Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


What can one do when, without notice from Optus, cable broadband service speed is throttled when neither peak nor off peak data allowances, in my opinion, has been exceeded and a desperate, pleading, detailed e-mail to is not answered in reasonable time (if ever)?

After struggling and seeking an answer from midway through February, on 24 February I logged in to Member Services which showed “You have exceeded your data limit on Thu Jan 01 10:00:00 AEST 1970”! Really?

The customary courtesy e-mail notifications at 50%, 85% and 100% consumption of Plan Data Allowance were not received in February.

Usage history for the previous six usage periods shows that Plan Data Allowance in either category was never exceeded.

My modem Wi-Fi is permanently disabled and is never turned on. Access point Wi-Fi is only ever turned on briefly when required. It does not broadcast its SSID. Hacking my entire plan data quota during such brief periods is not a realistic possibility.

I have been struggling to run my small business at the nominal 256 kbps which in reality is nowhere near that for almost the entire month of February. Most of this time resort had to be made to a hotspot established on a Vodafone service mobile.

Is it possible to obtain a daily breakdown of data usage for a billing period? In light of the service not meeting its contractual obligations for most of February 2019, I minimally would like my bill adjusted pro rata or waived in its entirety.

How can I go about this? Optus ‘support’ promised return calls never eventuate. Is the only way to contact Optus and expect a response to be via Consumer Complaints at the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


As far as I know Optus Cable don't throttle broadband speeds. Are you on a very old legacy contract?


FWIW Optus data usage reporting is IMO pretty unreliable. They usually should provide updates within 48 hours. They are legally obligated to send the warning SMSs so if they have never turned up then you should be recredited the monthly cost and any fees (not helpful I know) 


If you want a rapid responce use Optus LIVECHAT here on line or phone. They can access your data details directly. however based on the Jan 1 1970 date it would seem there's been some internal spreadsheet glitch and you're suffering the consequences.


Peter Gillespie

Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached

[ Edited ]

Many thanks for your reply Peter.


I am not sure when I subscribed to cable but it must be at least 15 to 20 years ago. I have cable correspondence from 2005. I have, indeed, been cut back to 256 kbps in the past when I was on that very old, initial, expensive, low data limit plan. Optus never bothered to inform me of far better, cheaper options. I take some responsibility for not keeping on top of it but life is too short with only 24 hours in every day.


Looking at Member Services, it shows I am now on "120 GB Broadband" while my latest invoice shows "120 GB W/HOME PHONE". Trying the View Plan link at Member Services results in a popup containing "Please visit for details on changing plans." and a Close button. Does anything work?


I am customarily warned by e-mail of limits reached; none this month, just throttling. Even currently, I am using the Vodafone hotspot.


I tried to use the Optus Broadband tech support telephone (13 13 44) on 5 February to enquire as to why I am unable to send attachments approaching 1 MB via Outlook. After 19 minutes(!) they promised to call back within one hour; still waiting.



Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


Not sure what you are paying but Unlimited and Unthrottled cable with free national calls is only $80 at Optus. Saves you having to worry about your business being throttled.


Also when is the NBN comming to your area? Check here


Optus will be cancelling your exsiting plan unilaterally about 3 months after it arrives. On the plus side you will have the option to sign up with any provider (incl Optus) to supply the NBN. As a home user you'll likely appreciate the much improved UPLOAD speeds of the NBN (from 1 Mbps now to up to 40Mbps)


Peter Gillespie

Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


Not sure since when in the dim, distant past but currently I am on a $50 plan. I only have fixed cable broadband with Optus. Speedtest has never shown over 19.1 Mbps download, 0.5 Mbps upload on a good day. I don’t upload much apart from e-mails at times with attachments and I don’t see that changing with the NBN. Still tragic compared to my 4G mobile.


I appreciate the heads up regarding the impending cancellation/disconnection of my cable/plan. HFC NBN is planned to be available in my street between April and June 2019, subject to change. I have registered for their e-mail alerts.


As for signing up with any provider other than Optus, for me sadly, as for most people who rely heavily on e-mail, that is not an option until e-mail addresses become portable. I am definitely not holding my breath on that one. I have my own domain (not hosted by Optus) with its own e-mail server but I have not had the time or the inclination to inform all my contacts and the many websites on which I am registered of migration to that address. That is why Optus is able to get away with ignoring and walking all over this one very angry customer. I suspect I may not be Robinson Crusoe.

Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


Yes getting and ISP email address is a trap (amd yes that's why they offer it). It is however much easier to migrate out these days. If you've got a few months to ease into it then its pretty foolproof. And lets face it if you haven't recieve or sent an email to a contact in over a year its probably not one you're going to miss.


