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Choices on moving from ADSL to NBN



Your attenuation is pretty bad for a short distance run. I would be expecting something more in the region of 13 - 14 dB or less as you said your run was circa 700 m. Attenuation at 21 dB normally reflects a line length of about 1.5 km and at 50 dB it normally relates to nearly 4 km distance, I am guessing your modem has throttled speeds down to achieve 0 errors. So I am suspecting a line fault somewhere between your modem and the node. It could be the fittings in your house have bad connections but equally it could be anywhere past that to the node.

You could get your socket wiring checked yourself to remove that doubt and then perhaps lodging a complaint with ABB about the line/speeds. Also try another Modem/Router to see if improvements are possible as some modems run not so well, shall we say, compared to others.

I also forgot your SNR margin is really problematic it should be much higher (well at least a bit above 6 dB eg 9 dB would be nice), again this normally reflects a bad line or again try a different modem that handles poorer margins better.


How would i do that please – hire some ICT technician i assume? I realise this proves nothing, but my house was built in 2001, ie, it’s not like i’m living in a pre-war federation house with ancient wiring.

Yes maybe, but in the first year of the period i was with my ADSL ISP [MNF] prior to fraudband, i whinged long & loud about my miserable speeds. MNF claimed to have done all they could at their end then blamed Telstra. Several different times Telstra techs visited my street pit on the nature strip, & a couple of times spoke with me… it was abundantly clear to me that their only concern was did i have a working connection or not? Given i did, they visibly did not then care about the actual quality of that connection. Now that i’m on fraudband, i despair of there being even a remote chance of any meaningful action… Telstra + ABB + NBN. Gahhhh, such a design stuff-up.

That is eminently logical, but:

  1. I do not have a spare unit, know nobody from whom i could borrow one, & as a retiree on a tight budget am loath to go buy another one simply to test what i already suspect to be the fault of the crappy 700 m of copper running back to the node.
  2. My current unit is a TP-Link TD-VG5612 300Mbps Wireless N VoIP VDSL/ADSL ModemRouter. It’s relatively new, having bought it Nov 2016 to replace a failed Netcomm one. Admittedly i was only on ADSL2 then, but as i said, i was deeply unhappy with my speeds then too, ie, it proves nothing, but circumstantially implies that my longterm speed hassle is modem-independent.


I feel for you as we have the same copper line problem. We are 1.1km wire length, or 800m as the crow flies from the local exchange. The signal quality figures are at the bottom end of the various scales, not even close to the ‘normal’ range. We too ultimately had Telstra out, who in their infinite wisdom deemed the line perfectly adequate. Therefore nothing can or will be done.

Consequently our ADSL 2+ maximum daytime speed when the network load is at a minimum is in the order of 9Mb/s download and 0.9Mb/s upload. On bad days we are at 0-2Mb/s download during the off peak.

Unfortunately, there is no power or incentive to make Telstra fix the aging and/or perished copper.

Customers just get in the way of them running their supposedly world class business.


Thanks for your interesting reply.

In the words of the inestimable Michael Palin, whilst chained up on the dungeon wall… oooooh, you looky looky bastard, what i wouldn’t give, to be spat at in the face! Teehee. My typical ADSL speeds were ~6/0.6, but ranged from ~9/0.7 to ~3/0.3. Happy daze.


A few choices one is to get an electrician who is also registered for cabling, another is to get a dedicated cabling tech in, or you can ask your RSP to get someone to do it.

The RSP may do this for free depending on how they read the policy as they might consider that the first telephone socket is NBN responsibility like Telstra’s take on it is either the first socket in the house or the NBP (Network Boundary Point) or NTD (Network Termination Device).

EDIT It appears that some houses that will or do have FTTN do have NTDs and as such NBN responsibility ends there if one is fitted (it must be labelled as an NTD if not it is probably just a junction box). If you have just a junction box NBN have ownership of, and responsibility for the cabling up to the first outlet in your house. Some cablers for NBN will try to say the junction box or where the cable enters the wall is the boundary but it isn’t. I repeat, NTDs must be labelled as such if not then it is likely just a junction box. END OF EDIT

If you get someone in privately it will cost you, but the price should be around $150 or so.

Worth reading about the cabling and sockets in the house re your issue:

Try the firmware update for your unit. There is a firmware update that was made available after your Nov 2016 purchase. You can check it at TP-Link’s page for your’s here

If you are unsure what to look for or to do, I am able to use Teamviewer to check it for you if you are willing to install the program ( and to trust me in your computer. If willing, you will need to contact me via a private message here when ready to connect and I will private message you back with my phone number so we can arrange a suitable time. If unwilling (and that is perfectly ok) then find a trusted friend who can do it for you.

Otherwise maybe ask ABB if they will supply a modem/router (check what they supply before asking it to be sent). This may cost you but you can try to negotiate a deal if there is a cost.

