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Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?


I've seen a number of discussions around the topic of dropouts with NBN connections - and other than the general consensus of a problem with the network, I've come across a few comments on springing for a "proper" router solving the problem. 


Is there a general consensus that it appears for the most part that getting a DLink or Netgear router may very well fix the dropout issues? 


I'm on my 2nd Optus router now, and 2nd provider (having come from TPG after the ACCC enforced refund). I'm on FTTN which in and of itself has issues, but my speeds are fine - but the dropouts are constant, and frequent. 


But what I'd like to find out is if there is a consolidated consensus from those that have gone through it, and/or solved it that the device itself is, in most cases, a culprit?


(I'm conscious of the variability of issues and that it's not always one-size fits all, so no one is held responsible if the router doesn't solve a problem. I'm talking in general terms)


Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?


I think if it could be solved in all cases by a better device, they would have moved in that direction.


The only solution that I've heard of, that people got back to this forum with, is that they are forcing the modems to sync to the line at a too fast data rate. FTTN is sometimes too far away, for the shitty copper and vdsl to cope with. So they have now moved to FTTC, and left the early adopters in the poo. They will do anything to avoid fttp, because then they'd have to admit something.



Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?


A couple of things with switching the modem/router that I think you should be aware of before making the jump. 


  1. If you don't use the Optus supplied modem then you can't make use of the "homephone" service Optus supply. If you're desperate, most people plug the optus modem in then run a lan cable to a seperate router to provide the WiFi through the house. Your home phone would still plug into the Optus modem though
  2. For the most part, while the Optus modem isn't top of the line the main problem lies with it's ability to handle multiple connections via WiFi along with the range of it's WiFi signal. This can result in drop outs (or perceived drop outs) in the home but isn't the sole problem. If you want to rule it out and you have the means, plug a device into the modem via a lan cable for a number of days and monitor the connection. If it still drops, it's likely not the modems fault
  3. As you sound very much aware of already, there could be a number of other network related issues causing problems for your connection or it could be mutliple problems all adding up to one big mess for you. Which ever option you choose, don't give up if it doesn't resolve everything. We're stuck with the NBN for a while yet so it's worth perservering until it gets to where you want/need it to be


Lastly, if you do buy a new modem/router, I'd suggest a store with a good returns policy just in case it doesn't improve anything for you. 

I do not represent Optus. The views, opinions and advice expressed in my posts are my own

Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?


Thanks all for the input. And I can completely understand that the router does not neccessarily solve the problem - nor would a new one even be the right solution, or even the correct new one - as it appears there are additional complications with NBN and particularly FTTN compliant routers.


However, there must surely be more clear progress in terms of what can be a resolution, beyond "who knows". I'm on my 3rd supplied device, and having had multiple visits and run around through two different providers, you can understand the frustration.


I'm not particularly interested in the phone service, so that isn't an issue in my particular case (but a good note for those that require it); but I also feel like that if a wifi router can't handle multiple connections, that's a big problem and if that is what results in drop outs, is an issue. In my case, it's not the wifi connection that is dropping out but the actual internet access (although the latest Sagemcomm from Optus is far poorer than the Huawei in terms of wifi stability).


There is no in-home NBN modem as it's straight through the phone line (FTTN), so I can't do any additional tests but the NBN technicians don't seem to get issues until inside the premises. This could also be internal cables which I'll flag as well, but I do note the drop outs tend to be most severe during peak times rather than sporadically; and also unrelated to weather etc - so doesn't, in a very lay way, seem to be obviously cables/wiring (but very much still could be).


I'm noting these various points for the sake of anyone browsing the forum looking for help and advice or similar issues that they might be coming across.


I will be trying a Netgear D6220 (listed here as compatible and syncing well via Whirpool) and if there is a change or improvement, I will update.



Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?

[ Edited ]

Here's a data point. Person says they had no problems with the old provider, then it dropped out with Optus and congestion.


Another person says that he cannot reconnect for exactly 3 days.


