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NBN Using Old Telstra 50 pair Cable to Connect FTTC (Inserted Into Gel Joint)

Jul 21, 2020 | Blog, On The Job | 0 comments









Today I attended a job in Dural Sydney South West. I was there to get an internal socket connected directly to the NBN FTTC copper lead-in cable.  While I was completing my work the technician from NBN arrived. He was a contractor, very polite and a nice fellow. This customer had two existing lead-in cables, one of them was new and went directly to the part of the house when I was going to attach a new socket to.

We told the tech to use his F-Set toner to make sure he connected to the right lead-in cable outside in the NBN pit. I followed him out to the pit to make sure we found the right lead-in cable. When he had the pit open I noticed that the DPU was not located inside this pit, but was actually in the next pit up. I also noticed that there where no lead-in cables running up to the pit that had the DPU in it.

There was an old Telstra CAN (Joint) inside the pit out the front of the customer’s house that had a 50 pair (by the look of it) running through the ducting. This 50 pair went up to the nest pit that had the DPU in it. I asked the NBN contractor how he was going to connect the lead-in cable to the DPU and asked if he was going to run a dedicated lead-in cable from the customer’s pit to the DPU.

The NBN Contractor told me that it was necessary because he was going to jump on the old 50 pair cable and use that to bring the FTTC signal down to the customer’s pit and then connect the lead-in cable to that inside the CAN.

I expressed my concern and explained to him the reason why that would not be a good idea. Those reasons are as follows.

  1. Using an old Telstra cable is fraught with problems. Eg Foreign battery and insulation resistance issues.
  2. The CAN was an old gel affected joint that had been a problem for Telstra techs for years.
  3. Inserting that lead-in cable into an old joint will need to be done in such a way that it will remain waterproof.
  4. This joint was not waterproof and was open for moisture and was also gel affected.

He went about doing the installation anyway. After he had completed his installation he came inside to connect his socket to the lead-in cable I had prepared for him. The white FTTC connection connected initially but after a few minutes both the sync light and the DSL light both dropped out. This happened twice while the NBN contractor was outside closing up the pits.

I told him about the dropouts and he told me that was nothing to worry about because the service was not activated yet. I didn’t say another word because I knew that this contractor had no idea what he was doing.



This contractor either had not been trained correctly or was just 100% negligent in doing this installation. I had posted this video (video below) on our YouTube channel asking the question is this a standard installation practice. Within 1 hour of my post, I had a call from a Telstra tech who had been forwarded my video from a friend.

He wanted to know blow by blow exactly what had happened and he was going to pass this information on to someone in NBN who could review this contractors work. 1 hour after the first call, he called back again saying NBN was very interested in this and were NOT happy at all about how this contractor had performed this installation. The guy from Telstra then informed me that they would have a quality inspector out that afternoon to check his work and have in redone correctly.

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