CHOICE membership

Choices on moving from ADSL to NBN



A little update fyi.

I email-whinged to AB, including my sync, SNR & Attenuation data, in my email, along with Ookla data since 15/3, & the map showing my house to node proximity with copper length & estimated DL/UL speeds… with me bluntly expressing my dissatisfaction at the stark dichotomy with my 50/20 Plan’s actual performance. I also included some of the excellent info kindly provided to me in this thread.

Initial AB response largely ignored most of my material, objections & questions, & treated me rather simplistically, all of which angered me & i wrote back telling them so. Particularly egregious was this infuriating:

NBNCo only assures FTTN speeds above 12mbps down and 5mbps up so we would be unable to lodge a speed fault for services achieving more than this

In said reply email i called out their unhelpful hiding behind the “NBNCo defence”, equating it exactly to the same shite my previous ADSL vendor gave me about them being hamstrung by Telstra’s similar rhetoric.

AB’s next reply began treating me like i had more than two functional neurons, unlike the first, but reinforced this unpalatable brutal reality:

Unfortunately, NBN are the ones that deal with any line faults so we have to abide by their policies and procedures. This means that if the sync rate for the line is above 12/1mbps then NBN won’t take any action on any tickets that we raise. I understand that the line specs aren’t great, but our hands are tied at the moment. This isn’t meant to be a cop out response, and one of Aussie Broadband’s core values is “no bullsh*t”, so I’ll level with you, NBN are the brick wall in this specific circumstance

Given the reality of this shitty lieberal fraudband debacle, & my bitter acceptance of the fact that NBNCo have RSPs over the same barrel that Telstra had ADSL ISPs over for years, i’ve decided just to downgrade my Plan from 50/20 [given i don’t even get 50% of that] to 25/5, & AB have offered to credit me the difference between the two plans onto my account.

I know that i’ve not yet done anything about testing the cable quality within my house, but i just [rightly or wrongly] perceive that on balance of probability the bottleneck is more likely to be the multi-decades-old Telstra/NBNCo underground copper than my 17 y/o house wiring, so at this point i’m inclined to keep my pennies in my purse.

Btw, here’s my latest Ookla history since 15/3 fraudband:


While the 12/1 Mbps gets trotted out a bit, the 25/5 Mbps is the real guarantee on FTTN (well according to Mr Turnbull it is) and why the first response probably mentioned the 5 Mbps up. So you won’t get an actual hands on line check but they should have run a line test for you. Ask them to email you those results as they can be helpful in any future discussions you may have (this may occur well in the future) as it gives you something to reference back to…it is funny how old results can go missing. In those results it should give an estimation as I posted previously of what the line length they think you have.

Because your attenuation is so bad upstream I am still concerned that a fault lies at your house. In ADSL this generally reflected a bad filter or unfiltered Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) on the line. However it can still be a central filter fitted to your house, or it could be a bad join, too many sockets and/or a star topography phone line fitting at your house. Typically upstream attenuation in comparison to downstream would be a lot, lot, less than what you are seeing if it was just a copper line to the node problem. In ADSL days attenuation upstream would normally be less than downstream and you have the complete opposite.

I do understand the money issue as we are low income ourselves, are any of your engineer contacts licenced cablers? Can they be case/bottle of beer/wine/spirits or meal bought? Can you contact your local neighbourhood centre (if any) to see if they know anyone, Mens Shed? AirTasker? Gumtree? If it isn’t possible or the cost is too much for possible benefits then the 25/5 package is somewhat better than your ADSL was, but I had hoped a better outcome was possible for you.


I read that as they didn’t understand or want to try to understand your material and objections, as a result (or ‘irregardless’) they had no meaningful answers for you, and they treated you to the extent of their own expertise - simplistically :slight_smile:

In the past it seemed like it took equal parts of time, persistence, aggressive disregard for company line, supporting data and luck to get through to someone who could do anything more than a simplistic response - someone with a good working knowledge of the underlying technical playing field. I don’t believe that is possible with NBN … simple is all they know, and there is an impenetrable barrier between them and anyone with clue …


My experience is if unhappy with the response, get the name and contact details of the supervisor.

Usually your initial point of contact is with a Level 1 help desk person who may be able to handle the basic routine stuff, but is out of their depth when you actually know what you are talking about.