It seems to indicate that there is something near the "node" that can repel reconnections, maybe worse if there is congestion.


Another person has said that they found one of the wires had a being earthed problem.


Others have had results by getting them to slow the sync speed down, to overcome whatever the problem was.

Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?


As you can see, no clear cut consensus unfortunately. 


A better modem is just one of many options you can try to try discount possible sources of the issue. I would personally try a different modem (even just a loaner) if you are experiencing constant drop outs. Doesn't have to be better but doing so would mostly rule out a faulty modem being the problem. After that you can move on trying to get the line to your home fixed.


Optus record all dropouts on a line so they can see if there is an issue and how bad. You have had NBN techs look into the problem and unless really bad figuring out the cause of drop outs can obviously be tricky. If the techs are finding something at the phone point into your home then it would seem somethings up with the cable between the node and your home



Good Luck.


Peter Gillespie


Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?


For follow up sakes, and anyone reading in looking for guidance.


With much discussion with Optus tech, and prior to buying the new modem, they've set up a stability profile on my account. I was a bit surprised that this had not been done already because my previous experience with TPG was that this was the first point of call for testing; whereas with Optus the tech team reporting that this was a device fault. However, with TPG, the profile change didn't do anything.


Nonetheless, I let them test that first - and this did appear to improve the dropouts dramatically. I will continue to monitor however, because in previous experience I've had up to a month of excellent conditions, only for it to return again.


For now though, this is good.


From a resolution perspective for anyone new to trying to deal with these issues, I'd recommend asking about the stability profile up front if this is something they've not mentioned. I assumed it was done, because of past experience, and didn't even bring it up, but good to know that it's helped in my particular case for now (I will post follow up if things change).


Additionally, regarding the modem, there is a tremendous amount of contextuality I've seen online around the difficulty of FTTN connections and marketable routers because of the vast differences - Whirpool have a very good Wiki on going that provides some guidance (however, read further about differing experiences and stability / sync issues).


I still, personally, don't feel like the supplied router/modems are up to snuff and always believe in investing in a good one (caveat being the set up is not instant with third-party). Sadly my D-Link Viper isn't FTTN/VDSL compatible (and gotten a little old) but made a huge difference in connectivity in the past; not a recommendation - just a passing comment.

Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?


As promised, I would come back with updates on this.


While the stability profile served a purpose briefly, it did not ultimately affect much. Having had multiple conversations with the technical support team, they concluded themselves that it had a lot to do with congestion on the Optus network not being able to contend with demand, as well as the NBN infrastructure and FTTN issues.


I have since cancelled my contract altogether and am leaving Optus NBN - and have left NBN itself altogether.


I will say though that I don't believe it is 100% Optus' fault, but rather the inability of the NBN infrastucture; however, I will say that Optus have not been forthright with the information about the network - nor did they inform me at time of sign up, about the FTTN refund that was required by ACCC - and continued to offer the same package and same guarantees they were required to refund clients about (which I was signed up on late in March), which I have somewhat of an issue with. I suspect this is largely in part to a fragmented internal communications system.


Nonetheless, I was released from my contract without too much fuss (some, but not too much), and I appreciate that.


I don't believe there is a resolution for FTTN dropouts until the infrastructure is repaired and the network congestion is addressed; and the solutions offered are bandaids that don't ultimately solve the problem.

Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?

[ Edited ]

Thanks for the update @JasonPer,


Shame you were'nt able to make it work. 


FWIW I believe the new FTTN signup policy is to test the line within two? weeks of joining so the actual speeds can be determined. At that point if your line speed is not high enough then you will be told and given the option to drop speeds.


Hope the new solution performs well.




Peter Gillespie

Re: Are constant dropouts definitively fixed with better device?


That's entirely fair - although Linespeed was very much the minor issue. Of course, anyone would want to have the speeds they paid for - I'd have accepted a quarter of the promised speed for a stable connection. Unfortunately that was ultimately the problem, and not something that was fixable either.

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