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NBN Dropping Out?

So, you have a new NBN connection, all seem to be working well for a short time, then BAM! Your NBN connection device decides to drop out. Why does your NBN drop out? We have seen this so many times, and we have a few answers for you in this post. Sometimes it might have to do with the NBN itself, I mean the network. But other times it’s going to be something inside your home or office that is causing your NBN to drop out.

NBN Dropping Out?

We know your frustration. We deal with customers who are so frustrated because of their NBN service dropping out constantly. Since the inception of NBN, we have come across many different reasons why this happens, and it’s not always the NBN network that is letting you down.

Your Home Wiring

Unless your home was built recently and still even then, unless the electrician who wired your home is up to date with the latest wiring specs (which is very unlikely) then your home will be wired as it has been for the last 80 years. The way your home should be wired now for internet, phone and data is totally different now.

Most homes that exist in Australia have been wired for POTS (plain old telephone service) line services. Then in the 90’s ADSL became a thing and your existing home wiring was 100% compatible with this type of internet service. Most homes have 3 to 6 phone sockets, and with ADSL you could use any of these sockets inside your home to plug in your modem router and it would just work. Then you could also go to the other sockets and plug in a phone and it too would work.

Now with NBN, the way your home is currently wired is not compatible with NBN FTTC, FTTN, and FTTB services. The copper cables inside your wall, in your ceiling and under your floors are wired in one of two ways. The first way is called a star connection.

Star Wiring & NBN Dropouts

A star-wired home is when all the cables in your communications cabling network run from each socket back to a single point inside your home. Sometimes they will all come back to a single socket, but most of the time they will come back to a joint either inside your ceiling or under your floor underneath your house. If your home was wired in a star connection by a good electrician, it will come back to an MDF (main distribution frame) This is like a hub for all your cabling. Your cabling will terminate nicely and neatly inside this MDF.

Daisy Chain Wiring & NBN Dropouts

The other your home may be wired is called a daisy chain. This is where your home will have cabling going from socket number 1 then on to socket number 2 then off to socket number 3 and so on and so on. Many homes are wired like this and this can be extremely problematic for NBN services.

Why This Is A Problem?

The problem with having your home wired in either a star or daisy chain is that it causes a bridge tap on your service. For NBN FTTC FTTN FTTB this will drop out your NBN service.

What is a bridge Tap?

A bridge tap is when your signal coming in from the street will bounce around from the NBN connection device then through your other cabling then bounce back to your connection device again. This will confuse your NBN connection device and it will think there is more than one signal coming in from the DPU (Distribution Point Unit) and it will drop out.

How To Fix This?

For the best results, you need to have the most direct route from the NBN lead-in cable that comes in from the street straight to the socket you want to have your NBN connection device and modem connected to.  You can use the existing cabling to reroute this if the cable is testing okay. We will also recommend upgrading your socket too if you have one of the old 610 sockets. We would upgrade this socket to a new RJ45 socket, so you don’t need to use an adaptor to make this connection. Adapters can also cause you problems as we will discuss next.

Having a single straight line from the NBN network lead-in cable to your socket will also boost your speed by up to 50% if you have a star connection or daisy chain wiring. This way your signal will be directed to the connection device and they will stop your NBN from dropping out.

Adaptors & NBN Dropouts

If you are still using the old yellow three pinned Telstra 610 socket, then you will need an adaptor to connect your connected device to the NBN. The connection device uses an RJ11 connection, so an adapter is required to make this connection.

These adapters can cause you all sorts of problems. If this adapter is not pushed in all the way and doesn’t make a good connection between the copper parts this can cause what is known as high resistance. This will also be enough to drop out your service.

Another issue with using an adapter is if the copper pins inside the adapter are discoloured or tarnished or corroded this will also be enough to drop out your NBN service.

Old Leads & NBN Dropouts

Using old leads to connect your new NBN connection device can also be a problem. It’s always a good idea to use the new leads that come with your connected device and modem to make these connections.

So old leads can have bent pins that can cause high resistance, and this can be enough to drop your NBN service. Also, if the copper is discoloured or corroded this can also drop out your service.

Power Boards & NBN Dropouts

If you are using a cheap multi-power board to connect all your equipment, like your connection device, modem, tv, Apple TV, PlayStation, etc This can also dropsout your NBN service. I have been to a few jobs now where people are using very cheap power boards to connect everything. If one device has some kind of a power surge issue this can feed into the power board and send a power spike into your NBN connection service or modem and be enough to drop out your signal. So check to see if maybe the reason why you are having dropout issues on your NBN service.

Network Faults & NBN Dropouts

I’m guessing I don’t need to tell you too much about this one, but NBN can also be the culprit for some of your dropout issues. If you are on FTTN I’m talking to you in particular. Fibre To The Node customer is still connected to some very old and unmaintained cabling. These cables and joints can have so many problems I don’t even know where to start.

Some of these cables and joints can still carry an ADSL service and an NBN service at the same time. These cables and joints also can have line attenuation problems. This means the further you live away from the node the more degraded your signal becomes.

They also have some big problems that would need a whole other post to explain. I wrote a post on this subject a few years back you can find it here if you want to know more about this subject. Faults in the Telstra network

Wi-Fi & NBN Dropouts

Another common thing you may find is that if you are using Wi-Fi to connect to the internet, you might be okay in one part of the house but by the time you move to the other end of the house your signal is weak and may drop out. This is not a wiring or NBN issue. This is an issue with your connectivity. This can be fixed in a number of ways.

You could run high-speed data cables inside your home and connect Wi-Fi access points to the data cables to boost your Wi-Fi signal. One of the best ways today is to install a Wi-Fi Mesh system inside your home. This new technology will create a mesh of strong wifi throughout your whole home without having to run a single cable. If you are having a connectivity problem my recommendation to you would be to install a wi-fi mesh system, this will solve your problems in a couple of hours. Find out more about what Mesh is and how it works here. What is Wi-Fi Mesh?


So, I hope this post might have helped you some. You can always give us a call and have a chat with our experts to help troubleshoot why your NBN is dropping out. If you just want it sorted out ASAP you can book us in for a service call if you are in Sydney and we can do all the hard work for you. NBN Faults can really cause issues at home and the office in this is the case for you we have a private Internet technician that we can send out to sort out all your troubles today.

Jason Kearney

Jason Kearney

Head Internet Technician

Jason Kearney is the Head Technician at SECURE A COM, with qualifications spanning NBN, ADSL, phone, and data cabling. Starting as an electrician, Jason quickly delved into the telecommunications sector, leading crucial projects like the rehabilitation of the Telstra network. With credentials in both managerial and technical aspects, he now specialises in phone line and NBN fault location and repair, serving both homes and businesses with effective and personalised telecommunications solutions

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