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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My home is a very poorly built split entry home constructed in 1978 during a building boom in Utah. My computer / modem are currently in a bedroom with no phone jack so I have run a temporary 4 wire cable to it from another bedroom. I have found 2 phone jacks in the house and they have the old 4 wire cables.

I intend to install a phone jack in the room with my modem to eliminate the temporary cable. I found the "box" where the main line (internet) comes into the house from the area distribution box located in my back yard. I currently have internet service provided by Centurylink (unfortunately) and do not have a land line.

Upon inspecting the line coming to the house, it appears that it may be an old CAT 5 cable. The only wires visible are a blue, blue/white, Orange & orange/white. Only the blue and blue/white wires are used to connect to the green and red house wires.

1) Does the 4 visible wires indicate that the main cable run is a CAT 5 cable based on color and year that it was probably installed?

2) If the said main cable IS a CAT 5, would it be beneficial for me to replace the existing 4 wire cable with CAT 5 or better?

My current internet using a C1100Z modem works but is a bit slow at times. I've tried using Wifi to link my computer but it bogs down a lot so I'd like to stay with the wire connection.

Centurylink now has fiber internet in my location and its base price in "only" $5.00 more than my current service BUT - I'm currently on price for life with guaranteed fixed price, no increases, no additional taxes, no add on charges, etc. Centurylink currently has an install special where they will install the fiber for free BUT - the fiber service comes with agreement to accept constant price increases, taxes, and many - many addon fees. I had this with my CL phone and the monthly service was $35 but my bill was over $75 because of add ons.

I'd appreciate your advice. Street light Gas Road surface Tints and shades Wood
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Based on the age of the wiring, I would say that the incoming cable is not Cat5. It probably does not even meet Cat3 standards. Telcos have used the blue/white,orange/white color coding for multi-pair cables for over 60 years.

Your 4-wire inside wiring is probably capable of Cat3 bandwidth (10 mbps) and you might even squeeze 100 mbps out of it if you're lucky. If you have an opportunity to upgrade it, I would do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Based on the age of the wiring, I would say that the incoming cable is not Cat5. It probably does not even meet Cat3 standards. Telcos have used the blue/white,orange/white color coding for multi-pair cables for over 60 years.

Your 4-wire inside wiring is probably capable of Cat3 bandwidth (10 mbps) and you might even squeeze 100 mbps out of it if you're lucky. If you have an opportunity to upgrade it, I would do it.
That's the info I needed. I'm not sure I really want to go through the hassle and expense of rewiring right now if it won't gain me anything. I'd have to do it all in the attic and its really a pain at my age (67). I think I'll just tap into the existing 4 wire and run a new wall jack off of that. Thanks for your help!
 

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I would skip most of the upgrades if necessary in order to keep the guaranteed fixed price for as long as possible.
 
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Are you on DSL? Sounds like it. How does room with phone jack get to your modem?

Rectangle Font Terrestrial plant Parallel Multimedia

Old wiring from the Bells were typically red and green to get a dial tone. Your blue and blue/white are equivalent to red and green. Other 2 wires were for a second line or, to supply power for a lighted phone like a Princess phone.

I am older than you but can tell you that moving to better internet will increase your speed beyond belief. Going from DSL to fiber is covered wagon to Porsche.
They all do it, snag you in with a too good to be true price for the latest, greatest thing but then raise the price after intro period.
I had FIOS once, then moved. But, I know how it works. Fiber. CenturyLink is trying to catch up to FIOS technology.
To save money, get the intro internet fiber deal from CenturyLink. If they offer a 2 year price guarantee, take it. Unfortunately, CenturyLink was Sprint, and just like Verizon (FIOS), it's treated by government as a telecom. So taxes are added and can be significant. See if other internet providers are available in your area (not a telecom).
Any company bringing fiber into your home needs an ONT (optical network terminal) to connect its fiber to. Not sure if CL charges for that (Verizon did not). The ONT is like a modem so yours would not be used anymore. On the rear of the ONT are terminals for proprietary tv stuff and for adding a router. If you don't want tv from CL, you don't need to rent a router or any other device. Make sure the Ethernet port is live. Plugging your computer in hardwired will give you service. You may have to run an ethernet cable from ONT to your computer.
But wait! Plugging your own router (you need to buy one) into ONT will let you have wifi and the ability to plug your computer directly to router for even faster speed.
Then maybe add a VOIP phone to router (like ooma) where you connect to your own network around CL? ooma runs about $6/month because after purchasing the ooma hardware, you only pay taxes for service every month. You would need to plug a phone into ooma so you'd need to buy a phone if you don't have one.
Sorry for too much info...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you on DSL? Sounds like it. How does room with phone jack get to your modem?

View attachment 668637
Old wiring from the Bells were typically red and green to get a dial tone. Your blue and blue/white are equivalent to red and green. Other 2 wires were for a second line or, to supply power for a lighted phone like a Princess phone.

I am older than you but can tell you that moving to better internet will increase your speed beyond belief. Going from DSL to fiber is covered wagon to Porsche.
They all do it, snag you in with a too good to be true price for the latest, greatest thing but then raise the price after intro period.
I had FIOS once, then moved. But, I know how it works. Fiber. CenturyLink is trying to catch up to FIOS technology.
To save money, get the intro internet fiber deal from CenturyLink. If they offer a 2 year price guarantee, take it. Unfortunately, CenturyLink was Sprint, and just like Verizon (FIOS), it's treated by government as a telecom. So taxes are added and can be significant. See if other internet providers are available in your area (not a telecom).
Any company bringing fiber into your home needs an ONT (optical network terminal) to connect its fiber to. Not sure if CL charges for that (Verizon did not). The ONT is like a modem so yours would not be used anymore. On the rear of the ONT are terminals for proprietary tv stuff and for adding a router. If you don't want tv from CL, you don't need to rent a router or any other device. Make sure the Ethernet port is live. Plugging your computer in hardwired will give you service. You may have to run an ethernet cable from ONT to your computer.
But wait! Plugging your own router (you need to buy one) into ONT will let you have wifi and the ability to plug your computer directly to router for even faster speed.
Then maybe add a VOIP phone to router (like ooma) where you connect to your own network around CL? ooma runs about $6/month because after purchasing the ooma hardware, you only pay taxes for service every month. You would need to plug a phone into ooma so you'd need to buy a phone if you don't have one.
Sorry for too much info...
I recently explored most of the local possibilities because I really hate Centurylink but none could beat the deal I have. They all give a good deal for one year then really screw you after that. Hopefully something better will come along.
 

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Ethernet cables CAT have nothing to do with phone cables. The incoming phone cable could be 2-4 pair. They connect two wires for each line. The other wires are spare for just in case.

Ethernet works on 4 pairs, 8 wires.
1978 there is no way there is Ethernet UNLESS a previous owner ran it.
Google Rj45 ethernet RJ11 phone look at the diagrams
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ethernet cables CAT have nothing to do with phone cables. The incoming phone cable could be 2-4 pair. They connect two wires for each line. The other wires are spare for just in case.

Ethernet works on 4 pairs, 8 wires.
1978 there is no way there is Ethernet UNLESS a previous owner ran it.
Google Rj45 ethernet RJ11 phone look at the diagrams
Correct ... it only has the old 4 wire phone cable using the red and green wire and it plugs into the plug marked DSL on the modem. I was hoping the wire coming into the house was a CAT wire so I could run new CAT cable to upgrade but that is not to be.
 
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