V
Posts: 2,801

Years ago and I mean years ago of 39 years or more I worked in a government computer center with first generation sperry univac systems. No routers or high speed modems of today and it was tubes and diodes and gasses being given off etc.


i even tested halon when it first came out by working in the environment which years later had a paper saying it caused cancer. 


You see even in everyday life we are bombarded by airwaves in tv transmission, microwave transmissions and not just the ones we cook with, there are also electro magnetic signals from concrete in buildings materials, cell phones, laptops and desktops and other computer devices. We cannot escape them.


the problem is when people start putting "aluminum foil on their windows etc". This is a medical disorder. Just try and get that girlfriend to see where the other magnetic fields are generated from. Automobiles, electric ovens, toasters, electric doors and the list goes on. 


The small amount generated from your router or ont is negligible. The same can be generated by a speaker from a radio or television or from ear phones and other listening devices.  I have a device I use when I once set up people's computer systems which showed if the power was set high or low or if wifi was not penetrated throughout the structure. Again it is not harmful having your system be Ethernet or cabled. 

Relax and get the service that best serves your needs and budget.


Good Luck


Platinum Contributor I
Platinum Contributor I
Posts: 6,325

Good luck contacting a technician.

and it may do more harm as you can never be sure what response you may get.

we have all given the best answers you can hope to get IMHO.

it would take thousands of dollars to even begin to prove that there are no more emissions from the ont than from any other electrical device.

the fact that she believes studies have shown the emi is dangerous (and there can be info but it really depends on the strength of the signal, duration, etc) will make convincing her an uphill battle.

There is a town in wva where emi is not allowed due to a sensitive radio telescope there.

If a forum member gives an answer you like, give them the Kudos they deserve. If a member gives you the answer to your question, mark the answer as Accepted Solution so others can see the solution to the problem.
My Rewards+
Start earning points Enrolling in My Rewards+ is quick, free and easy

Refer A Friend
Refer friends to the Verizon Fios Family, and earn 10,000 My Rewards+ points
Verizon Troubleshooters
Unable to find your answer here? Try searching Verizon Troubleshooters for more options.

My Verizon

  • Add or Change Plan
  • Suspend My Service
  • Apps


Watch Fios