10 Months of NBN Dropouts


I have been a loyal Optus customer for 10+ years. ADSL2 was removed from our neighbourhood in July 2018. I was contacted by Optus and told I was being moved to the NBN. Apart from receiving no information apart from that "it was going to be cheaper", I was switched over. Since August 2018 I have experienced on-going drop-outs with my NBN service. Some last 1 minute others for hours and even days. It was not uncommon to experience 20 or so drop outs a day (which even the Optus staff a very surprised at) I have had several Case Managers and spoken to at least 3 dozen different Optus Helpdesk staff. I have registered a complaint through the TCO. Optus, to their credit have tried in their disjointed way to rectify the problem. They have very generously credited me some of my bills and sent me a pre-paid dongel for when my NBN isn't working (having to rechatge it though has sometime taken over an hour on the phone while I have to re-explain my case again). I have had numerous Optus and NBN techs come to my house (I have another NBN tech coming this afternoon who will no doubt try and blame my infrastructure again (I have had two independent techs come and run diagnostics and they have found no fault on my end)). This issue has been ongoing now for 10 months. All I want is a reliable service. How Can I get this fixed? I get 'handed around' to different case managers when my case becomes too hard. I have to repeat myself everytime I speak to someone new when all the relevant information is already on my file. How can I get the Optus (or really in this case the NBN Co.) to take responsibility and provide me with a reliable NBN service. So over it.

I am on my 4th Optus supplied Modem.

I use both wireless and enternet connected devices.

I have repowered and reset the modem(s).


Re: 10 Months of NBN Dropouts

[ Edited ]

Optus are ultimately responsible for the service you are provided (you have no actual contract with the NBN). If this means Optus has to arrange for the NBN to fix the line then that is really the only option you have. 


FWIW the TIO can't make Optus provide a good service, they can only ensure you can exit any contract without penalty (which I suspect you could do no if you decided to just on request) 


What suburb are you in and how much are you ok to spend on the Internet a month now?


And what NBN technology are you on (FTTN? HFC?)


Peter Gillespie

Re: 10 Months of NBN Dropouts


Hi Peter. Thanks for the reply.

I am fully aware of who I am actually contracted with. Perhaps my OP didn't make it clear. I orignally contacted the TIO as there was never any progress in resolving the drop outs. I was stuck in an eternal loop of "Test this. Reset this. We see you have up to 20 dropouts a day. We will book an NBN tech. etc". All measured steps in the process. It just wasan't resolving my issue. I contacted TIO and I had a '3rd level' customer support officer contact me almost immediately to resolve the issue. That was back in January.


I didn't ask to join the NBN, the ADSL2 service was withdrawn and I was auotmatically changed to the NBN. 


As an update, and perhaps you can also help me understand this a little better, I had a tech come around on Monday evening (I'm not 100% sure where they were from). They changed the wall socket and said that I need to replace my exitsing copper wire with the 'black' cable as the exisiting cable is too thin. I will do this. The bit I can't understand is that if the cable is too thin (which by the way was installed by an Optus tech last year), why when the tech ran a line test did he achieve a speed of 81 Mbps download and 28Mbps upload (particularly as I am only paying for 50 Mbps)? Even after he left, my WIFI speed was 48 Mbps down and 18 Mpbs Up. I tested this several times. Then after two hours it dropped out again and didn't reconnect until the morning.

I have had periods of where there is continuous service (up to 5 days) and then periods of sometimes up 2 to 3 days without service. I don't understand how a cable that has the capacity to carry (fairly large) data either works or doesn't work? If anything I would have thought it would have affected the speed not the connectivity?

I am in Charnwood and spend $90 per month.





Re: 10 Months of NBN Dropouts


Hi Phil,


You ended your post with "How can I get the Optus (or really in this case the NBN Co.)". I just wanted to make it clear that the only way to get the NBNCo to do anything is through Optus and as you've found sometimes you need to ask the TIO to ask Optus to ask NBN to resolve issues. Smiley Indifferent. Note that the TIO can't make Optus or NBN provide a good service, they can ensure you either get what you are promised or you can leave. That said, hopefully your connection can be improved.


FWIW everyone is moving to the NBN. Its not feaible to run two national networks side by side indefinitely so an 18 month cross over period is what we have (this is a government requirement and not up to Optus.)


To answer your question you line will have two main speeds. The first is the absolute fastest it can go. This would be the 81 Mbps the tech read and is not related to your plan at all. The second is the speed your plan is set to (50 Mbps) and it seems like you are getting that with your 48Mbps readings. So speed wise all is good it seems.


At this point the techs will be going through the usual efforts to isolate the cause of your dropouts (as you say you've done all the basic stuff). The wall plate is a place of common issues and internal wiring in the home is also a area where issues can occur. Its not a certain solution but if they can rule out your home as being the problem they can move on to other areas (and hopefully the wiring is the issue). 


Note that FTTN works pretty much the same as the ADSL you used to have. All they do is move the 'node' from up to 5 km away to closer than 1km from your home. This allows the copper wire to go from 20Mbps max possible to around 100Mbps max possible (but like ADSL its a bit of pot luck what actual speeds you get - you seem to have 81Mbps max possible although if you replace the wire its possible that speed will go up too)


To get faster speeds the FTTN can be set to more aggressive levels but this can affect stability (with ADSL2 Optus would usually dial down the 'agression' so you got slower speeds but more stability. Thin cabling and possibly bad connections in the house can mean instability. When you get the cable replaced ask that there only be a single cable between the outside of the house and the wall plate (i.e. no multiple outlets in various rooms).


Hopefully this is the issue. You could also chat with a neighbor or two and ask how they are fairing with dropouts (especially on those times you get extended dropouts). If they are experiencing them badly also then the issue is likely not in your house. 


Peter Gillespie

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