There is no harm in asking for a fault check visit, they may be willing to do a check even up to your socket rather than having you drop a speed tier plan long term with them. Asking what they can do for you doesn’t hurt or cost.


Kind offer @grahroll!

Teamviewer is an excellent remote assistance tool. If you are willing to do this @steffie5904. You can sit at your monitor and observe what is being done on your computer. I usually have the person I am helping on the phone at the same time, so we can discuss what I intend to do, and what is occurring as I do it.

A safety feature in the event you become concerned that something untoward is being done by the remote person, which I’m sure wouldn’t occur with @grahroll, is that you can immediately cut the Teamviewer connection. The other person can not get back into your computer without you giving them access.


More wonderful info from you – thanks.

Re your kind offers, & to purloin from Captain Lawrence Oates, i may be some time, before further replying to you. Pls don’t read anything negative into that; it’s just that i have other things to do, & on my mind, + wrt specifics of my current/new fraudband status i also want to reflect on my tolerance of hassle re “cost/benefit” of continuing the struggle for improvement vs just giving up & accepting trumble’s “gift” without further ado.

Btw, i use TV extensively [for many years], but also within the past 6 months discovered the weirdly-named NoMachine which is arguably even better. BTW#2, in case it’s relevant at all, i use Linux, not Windoze since 2014.


Indeed it is excellent. I used it extensively professionally for many years to remotely support & collaborate with my colleagues [me be retired engineer], & also for years to [still] remotely support Dad’s pc for him.


I am not in anyway taking it negatively. Firstly, you don’t know me so you have to put a lot of trust in me unseen. Secondly, yes you have to weigh up all the options, costs, and have to have the time and desire to battle for perhaps minimal benefits.

Linux is no issue, I don’t use NoMachine but it is an easy install so no biggie either way. But try the firmware update yourself, it isn’t hard and if you are a little unsure contact TP-Link’s support staff for a guided step by step. You sound very competent and my offer was only made if in case you lacked experience.

Depending on your current firmware the update before the Dec 2016 one added improvements for uploading on VDSL in Australia so the Dec one would also include those improvements. The benefit could be that your device is more tolerant of a poorer SNR margin. Or perhaps more “drastically” you could move to DD-WRT or similar.

Word of warning if going to use DD-WRT or Tomato this may/will kill your VOIP settings and your RSP will in all likelihood not support, supply or otherwise ensure you get VOIP back.


Oh noooo, i can’t let a scurrilous accusation like that stand unchallenged. All i can claim is, not entirely unlike the aspirations of the Magrathean Philosophers Union, i have rigidly defined areas of doubt & uncertainty.



I shall definitely look into this. I know that over the past several years i have sought updated firmware a few times, certainly for the not-sadly-missed ex-parrot Netcomm [&/or Linksys, i just remembered i had one of them too at one stage], but it was always a blank i drew [OMG, Yoda am i]. My goldfish memory now prevents me atm recalling whether i ever tried looking for new FW for the current unit, but over the weekend maybe i shall specifically seek.

Ah, see now this is an excellent area in which i can display my superior level of IT numptiness. Or to put it another way, this is where Steffie can demonstrate that her geeky interests are vastly outstripped by her lack of geeky talent. I have specifically researched this & also Tomato a few times over the years, but never managed to find versions specific to any of my modems. I then contemplated buying a modem already configured with, say, DD-WRT, or otherwise one deemed compatible which i could then flash to become one… but i always managed to just confuse myself with the logistics & technicalities, so never actually gave it a try. Always prevalent in my mind is anxiety over bricking my unit & thus being forcibly offline. I am largely housebound & do my “living” mostly online, & so i need my web access to buy a replacement unit if i bricked one, but if i bricked one i’d not have web access to acquire the replacement. It’s about that point in the head-debate that i take a bex & have a little lie down… :wink:


You’d probably be better off if you were - trained techs with pride in their work installed things back then, on decent gauge copper, not some cable-jockey on ice pulling the cheapest thing that can still be called wire. If you do have cat5 utp or stp or better then thats probably more promising. When we went NBN I decommissioned all the phone cabling and ran cat-6 (was all I had) from the network boundary to a point 10 feet away inside on a rj wall plate. I don’t know what a cabler would charge for that - technically you need a cabling licence to do it (I do, but do little cabling in my work) but for the sake of cutting away all the evils of the house wiring without having to test it might be easier to flash the $hundred or two it might cost. Unless of course you are saving up for the new thousand dollar!!! dyson vacuum (see other post - wow :slight_smile: )


If a new service under the NBN and you require cabling in the house to fit the panel where you like, you get up to 40 m of cable from the NBP to the point of placement free as a standard fitting. This applies for FTTP, HFC, Fixed Wireless and Satellite.

