Level 4: Private Eye

FTTN NBN drop outs

For the last three weeks I have been experiencing frequent drop outs - this is what is happening and this is what I have already done.

What is happening:
1. Green light for several minutes, Then Orange light. Sometimes goes Red then Blue then Green. 
2. Retrain count in log is showing several counts per day 15+
3. Sometimes I get a stable connection for hours, then it returns to frequent drop outs every 5-10 mins. 

What I have done:
1. I have contacted Telstra via phone 4 times in the last two weeks, they said they will monitor the connection over 24 hours. Sometimes it will suddenly become stable, only to return to unstable the next day.
2. They have sent a technician out twice already, the result is nothing is wrong at my end or the node/pillar.
3. When the Technician has come out, the connection has stabalized for this period while it is checked.

The technician came yesterday and it was stable for a day and a half with only 2 drop outs. As soon as the technician left, 2 hours later it resumed the frequent drop outs every 5-10 minutes. Then it went stable again for several hours. 

This morning the next day it resumes the frequent drop outs. I have already put a crowdsupport post up, which received no replies. This is my second and last attempt. I have put in a complaint email over this which has also received no response. 

I have been a Telstra customer for over 10 years. I am sick of calling up and being on wait for over 50 minutes, the second last time the operator disconnected the call and didnt call me back, forcing me to wait another 50 minutes. When I got through, the technician appointment was booked. Then hours later I got a message on my phone to confirm this appointment, of which I had to call up and wait again for over 50 minutes just to confirm an appointment I already had stated was needed. 

This is beyond frustrating, and beyond poor service. I can not accept this anymore - I want an answer, I want the service I am paying for, I want this issue resolved. I will not being paying the bill this month and instead disputing it as the majority of the time there has not been a service to pay for. 

This is the last chance, and if this can't be fixed then I will switch to another ISP and be done with it. 

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Level 4: Private Eye

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

Since writing the above 3 weeks ago, the connection has only had 3 drop outs for only a short period of time. The connection has been stable and fast, maintenance was done in the area so my guess is there was an issue underground or something.

Telstra has applied a discount to the bill this month.

Thank you for resolving this issue finally, my constructive feedback on this is that communications could of been improved. Perhaps consider having a few call centers in Australia or a Text service to book call-back appointments. Sometimes it is not in Telstra control to fix issues that NBN co need to attend, but being on call waiting for hour long cues is certainly something that can be improved. 

Anyway, thought id update this thread/post. Thanks for fixing the issue and discounting this months bill.

Level 1: Cadet

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

I am having the same problems! Originally after the phone consultant agreed there were a lot of drop outs organised a Telstra technician who came out to check the modem. He advised it wasn’t the modem and was in fact an NBN issue. He then wished me well and said you are now going to spend hours on the phone and continue making appointments with NBN technicians only to be told that it’s all fixed, good luck. How right he was! I have made 5 appointments for an NBN technicians and each one has been cancelled with a text message advising the problem has been resolved. However it is not fixed and I need to call back and make another appointment and consequently go through the same process again and again. I have just spent 1.45hr on the phone only to be told they will monitor again for 24 hours. I’m beyond upset, emotionally drained and this is now having a significant impact on my ability to work, not to mention my time and mental health. I have lodged a complaint, received 28 text messages from Telstra this week and spent hours and hours on the phone with technician after technician going over the same tests over and over.  What more can I do???

Level 1: Cadet

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

I'm wondering if your drop out problem has been resolved as I have an identical problem which has been ongoing for 3 weeks, also had 2 call outs but still not resolved 3rd call out was today and they didn't turn my wits end! 

Level 1: Cadet

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

I have the same issue and seems like they don’t even care or do something to fix the issues. 

Level 4: Private Eye

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

The same problem started to happen again yesterday, and once again the internet is cycling through Orange > Green > Orange > Red > Blue... 

It does this so frequently that the connection becomes significantly unstable. The gateway is trying to reconnect to the NBN (Green light), and it does so but only for a moment before going back to orange. 

If the Gateway is down for more than a few minutes it automatically goes into 4G backup mode (Blue light) - this connection is via the simcard in the gateway, and is not using the phoneline. The result is a 10x slower speed, but the connection pathway is different.

What you can do is force the Gateway to stay in 4G backup, without it trying to reconnect to the NBN line. The Result is the Gateway will stay on a Blue Light. The connection will be stable with no drop outs, but the speed is reduced. To do this, simply unplug the Phone Line/DSL from the back of the Gateway, so the only thing plugged in is the power. 

Level 4: Private Eye

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

Well I had about 2-3 months there of this issue being resolved, but now it has come back again as of yesterday. Link retrain count is high, and again the troubleshooting process try's to make it seem like the problem is at the premises. 

I've told Telstra that I will be cancelling my contract in 3 days if this is not resolved, I will not being waiting 2 weeks again like last time, and I KNOW the issue is not at my end. 

