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Thursday 6 June 2019 | 4 min read

Troubleshooting tips for NBN problems

Photo of a NBNCo Premises Connection Device

If you’ve signed up for an nbn™ plan, you were probably excited about the prospect of fast, reliable internet. So it can be frustrating if you end up experiencing connection issues or slower speeds than expected.

It’s important to keep in mind that nbn™ slowdowns can be relatively common due to different factors, so you’re not alone. However, you can work through some of the potential causes step-by-step to eliminate issues that could be causing you grief.

We’ve put together these troubleshooting tips to help you get started.

Types of nbn™ connections and plans

When you hear someone talk about the nbn™, they talk about two different things: your connection type and your plan. Your nbn™ connection type is how you connect to the nbn™ network. Your nbn™ plan however, refers to the speed tier and data limit that you have purchased from an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

nbn™ connection types

nbn™ connection types include the following:

  • Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)

  • Fibre to the Node (FTTN)

  • Fibre to the Building (FTTB) – sometimes known as Fibre to the Basement

  • Fibre to the Curb (FTTC)

  • Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC)

  • Fixed Wireless, and

  • Satellite.

Fixed wireless and satellite tend to be used in rural areas and other locations that have no other option. The remaining connection types will apply to the vast majority of Australians.

nbn™ plans

Your ISP will likely offer a range of speed tiers. For example, a base tier could be great for small households with one or two people who occasionally stream video. Higher speed tiers could be great for families who love to stream, or households with a gamer or two.

What is one of the most common nbn™ issues that may occur?

Slow speeds

Some of the most common nbn™ issues relate to slow speeds, though connection delays and unusable internet or phone services are also not uncommon.

Network congestion could be a reason why you are experiencing slower speeds. nbn™ connections might slow down in the evenings when more users are at home and streaming, surfing, downloading, and otherwise accessing their internet. ISPs are required by law to disclose their expected speeds for peak periods (known as typical evening speeds), so check with your ISP to find out the expected speeds for peak hours.

If you’re in a FTTN (Fibre to the Node) area, the distance from the node can also significantly impact the speed and performance of your nbn™ plan. This is primarily due to the copper wires and the distance that these wires have to carry your internet. If it is a long distance or if the copper wires are in a poor condition, this can degrade the speed you get at your home considerably.

Wi-Fi setup in your home and using a speed tier that is not high enough for your household can also impact the speeds you experience. If you have a lot of devices connected at the same time, they will have to fight over the bandwidth available, resulting in slower speeds.

Troubleshooting tips for nbn™ issues

If you experience slowdowns due to network congestion and plan issues, you might want to think about talking to your provider to see what they can do for you and/or upgrading your plan.

If you are connected to the nbn™ via FTTN and are experiencing speed issues, finding out how far away from the node you are could be a good start. This could be the reason why your speeds aren’t what you hoped. Even the quality of your copper wiring can have an impact on your FTTN connection.

But for slow speeds, here are some ways to improve your current nbn™ performance.

Speed tier

Your ISP will likely have a range of plans for you to choose from for your nbn™ service. Often the cost of these plans are differentiated by the speed tier or the amount of data you get. The cheaper the plan, the more likely it will be that you are on a lower speed tier with not much data.

Upgrading your plan could be the solution – contact Aussie Broadband to discuss what plan is right for your needs on 1300 880 905.

Check your router and Wi-Fi setup

Your Wi-Fi connection could be the issue. The nbn™ broadband access network could be reaching your house at maximum speeds but getting slowed down by how your router is set up at your home. In fact, even your home layout and the way it was built can impact how Wi-Fi signals travel through the property and so the speeds you experience.

Check the following to optimise your router setup.

  • No connection – If you have no connection, start with the basics: check your Wi-Fi is turned on. Make sure cables for any wired connections are plugged in properly and check they’re not damaged. Try a power cycle by turning your router off and on again as a starting point. If you use surge protectors, check whether removing these resolves the issue.

  • Speed test – Run a speed test both with an Ethernet cable connected to your device and without one connected. If a wired test gives you faster results than a Wi-Fi test, your Wi-Fi setup could be the problem.

  • Placement – Place your router at the centre of your home to shorten the Wi-Fi travel distance to all rooms in your home. However, if all your devices are used on one side of the house, it’s a good idea to place your router on that side.

  • Elevation – For best results, keep your router raised around two metres off the ground.

  • Dampeners – While Wi-Fi signals can travel through solid objects, certain objects can interfere with the strength of the signal. Dampeners to move out of the way include water tanks and fish tanks, electronic devices that use radio waves (like radios), microwaves, TVs, ovens, fridges, washing machines, and dishwashers. Thick walls and floors can also have a dampening effect. Due to the number of objects that can interfere with your Wi-Fi signal, most ISPs will suggest you connect to the internet via an Ethernet cable where possible to experience the best speeds possible.

  • Devices – Do you have too many devices accessing Wi-Fi? If you do, consider switching high-bandwidth devices – like a TV used for streaming – to a direct wired connection to your router.

  • Neighbours – If your neighbours have Wi-Fi, this could interfere with your Wi-Fi. Try switching to a different channel and see if that makes a difference.

  • Router – Older routers might not meet your requirements, so consider upgrading if you think your router might be slowing your Wi-Fi down.

Connection issues

Sometimes the problem is more serious – it could be a network connection issue outside your home slowing down your internet. If you suspect this is the case, contact your ISP to see what they can do to help.

Don’t settle for poor internet performance

From network connection to your Wi-Fi setup, different factors could be causing your nbn™ problems. Start with basic troubleshooting and checking your Wi-Fi setup. If your Wi-Fi isn’t the issue, you might need to upgrade to a higher plan or contact your ISP for assistance.

Want to connect to the nbn™ with Australia’s 5th largest nbn™ provider? To make sure that the nbn™ is available in your area, use our availability checker, or speak to our team today!

Tags:Internet SpeedGetting started

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