The supervisors should know more, and have more authority and can more often help. If not, ask for their supervisor. If unhappy, go back to the beginning of this paragraph.


Sorry, i neglected to include some of the info the initial response did provide.

I have run some tests on your line and they show
based on the current condition and length of the copper the modem should be > able to sync around 26mbps down and 8.7mbps up.

Estimated copper length: 1127 m
Estimated RTX Attainable Net Data Rate: 8767.0 kbps 26259.0 kbps

This is part of my first reply to them:

WHY is my SNR so low, & my attenuation so high? Why does the map i supplied you in my email show a copper length ~50% of your test, & consequently DL & UL speeds much higher than what i actually get? How can you justify your website marketing spin for my Plan giving a so-called “Typical evening speed: 42 Mbps” when i get nothing like that at anytime, yet the tone of your email strongly infers disinterest in this fact… & the consequent fact that i am paying for performance that i do not get?

Why then is there no interest in investigating the causes of the disparities so that i get more appropriate DL & UL speeds? If the real copper length is ~50% of the inferred length per your tests, then logically the copper condition must be fairly diabolical to cause that massive performance reduction [low SNR, & high attenuation]… no?

You know what? I am slowly coming around to a similar unpleasant conclusion / suspicion. A few days ago i did an informal non-technical test at home. I am writing this now at my primary pc, Tower, in my Study, wherein also are my modem-router & the Telstra wall-socket. All my prior Ooklas are done here… i do everything here.

However my kitchen also has a Telstra wall-socket, at which until a couple of years ago was a standard Telstra wall-mounted push-button telephone [these days the socket remains empty]. In my recent test, pasting here my own notes i made at the time:

  1. I’ve just finished an alternative test, with my modem moved from Study to Kitchen, plugged into the now disused wall-socket there, & Lappy connected to modem via alternately Ethernet cable & WiFi.
  2. Consistently with either connection type, & also only slightly different whether naked or VPN, DL speeds were only ~14 Mbps, & UL ~7 Mbps.
  3. To ensure that this ~10 Mbps decrease in DL compared to Study is NOT caused by either Lappy itself, NOR an evening Aussie Broadband congestion fault, as soon as the Kitchen test was over I returned the modem to Study & retested Tower… ~21 Mbps, then also retested Lappy in Study… ~21 Mbps as well [ie, maybe a ~3 Mbps temporary congestion drop compared to my more typical ~23-24].
  4. Ie, the only uncontrolled variable IMO in this test is the house wiring. Given the substantial DL speed differential from Study to Kitchen, the unavoidable implication is that my house wiring IS playing some role in my poor NBN performance [& ergo also probably all my years of ADSL, sigh].

Hence, that test combined with your latest advice here [which with respect now provides me a better insight as to the rationale underlying the strength of your conviction], leads me to reconsider my recent cop-out decision to just give up. No i don’t know anyone i can get to help at “mates rates”, but it’s ok, i will tweak my budgeting to allow maybe up to $200 [though less would be nicer, duh] for this in a couple of months. TBH part of my thinking behind my cop-out was that i didn’t want to spend the money anyway, but i most especially certainly didn’t want to spend it merely to find that nope my house is fine, the fault is Telstra’s/NBNCo’s, & hence nothing would be fixed & it’d have been a complete waste of money. Given your recent info however, it would seem that now the probability might be rather higher that indeed there might well be a fault in my house, which then logically should be findable/fixable/replaceable.


FWIW in the US all telco connections where I lived (1990’s) had external boxes. If there was a phone or ADSL problem the homeowner could connect a phone or modem directly into the telco box, no house wiring included. Same with cable systems. Any chance your connection allows that?


Thank you for that feedback and line test data. The line length they estimate again reinforces my suspicion that you have a problem in your house. Not that 1127 m is not a real possibility but the upstream attenuation being so high you would have suspected that the line length should have come back at > 2000 m and more likely closer to 3000 m. This result therefore seems to support that the bigger problem exists somewhere in your house not in the line outside your premises. Your kitchen test also supports that conjecture as you mention.

Do you have any other sockets in your house? Can you trace where the line enters your house? and where it appears in your house? Are you able to trace the wiring yourself (or have a friend/relative do the crawl for you)?

The reasons behind these questions are to find the first socket where the line from outside first connects to your house circuit. Knowing this point can make your cable service callout a faster job. It isn’t needed and don’t worry if you can’t or don’t do it.

