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Constant Dropout

Been experiencing constant dropouts since moving to the NBN HFC network half a year ago. Previously on Optus cable network and had no dropouts.

Dropouts occur at random times, sometimes up to 5 in an hour. They last from 2 seconds up to 8 minutes with most of them lasting around 30 seconds. All lights from the NBN NTD and Optus router stays on during shorter dropouts.

I have a constant per-second ping to the google 8.8.8.8 dns with logs as evident of dropouts. I have found the Optus router only reports a dropout towards the end of longer (7-8 minutes) dropouts. As longer dropouts only occur once or twice a day, I have been told on the phone “there is not enough evidence for the case to be escalated”.

The usual message and phone support script has been no use, as evident by the problem still existing after half a year of said support. I have had 5 Optus techs come out with another one expected on Monday, I also have had nearly double digit (lost count) NBN techs come around to no avail. At this point I have a dozen or more case numbers…

Other background info:

I normally have an ethernet connection from the Optus router to an Ubiquiti USG then from USG to switch then computer/AP, etc, as have worked on the old Optus cable network. When connecting a computer directly to Optus router through ethernet cable, I am experiencing the same dropouts as computers behind the USG so I’m confident it’s not the fault of USG/switch/individual devices etc. I am currently using the Optus router because of landline.

Things Optus phone support have tried/got me to try:

  • “Changed some settings”
  • Call me twice in a minute and refuse to call again because they have tried calling twice in a day already
  • Ran countless line tests (while my internet was working fine)
  • was told “Dropouts should be expected”
  • “change wall socket”
  • “change ethernet cable”
  • Turn it off and on again (for both NBN NTD and Optus router)
  • added 10gb to my mobile plan (useless for latency sensitive tasks or for other family members)

Things Optus techs have tried:

  • 4 new Optus routers

Things NBN techs have tried:

  • 1 new NBN modem/NTD
  • Checked internal cable (signal strength is “excellent” when the internet works)
  • Was told TAP connector has been replaced
  • As old Teltra cable is used in the house for HFC connection, connectors at both ends were re-done
  • Added attenuator which was removed by subsequent NBN tech
  • Climbed up on the pole in the street and did something
  • Not show up for 2 of the appointments

I am at my wits' end and can't handle this circular tech support anymore. Please help.

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6 Replies
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Crowd Champion
Crowd Champion

Re: Constant Dropout

This a very good post and great details on reporting the issue, all post should look like this.

From your post I can see you have done all the troubleshooting required. My only suggestion would be try a different computer or network card. Make sure only the ping computer is connected at the time of testing.

Is there a pattern of when or how the drop out occurs? Is there another devices on your network that may cause some sort of IP conflict? Is your neighbour on NBN and do they experience the same drop out? Did the NBN tech installed a line isolator? are you using any surge protector? Have you try another power point?


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Trusted Contributor
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Re: Constant Dropout

Unfortunately HFC is by far the worst NBN wired tech. Just the other day TPG reported 130,000 HFC outages in February which was about 35 times the outage rate for FTTN.  So short of holding their feet to the fire via a formal complaint and escalation to the Telecom Industry Ombudsman, I don't know whet ell you could do.

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Re: Constant Dropout

Thanks for taking your time to reply.

The dropout issue affects all devices on the network which includes multiple ethernet connected devices, all are devices that are known to have functioning network interface.

Regarding the computer used to ping the google dns, there is no specific "test period" as the ping have been running 24/7 for the past few weeks. It would be impractical to only have that computer connected while it is pinging because it always is, however, I have done so temporarily and have experienced the same dropout issues.

I currently have 2 devices connected to the Optus router: USG and the pinging computer. I have configured the Optus router to assign a static LAN IP to the USG and a DHCP IP to the computer. I have checked and ensured the two local IPs are different.

Shorter 30 second dropouts occur most frequently (4-5 times an hour) during the typical peak hours. This suggest it may have something to do with network load. However, longer dropouts are random in timing and has occurred 10am in the morning, 2pm in the afternoon or 3am in the middle of the night among other times. While dropouts occur less frequently during typical off-peak hours they still occur.

Some of my neightbours are on NBN, however I am not sure if they are affected. The demographics around my area is a little older so some of them may not pickup or have issues with the dropout. I will ask them and see if they are facing the same problem.

I am not aware of any NBN tech installing a line isolator, however, some of the techs I've had were do their job and leave kind of tech, which I have no problem with, but I'm not sure what a few of them have done.

I have tried multiple surge and non-surge protected sockets with the same outcome. I have thought about getting a UPS and will in the future but I'm confident power fluctuation and signal interference from power cables is not the problem.

Thanks again for taking your time to reply.

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New Contributor
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Re: Constant Dropout

I agree HFC is by far the worse out of all the techs, sucks that there is no choice in the technology mode used. I strongly think this is a NBN issue rather than Optus but because the internet mostly "works", there is "insufficient evidence to escalate the case". If this issue does not get resolved soon I will have to file a complaint with the TIO.
Thanks for taking your time to read.
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Trusted Contributor
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Re: Constant Dropout

I strongly think this is a NBN issue rather than Optus

Agree, but you are Optus' customer and Optus is NBNCo's customer, so its Optus that you have deal with to get it resolved.

but because the internet mostly "works", there is "insufficient evidence to escalate the case".

No, you seem to have plenty of evidence to escalate, they just don't want to accept it. You have every right to expect a service that "works" all the time, and dropping out once or twice a day (Optus' threshold) is by no means acceptable especially now that phone lines go through the internet connection. Being told for example that “Dropouts should be expected” is one thing, but the fact that they have sent out as many modems and techs out as they have clearly shows that it is not acceptable, otherwise they would not have spent any money sending modems and techs out.


 

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Crowd Champion
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Re: Constant Dropout

I too have HFC, there is a small beige box, like the old Teltra box, outside of my home. The cable from the street connects to it, there is an isolator inside it and the then cable go into the roof.

Maybe people around you might not aware of the drop out, however, if the drop out last upto 8mins, then it will be reported more.

Don't know, maybe birds and possum like to sit on your wire. I am stumped, must be very frustrated for you.

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I’m a Yes Crowd Champion (not an Optus employee). I share my knowledge on Yes Crowd on a voluntary basis. If I answered your question, please mark it as a Accepted Solution. If I helped you out, hit that Kudos button Smiley Happy
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