you are right, the Arris ONT also has an Ethernet port! does it output anything though?Best and easiest is to just put another router with VPN in place of the Actiontec.
i will remove the Actiontec. place another router with vpn in and see if the Arris's ethernet port works or not. it should without me doing any configuration right? (strangely no manual for this Arris Ont anywhere, not even from Arris's tech support. they wanted me to call Verizon)