1) Grab a free onliin eemail (i.e. GMail, Outlook, etc). Grab several if you want

2) Set GMAIL to import all existing emails from Optus

3) Set GMAIL to get any new emails from now on (Set a TAG to highlight these come via optus)

4) Start using GMAIL to read/send email (or add it to outloook)

5) Send all contacts an email with your updated email address

6) Update any major site (Bank, 2FA, Email, Utilites, etc.). Try remember any annual ones (like rego)

7) Scroll through past emails for a few emails and pick out others (e.g. Myki etc.)

8) Sit back and wait. You should find less and less are coming via Optus and more and more straight.

9) Send a reminder or update to those few that seem to slip through the first round

10) You're free. 


The nice thing about it is your Optus email stays as is so you can always pop into that if you want.


Peter Gillespie

Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


Thanks again, Peter, for responding and taking so much trouble in laying out a roadmap. You make the process, which I also frequently have considered, sound not so onerous. Now to just find the time…


I have a Gmail account since I use Android devices as well. I have always stayed away from free services since they can appear less professional and be ephemeral (e.g. Hotmail which has morphed many times) and even less secure than Optus which, can, at times, have an overly aggressive spam filter. Take the hacking of Yahoo for example. I receive endless phishing attempts from friends with Yahoo accounts. Almost always from Yahoo account breaches. I can not justify the expense of Secure Message Delivery (SMD) software especially since it is far from ubiquitous even in our medical and allied professions. Sometimes it is still the facsimile 😉. Can’t wait for the NBN’s impact on that technology! NBNCo www says “The nbn is capable of supporting fax usage on some phone services. You need to speak to your preferred service provider to ensure they are offering the necessary service over the nbn™ network.” Can’t wait to talk to my ISP (sarcasm intended).


Lastly, and please feel free to correct me if I am mistaken here, Optus is not a charity and will only retain an e-mail account while one pays for the service, a notion to which I would be amenable during the transition period. It would be a small price to pay for the freedom to which you refer in your point 10).

Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


Optus are indeed not a charity but I agree that providing the email service (which costs them nothing) for a small seperate fee would be an honourable thing to do. But presumably Optus have run the numbers and feel its more profitable to use email addresses to try trap customers than facilitate them moving elsewhere. So emails require a home broadband account (not mobile phone) with Optus to remain active.


Understand GMail can look less professional. You prompted me to have a look and The G-Suite business offering seems perfect for you (you get your own company email) At $5 a month worth trying out anyway? You do perhaps run in to the same issue of having to stay with G-Suite to keep the email.


FWIW I can say GMails filtering and spam features work extremely well. Emails generally sorted to different tabs (Primary, Forum, Social, etc.) and can't remamber the last junk mail I saw. I also find the integrated Calender and Keep (Notes) a great way to schedule and organise. Most of all 2FA keeps the account reasonably secure.


You said you have a email domain already registered? Free Gmail should be able to use that. You set your SEND alias to yor own address in the settings. Not sure if it works 100% but something to explore.




Good Luck


Peter Gillespie










Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


Thanks for sharing your experience Peter. I appreciate the trouble to which you went.


As a last-ditch attempt, tonight I visited the Optus store in my local Westfield. After a brief wait, I lucked into a consultant who was most patient, courteous and helpful.


After I explained my issue, he dialled their support number and was almost instantaneously connected. Unlike this customer’s experience. After passing the nonsensical privacy checks, he passed the handset to me so I could explain in more detail my complaint.


After about 30 minutes, during which I was put on hold many times while the support lady sought guidance, I finally convinced her that the fault was somewhere in their system and we settled on a mutually acceptable and fair settlement by way of a credit to my account. I was polite but forthright. While support can access more granular data, she was not permitted to share that with me.


You have given me food for thought and enthusiasm to investigate a more satisfactory solution to my e-mail needs.


Lastly, I posted here in the hope that an Optus moderator/board administrator would chime in sometime. It was not to be.


All in a day's work Cat Wink. Cheers for now.

Re: Cable speed throttled to 256 kbps even when plan data allowances not reached


Yeah the privacy checks drive me to distraction too some days. I get especially exasperated when I provide my address and they insist I tell them what the postcode is for Brunswick. I mean how is information in the public domain part of a security check?


Anyway, I'm glad to hear you kept at it and got such a good resolution. Optus definitely has good customer service agents, but sadky many are either not empowered to make good solutions and others just count on the fact that once you hang up they'll never talk to you again. It does seem if you keep going back you can get one of the good ones Smiley Happy


Good luck with the email (and thanks for giving such nice feedback).


Peter Gillespie

Post a Reply
Top Contributors
83 Kudos
72 Kudos
71 Kudos
43 Kudos
27 Kudos