This is negated in a FTTN, FTTC or FTTB changeover as they usually don’t visit or fit anything new at your house/apartment (unless you are getting telecommunications fitted for the very first time…very very rare).


Just got off my mobile now from calls to Telstra, then MNF, to close both accounts, hooray. The 2nd one proceeded quite efficiently. The 1st… OMG, the 1st; i am delighted that i shall never again have to navigate the ghastly Telstra website desperately trying to find a bloody phone# to call someone, an actual human, nor then battle for 10’ with their hideous voice non-recognition s/w, desperately & increasingly furiously screeching into the microphone that no, i want to cancel my account not buy a bunch of bananas or rent a yacht. Sheesh, i hate their system…


Ah yes, indeed you are correct [natch].

Via my modem’s GUI:

Ex the TP-Link website:

I downloaded the file 3x, & checked each one’s hash against the others in an attempt to ensure i don’t brick my modem with an incomplete/corrupt file. Each one’s sha256 is: bf3c29f8b0aabf0ed5a386ee8f2280d90be3d4dfd74d2e1ac2687d44dcbf8061

For something as important as this i’m peeved that the OEM as a courtesy does not include signed hashes on their download page.

Once i’ve done my weekly backup on the w/e i shall gob a handful of brave pills then try my luck at this update. Tremble. No blackouts please, oh hallowed energy provider.

Also, re the cabler, having read the mentions on this page, i’m pretty impressed, so will save up some pennies to later on get someone in.


Happy the advice and links helped.

Try your RSP re the cabling and ask them if they can work out a deal for you. Like I said before it doesn’t hurt or cost to ask. If they will do a deal that is decent, try to arrange to pay it off over a couple or more bills with them. If you are paying for 50/20 they are going to get less if you need to drop to 25/5 so they can be gently and I do mean gently reminded of this :slight_smile: While talking to them about the cabling remember to report a possible line fault. The checking of the line might not yield a result for you but it puts the issue on your record for any future discussion re service.

So far doing these checks should have cost you no money just a little time and you will maybe only then have to pay for the cabling if you arranged that.

Good Luck with your endeavours :slight_smile:

One thing more, when you get them to do the line check get them to email you the report for your records. It will be interesting to see what your DELT distance is. DELT (Double Ended Line Testing) tests the line between your modem/router and the DSLAM or Node both upstream and downstream. Based on those results such as attenuation and SNR it will calculate a distance that it thinks is the length of cable between your house and the node.


My litany of typographic diarrhoea here is probably boring everyone, but in case anyone is still curious…

I flashed the newer TP-Link FW today. The process gave me apoplexy but fortunately(?) i recovered, eventually.

The upgrade appeared to be proceeding well, with the progress bar snailing its way eventually all the way to 100%. The instructions stated that at this point i should wait for the unit to self reboot. The instructions did not forewarn me i should have pre-booked an ambulance & rubber-room for me. Instead of doing what the instructions said, Reality decided to follow a different script. The moment that bar reached 100% the browser lost contact with the modem GUI, & all attempts to reconnect failed, in four different browsers, including private windows with extensions disabled.

Meanwhile the modem itself made no effort whatsoever to self-reboot; waited 5’, 10’, 15’… nada, just sat there with 50% of its LEDs out, & me sinking into despondency. Pink Floyd began playing in my head… I manually power-cycled it… nada. PF sang even louder. Got out my trusty bent paperclip & hard-reset modem to factory default. Initially still no signs of life, but eventually, oh joy, 4 of the 5 necessary LEDs came good. Better yet, my primary browser stopped sulking, & let me reconnect to the GUI, where i could manually adjust all the settings as per my captured screenshots made before the upgrade. Voila, 5 of 5 LEDs again. I really really thought i had bricked it. Phew.

After that mega-stress, i observed, disappointingly but unsurprisingly, that it’s made bugger-all difference to the Sync speeds, SNR & Line Attenuation:

…though it might have made a small improvement in achieved Download speeds:

Obviously a mere two new samples is not yet statistically significant, but as said before i’ll keep testing over coming days & nights.

Next step; chat with RSP per recent kind suggestions above.


I hope it wasn’t ‘Free Four’ from ‘Obscured by Clouds’ :wink: When it comes to technology the song is usually ‘Amused to Death’ by Roger Waters …


Ha, no, this time it was “Another Brick in the Wall”.


It seems to have made about a +7.5% difference to download speeds achieved, so some adjustment has occurred in a positive direction (I would be guessing a better ability to deal with poorer SNR margins). While not the outcome desired or any real improvement in regards to your speed tier, it removes some doubt about whether your modem is the main culprit in your inability to achieve reasonable speeds in relation to your plan speeds. The attenuation and SNR margins have not moved, which are still strongly suggestive of some or lots of line issues or a longer run of cabling from Node to home than the Node placement is otherwise suggesting.