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Thursday 18 Apr 2024 | 5 min read

Why does my nbn® internet keep dropping out?

A gentleman sitting on a chair in the middle of a room, with his hands rubbing the front of his head and a laptop resting on his knees. The room has floorboards and a wall, both are coloured white. The gentleman is in denim blue jeans, with a green jumper and is wearing glasses. He looks uptight with something, perhaps on his laptop.

Yes, it’s happened again. Another movie binge halted by the wheel of buffering, or a meeting where all your colleagues have frozen. If you’re one of the 8.5 million Australian households connected to the nbn® but are still not getting the high-speed internet experience you’ve always dreamed of, you’ve come to the right place.

Let’s be honest, NBN dropouts aren’t fun, but understanding the reasons behind them is the first step towards making patchy internet a thing of the past.

Why does my NBN internet keep dropping out?

As with most things in life, knowing the why is the key to learning the how. Here are the 3 of the most common causes behind NBN dropouts.

Hardware Issues

“It’s me, hi, I’m the problem it’s me,” – your router or devices, probably.

Your NBN connection relies on many different (and complicated) parts to beam internet to your house. Any one of your devices or equipment may be malfunctioning, causing these connectivity issues.

An easy way to check is if it’s only one device, like a phone or laptop, that is having connectivity issues. If more than one device is impacted, it’s probably a wider problem.

If it is just one device, check if that device is directly connected to the router, like via ethernet cable. If so, it’s worth checking these cables to make sure they are securely plugged in and aren’t damaged.

A photo of the back of an internet router, with the hands of what appears to be a male touching it. The hand on the left is pointing to a port on the back, while there are ports with white leads running into them.

Network Congestion

This occurs when too many users in your area simultaneously access the internet, overwhelming the NBN infrastructure. This can lead to slow speeds and, in severe cases, dropouts. Imagine a highway during rush hour - bumper to bumper traffic, everyone vying for space, and the inevitable slowdowns. So, during peak hours, you might experience more frequent interruptions than during off-peak.

At Aussie, we actively manage our bandwidth to make sure network congestion is a rare event. You can read about our cool CVC bot that keeps track and purchases bandwidth here.

It’s rain, wind, lightning, or snow, oh my!

That’s right, bad weather such as heavy rainfall, storms, or strong winds can damage on infrastructure elements like cables and antennas, leading to signal degradation and eventual dropouts.

If your area has been impacted by rough weather, it might be worth checking our outage page or the NBN’s own network status page to see if the network infrastructure has been damaged.

Not all connection types are made equal

In the effort to ramp up its fibre rollout, NBN has sometimes re-used existing telephone or cable TV infrastructure, to varying degrees of success. Check out this blog if you want to find out more about all the different connection types and their strengths and weaknesses.

The integrity of the physical connection between your house and the NBN infrastructure can significantly influence internet stability. Factors such as line distance, interference from other electronic devices, and using old copper or coaxial cabling can really impact connection reliability. If you’re living in an older house or development, you could very well be suffering from worn out cabling.

How can I avoid NBN dropouts?

Now you know what causes the figurative headaches that are NBN dropouts, let’s get into how you can fix each one.

Opt for Off-Peak Usage

Try scheduling your bandwidth-heavy activities, like streaming or gaming, during off-peak hours when network congestion is less likely to occur. This can help alleviate strain on the network and reduce the chances of dropouts.

Maintain Hardware

Regularly check and maintain your hardware, including the NBN modem, router, cables, and even your power board. Is your router getting on in years? Maybe consider an upgrade! Ensure all your equipment is in good condition, free from damage, or overheating and be sure to also check all your cables and equipment are correctly plugged in and updated to the latest firmware.


As mentioned, weather can have a BIG impact on your connection experience. Before you bust out your best rain dance, consider weatherproofing your external cables and connections. Shielding them from the elements can minimise signal disruptions during inclement weather conditions.

Line Inspection

If you suspect line quality issues, especially if you’ve got elements of copper or coaxial cabling, contact your service provider to conduct a line inspection. Providers like us can assess the condition of the physical line and address any issues that may be causing dropouts. Sometimes, a simple repair or replacement can make a world of difference.

Location, location, location

In the off-chance your issues aren’t related to the NBN at all, check out our handy guide to getting the most your of your Wi-Fi.

Pick the right plan for you

Opt for the right NBN plan for your household's internet usage patterns. If you need a bit of guidance understanding the different plans available, check out this blog.

A photo of a female sitting on a blue, plushy couch with a phone in one hand, a pen in the other writing in a notebook, as well as a laptop on her lap.

How Can I Fix an NBN Dropout?

Despite your best efforts, NBN dropouts may still happen from time to time. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you get back online quickly.

Have you tried restarting it?

The classic IT advice - turn it off and on again. Start by rebooting your NBN modem and router. Sometimes, a simple reset can resolve temporary glitches and restore connectivity. We also have this guide on how to power cycle your hardware.

Get in touch

If you’ve read all the blogs and tried all the things, then it might be time to call in reinforcement. If you’re our customer, you can always reach out to us through the LiveChat on our website, or give us a ring at 1300 880 905. We can help investigate the issue further and provide guidance or schedule a technician visit if necessary.

While NBN dropouts can be frustrating, understanding their causes and taking proactive steps to prevent and address them can really improve your online experience.

The next time your internet decides to play hide-and-seek, we hope you feel better equipped to tackle the issue head-on. Happy surfing!


Written by

Aussie Broadband Logo

Holly Matthews Way

External Communications Manager

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