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The phone light will only be on if you have a NBN connection, on non NBN connections the modem’s PSTN port must be connected to an active wall phone socket.
If you have a NBN connection you could try factory resetting the modem by pressing the the reset button for at least 10 seconds while modem is powered on. Reset button is located on back off modem near LAN port 2. If that doesn’t work suggest you ring support as modem is either faulty or your connection has not been configured correctly.
If Telstra sent out a grey Netgear cable adapter then you are connected to Telstra Cable and not to NBN. With NBN the Netgear cable adapter is replaced with a black Arris NBN modem. The phone light will only turn green on a Telstra cable connection if the modem's PSTN port is connected to a active Telephone socket.
Ah, OK. I just logged into our Telstra account and you're quite right. Well why did they send me all of this stuff, then? I thought the whole purpose was to transition off cable and onto NBN.
They probably sent you the Smart Modem so that you would be ready to transition to the NBN when it becomes available.
They also e-mailed to say "Connecting is as simple as plugging in the Kit we sent you". Well, I've done that... and I thought I went through some sort of process online to register / set up the new equipment, too. Anyway, I'll review the set up process and see what I can find out.