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Connecting a Router to an ONT


This information is intended for customers with Cox Internet service delivered to the home with fiber via an Optical Network Terminal (ONT) who are using their own router. You will know if you have fiber service based on your order confirmation email which will state you have an ONT, or information provided by a Cox representative.

We've installed your ONT already. Now it's time for you to connect your own third-party WiFi router so you can get online. Let's get started by reviewing some useful information.

  • To get Internet service in your home, a standalone WiFi router is required. You'll need to connect your router to either the Ethernet port on the ONT or an Ethernet jack on the wall.
  • Your router will broadcast WiFi or you can connect devices via Ethernet cable. For the best performance, we recommend a Gigabit Ethernet router with WiFi 5 or higher.

Note: WiFi modems are incompatible with the ONT.

Finding the ONT

We've installed your ONT in one of a few places depending on your home and property type. The ONT is labeled Alcatel-Lucent, Nokia, or Calix. Use the table below to determine which scenario fits your household best, and then click the link to open a connection guide.

ONT PlacementConnection Guide
Inside wall:
The ONT is placed in a bracket, mounted to the wall, and connected to power. Common locations are the living room / main room.
Connecting to an ONT Ethernet Port
Media panel:
The ONT is inside a media panel, also known as a smart panel, which is an enclosed cabinet mounted to the wall that contains Cox wiring and equipment.
  • Common locations for the media panel are laundry rooms and closets.
  • Plastic media panels usually have a shelf where the router is placed.
If the media panel is plastic: Connecting to an ONT Ethernet Port
If the media panel is metal: Connecting to an Ethernet Wall Jack
Garage wall:
The ONT is inside a media panel or placed in a bracket and mounted to a garage wall.
Connecting to an Ethernet Wall Jack
Exterior wall:
The ONT is placed in a weather-proof box, and then mounted to an outside wall on the exterior of the home. Do not attempt to open this box.
Connecting to an Ethernet Wall Jack

Note: If you are using the Cox Panoramic Wifi Gateway with your ONT, then you will receive a kit with the gateway and instructions.

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