If they need to run a new cable connection you want it from that first point to your study as this is where you probably want to keep your equipment. If the study is the first point anyway then getting the other points removed here should improve your outcome, and if you have a central filter removing it from the circuit will provide a nice added benefit. So what you want is from the first join at your house (this could be a junction box on the exterior wall) a single cable that runs from there to your equipment ie modem/router with all other cables/wiring and, if fitted, the filter removed at that first point. Removed here means disconnected not the physical pulling the wiring out of the house, I should have explained myself better, it is important that no wire remains connected other than that of the new cable to the cable from the NBN.

You can buy your own cable, preference should be at least Cat 6 and is best if Cat 6a to make sure you future proof. You do not want Cat 5 or Cat 5e. You will possibly need a new RJ45 wall plate. Doing this may help budget your costs but you may pay more yourself than a Cable Installer may charge and you may not be able to adequately estimate the length of cable required. Jaycar are a good place to look and probably give you a good idea of costs for components so you know whether you are paying too much to the installer for their supply of the parts.

Ask around for good installers, some are shall we say Cowboys but many are very good but prices can vary even in the good group. If you want to try to find someone a good starting place can be found here:

which has a link to this site

I hope this gives you a bit of a head start if you do go down this road.


In a few places I’ve owned, there is more than one run from the network boundary - which confuses things for many people, they take sockets off and theres only a single cable, yet there are two or three sockets in the house - all wired direct from the network boundary. Depends on the clown who wired it … doesn’t help xDSL either with that kind of cabling and unless you go roof-crawling you’ll never know what evils lie up there … that extra tapped in run that goes to where a phone used to be on a wall that isn’t there anymore and the cable is just stuffed in a wall cavity/etc …

Easiest and most efficacious fix in my view (mostly what @grahroll said) - remove all internal connections to the network boundary and run a single fresh cat5 of better as short as possible to the nearest point you can reasonably run all your xDSL/network kit. Last place I did this the cable length was 5m from the scotchlocks to the modem socket. Consider all your old cable decommissioned. Put wall blanking plates on anywhere you had sockets if aesthetics is an issue. I do this myself as I’ve been a registered cabler since it became a thing, even though I rarely use it outside of DC’s at work - it’s worth getting someone in to do it properly, and telling them to cut all the old crap away and do a straight run means you wont pay for them to find/trace/diagnose.


I don’t recommend Cat 5 and Cat 5e is almost the same, with some very inferior China made stuff (some of that I think is really only Cat 5 level anyway), for reasons of a bit of future proofing. But a run of Cat 6 or 6a even over 20 or so metres will suffer so little loss in comparison to what I think is going on it will be a nearly negligible concern and having Cat 6 at least will ensure if 10 GbE ever gets installed the cable will be certified for it (I know it is a very silly hope/thought but …). I agree the shortest possible clean run is what is wanted to where the modem is located but I think a relocation of the modem shouldn’t be a concern but we all have our preferences and your’s are certainly as valid as mine.


I agree. Probably anything cat3 or later is going to far outstrip (pun intended) the yellow garbage telecom installed back in 1985 or whenever the house was wired for xDSL for the foreseeable future, but absolutely especially if you are getting a cabler out run the latest and greatest cable possible within reason. The cost difference over a few metres is next to nothing in the overall price …


Hiya & thanks muchly to @TheBBG, @grahroll & @draughtrider for your latest eminently valuable posts [how good is this forum, eh? :slight_smile: ]. I’ve read your respective latest(s), but my reply here now is just a “placeholder”… i wanted to say thanks with alacrity, but confess i’ll need to re-read, digest, think, give up, slap myself about to snap out of it, get back on the horse, conjure my best plan, & get on with it… me being me, this will not be a fast process, ha. Doubtless i’ll have more questions as time goes along & my conjecturing & conjuring proceeds, but for now i’m inclined to suspect the least-worst plan might possibly be not to even try troubleshooting my current wiring to locate the specific weak link/s, but instead just get the notional cabler to install a shortest-possible new run to Study from house entry point, disconnecting whatever’s current at those two places, then forgetting all about the then-legacy current wiring. Ie, don’t waste Cabler’s time = my money troubleshooting, but go direct to solution via replacement. Anyway, more thinking to do…