Modem: Parental Control Scandal

Modem: Parental Control Scandal - Shameful, Unconscionable, Unethical

Yes: Optus Strips Out Child Protection & Then Sells It Back At More Than The Cost of The Modem


All over the Optus community people are reaching out, desperate to take back some control of what's going into their homes and what's reaching their children.


I imagine every day there are dozens of calls to Optus about this issue and each is treated as if this is the first time the matter has been raised.

YES: Let's lift the lid on this disgraceful situation . . .


For two years I have been pursuing this matter.  Like anyone else who calls Optus about this I've had numerous transfers to dumb stuck supervisors.  Then it has been suggested that I pay for Optus Premium support or put in a router or get an IT specialist to work on it.  I wasn't going to be railroaded - I've done it all - without results of course.


To cut a long story short, finally the answer has came back and it sends a shudder through my spine.


The part of the firmware which the modem manufacturers intstal on their modems to protect the vulnerable (like our children) is stripped out by Optus.  


As if that isnt bad enough...


Then Optus tries to sell it back to us for more than the cost of the modem on an ongoing monthly subscription and rubs salt into the wounds by collecting kudos on its "responsible program".


As if it is not already hard enough to maintain some safety and control for our children without atelco like Optus trying to exploit a desperate need.


It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that this is indirectly a form of child exploitation
YES: ENOUGH is ENOUGH - this needs to stop as does the pretence of not being aware of the problem.

Re: Modem: Parental Control Scandal

[ Edited ]

I must say I have seen a few posts on this question however I have never paid it any more thought. I am not sure it is a deliberate attempt to corrupt our children as there are other features that have been disabled as well such as the usb function for printing and mass storage. I have always thought that Optus had taken the easy way out by removing these features all together so they don’t have to offer support on what can be a complicated and time consuming task setting up..


I would be interested to see what you can come up with as it doesn’t seem right that someone can buy a modem specifically for these features only to find out afterwards that the features have been removed. An option to restore the original firmware even without support would be a better option in my opinion. Smiley Happy

Re: Modem: Parental Control Scandal


That's certainly not the intention Astounded. We do buy the hardware from manufacturer and load our own custom firmware on them so they can work on our network. You can connect your own router to our modem and let that manage your internal network and use any advanced features on own router. The Optus modem is configured to connect to our network and provide access to the internet.


Re: Modem: Parental Control Scandal


Hi Nghi,


I appreciate your response but I've already heard all the Optus standard responses.  I've been listening to them for two years:


Here's the routine:


1) Shunt the call to the modem manufacturer -  they tell you only Optus can assist

2) Refer the matter to an Optus supervisor - a 50% chance you actually get through - no chance of a solution

3) Offer the Optus premium paid support to solve the problem - pointless, but more time and expense

4) Suggest the customer retain an IT specialist - customer does this and of course it doesnt get anywhere

5) Suggest the customer install a router - too complex by this stage and most customers just give up

6) Confess that the problem can't be solved because the socially responsible modem firmware has been savaged by Optus for commercial gain



Reality Call: Half the globe is struggling with trying to do the right thing by their families - that's why the standard modem firmware includes parental and access control.



Here are the facts:


1)  Optus strips out critical functionality from the standard modem firmware - this doesnt have to happen  (FACT)

2)  The functionality which is stripped out is intended to protect children and the vulnerable   (FACT)

3)  Optus sells back this functionality at more than the cost of the modem  (FACT)

4)  Installing a router is an unecessary expense and complexity beyond most Optus customers  (FACT)

5)  Installing a router is less effective than access control from the modem using the firmware  (FACT)


There is nowhere to run and hide.  It is simply a dispicable practice on the part of Optus.


It is made more insulting by the endless run around which Optus gives customers who call or write desperately seeking help. 


This is one of the most nconscionable expressions of socially unaware business practice that I have ever seen.  


We are dealing with the welfare of children.


Surely Optus can find another more respectable way to add coin to its bank account and leave the innocent children out of the mix.



Re: Modem: Parental Control Scandal


I agree with Astounded. It is pathetic that one the most basic functions of a modem/router - that of blocking a URL - is disabled by Optus. It has nothing to do with "configuring the modem to connect to our network" (what a stupid comment to make - seriously?) and everything to do with Optus saving money by providing the laxest, dumbest modem possible, at the expense of any children and parents that may be using it. You can't even prevent access to the modem via a password!


Optus say that "you can connect your own router" Gee, thank you so much. God forbid you supply one that actually works...

Re: Modem: Parental Control Scandal


Really sorry that you're unable to use a parental control via the Optus modem @Piltun. I agree it would be a handy feature, I've tagged and submitted your comments as feedback.


I can see several posts from yourself on a number of threads about this issues. Please avoid posting repetitive messages as per the community guidelines. YesCrowd is a forum to share experiences and seek support from other users. If you'd like to pass on feedback or suggestions, you can create your own topic for users to post in.

I’m part of the Yes Crowd team, employed by Optus to help run our online community. This guide explains how everything works on here and you should also check out our Community Guidelines.

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