This maybe the best help that I am about to tell you, and I am not sure why Telstra does not tell anyone about it....

If you want a stable connection, but willing to compromise on the NBN speed, you can unplug the phoneline from the back of the gateway and this will force it into 4G backup (Bluelight). The connection speed of that is much slower at around 5 mbps down, but it's stable as it is going from the gateways simcard to a phone tower. 

I'm not sure why these drop outs happen, more importantly I am not sure why Telstra can not give a strait answer on it, and instead put the focus on the premises/house as the likely reason. 

The Issue is the Network, it's not my house, its not my phoneline, and its not the node/pillar as this problem started again on a Sunday while raining (I don't think a technician would be working on a node then). So what could possibly change? I'm pretty sure Telstra has a good idea or knows, but won't actually give an explanation that fits the symptoms. 

Level 4: Private Eye

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

EDIT to Original post:

Problem was resolved for 2 months, but the exact same issue has come back again since yesterday. 

I won't be waiting two weeks again like last time, Telstra you have 3 days. And some suggested feedback...

1. When the issue is a line dropping out frequently, the problem is not solved just because it reconnected for a short time. Unfortunately the technicians that get sent out seem to believe this, and for some reason the line holds a connection for the duration of their visit, just not directly after.

2. Provide support to customers who are more experienced than those that we call up in India. All they can do is perform line tests and book technicians remotely. How is it that your support center is doing remote tests from another Country, about internet connection issues that Australians are having within the same country? In short, can I please have the same quality internet connection that India has to your servers? This is a joke ok.

3. Spend some money, fix the actual infrastructure and send the bill for their pisspoor $80,000,000,000 excuse for fast and reliable internet. 

It's simple, take the money, provide the service....there is nothing wrong with my money, it works all year round. If you want to keep customers and have good reviews... then focus on the bloody service quality and experience. Where is there any Telstra rep in this forum thread to give a response? I'll be surprised is anyone from Telstra will actually read this. 

Do the right thing, and don't shoot yaselves in the foot... there is plenty of good competition out there and the only reason im staying with Telstra for over 10 years now is more of a Brand loyalty than anything. But what do i get in return for that? Crappy customer service options, unresolved issues, lack of transparency, stonewalling, and a service that is not consistently provided.yet you're bills are. 


Level 4: Private Eye

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

It resolved for about 2 months, but came back yesterday and today....

I've given them three days to fix it or Im cancelling the contract. 

If you are having severe drop outs so frequent that it is not usable, try leaving the phone line unplugged... this will force the smartgen II gateways into 4G backup. 

My guess is this is really just an issue of Network Load management - they can't service everyone at once, so some get booted off while others stay on. Even though Net Neutrality was rejected, I highly doubt it's application was. 

I wish I didnt have to play hardball with them and get angry and threaten with terminating my contract... but this is the what you will get pushed into, otherwise youl find the service issues tend to happen more, and get fixed less. 

Level 18: Intelligence Chief

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

Hi @theonlinemick 

For starters no I don't work for Telstra.

I can tell you this though, that forcing the modem into back up mode may work temporarily however the 4g back up is limited to 30gb once you use that up you will be shaped, meaning you will have very slow internet.

Have you tried using a different modem to see if that fixes the problem?

The only other thing I can think of in regards to your internet drop outs, is I have heard and read of this happening to several people that if you have more than 8 devices connected at one time the internet cuts out and restarts. this only seams to happen with the new Telstra smart modems and only for the last few months.

so if you don't have more than 8 devices connected I am out of suggestions.

There are several people that work for Telstra that monitor this forum.

good luck.



I don't work for Telstra, Never have, I am just a Telstra customer like you.
So the advice I give is my own, In my own time, Guided by my own experience/knowledge.
Which I am always happy to be corrected on.
Level 25: The Singularity
Level 25: The Singularity

Re: FTTN NBN drop outs

Internet dropouts of the type that you are describing for an FTTN connection are usually caused by a faulty connection at the Node (normally caused by an NBN Tech knocking the wires while working on another connection). An NBN technician needs to remove and reterminate the wires for your connection at the node and this fixes 99% of this type of dropout.


The problem is being able to get an NBN Tech to be booked to do the work. The way it works is that you call Telstra, Telstra places a fault order with NBN Co, who run a remote test, see that nothing is wrong and promptly cancel the tech visit. This vicious circle continues until eventually an NBN Tech rocks up and fixes the problem (if they do their job properly, most do, some are useless).


Changing providers in your situation will leave you with the same problem that you are having now as you will still require a visit from an NBN Co tech.


If you get into the situation of having an NBN tech appointment cancelled, contact Telstra to get the appointment rebooked and then lodge a complaint with about NBN Co as they are the ones who aren't doing their job properly.

Never be afraid to back yourself when trying new things, just always make sure you have 3 escape routes if things go wrong.

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