Do you have the NBN?

Satellite is a fallback, for when there’s no other option. It gets the job done, after a fashion, but shouldn’t be regarded as a permanent solution or even long-term one. It’s a stopgap until the job can be done properly. The same can be said of fixed wireless. Our problem is politicians whose vision doesn’t extend beyond the next election.

Anyway, I’ve said all this before:

I recently managed to pull off a transfer from NBN satellite to fixed wireless. The saga is documented on Facebook. The results are pretty impressive (50/20 plan on a tower that was commissioned in January, so it’s very lightly loaded).


We have a 12/1 NBN service via HFC through Internode. It delivers 11.3 down 0.95 up (Ookla Speed Test, WiFi to phone) all day every day when it’s working. Never slows down in peak hour. Well done Internode, for buying enough capacity.
However we have had trouble with the modem disconnecting because of cable faults. We have had cable for 20 odd years, and all the junctions were corroded. Ultimately even cable terminations inside the house proved to be corroded. NBN come within a few days and find a few more “dud” joints. Maybe they have found them all now; maybe they haven’t.
So it comes as no surprise to me that the NBN rollout via HFC has been suspended.


Hi all! I’m new here. I just received my first edition of Choice Computer magazine after signing up as a subscriber.

I noticed the NBN survey and wanted to join in, but I take it I have to wait until next year? My ISP wasn’t mentioned because it had too few responses.

I’ve got uniformly very good experiences to report after I upgraded to FTTP a year ago and went to a gigabit plan 1000/50 for $139, entirely affordable with two of us working from home. All the hail storms and soaking bad weather no longer causes intermittent slowdowns and I never get pauses in my video conferences anymore. Plus I can honestly say I never notice evening “peak hour” slowdowns … whenever I need to grab 20 GB, it always flies down at 930-935 Mbps.

The hardest part was fighting the realisation that I couldn’t just keep tweaking the wifi more and more. I had to run Ethernet through the old house and I had a very difficult (but enjoyable) Easter weekend involving 20 metres of PVC conduit from Bunnings and a chunky drill bit tied to a piece of string.

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Welcome to the Community @ckent1

Without comment, from a Whirlpool Wiki.

In Australia, it’s illegal to do your own fixed home cabling. It’s legal to connect devices using pre-made Ethernet cables strung along skirting boards or under carpets but this wiki is about permanent installations. Any under-floor, in-wall or in-roof cabling must be done by a registered cabler. This is for your safety as well as the safety of technicians who work on the external networks which are (or may be) connected to your home. It’s also to preserve the integrity of the public telecommunications network by ensuring that all connected cabling meets acceptable standards.


I could be wrong but I don’t think Choice has any say in who gets the boxes to measure their NBN performance. The scheme is run by the ACCC and If anybody can determine exactly how they allocate the equipment I would be very keen to hear.

I merged your topic into this older one that appears germane. There are a few about the NBN, good and bad. There is another where the regular ACCC reports have been linked, see the latter posts as the topic spans a few years.

I believe the Choice survey report is at least in part derived from the ACCC program and augmented with feedback from annual Choice surveys.

Hotlinked-click the following for details. Want to join in the measuring broadband program to add data to the process? The ACCC is still looking for applicants, but in particular people living in new housing estates, either on an NBN or alternative fibre network, as well as anyone on the new gigabit plans offered by some retail services providers.

Very useful if you can get one as it allows close monitoring of nbn™ speeds to your premises. Helped us sort out an issue with our ABB speeds. Nothing guarantees a SamKnows (white box) router, only by registering and waiting will you find out if successful or not. Being on one of the 1Gb speed plans will certainly improve odds at the moment of being offered one. The box is sent from the UK so even after acceptance it can take a little bit to arrive.

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Power and water yes, but I didn’t realise data cables required a cabler - understandable but tedious. Suppose small rectangular conduit along top of skirting would be OK?

It’s all in the interests of protecting the tradies. Personal safety and some might also suggest incomes.

Looking to the past standards were not so rigorous. Our 30yo phone line is loose clipped to the bearers and joists under the floor. There is no sign of conduit, and only minimal separation from the household power at several locations.

With our NBN upgrade path Fixed Wireless there is no outside cable to connect, assuming FW service is possible. The greatest risk arising from improper fixed cabling in the home is misadventure or inadvertent connection or coupling to the household 230V. The ones at greatest risk, those in the household.

I’m more curious if the fixed connection was fibre in lieu of copper. I suspect the same rules apply!

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Adding on to @mark_m’s comments I am fascinated by (noting this is the text from a WIki that reflects the rule)

It’s also to preserve the integrity of the public telecommunications network by ensuring that all connected cabling meets acceptable standards.

In the PSTN days the entire home wiring loom faced the network, different from today where a cable of whatever type comes into the premises to meet with a modem. On the premises side of a modem making it illegal to run cables to ostensibly protect the external network is curious at best, although could be justified as protecting an errant cable or drill from meeting with a live electrical wire in a wall; yet it rings hollow for myself since it assumes many things, including that we are all inept and careless.

Many licensed tradies do some fairly ordinary work and nobody cares so long as they pay their annual fees, but let a homeowner transgress and it is different.

So we individuals can get licenses to DIY our own homes by taking a test, and paying an annual cost roughly the same as hiring a licensed tradie.

Yet it will be forever defended as justifiable?

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Sort of, if you buy a ready made ethernet cable with connectors (RJ45 ends), then no. If you run cable through the house and then add RJ45 ends/sockets, then tecnically yes. Ready made cables can be run through conduit or walls if one is careful and can come at very long sizes (up to 50m or more). It is treated no different to electricity (extension leads for power) or water (hoses).

So to do it legally, use premade ethernet cables and run these from the router to where they are needed in the home.


I am having trouble getting hold of this idea. If I make up my own ethernet cables and use them on the house side of my router what problem might any errors I make cause on the other side of the router?

Does this mean that all the cables you buy pre-made ought to be made up by a qualified person? What about organisations that have their own IT dept who walk about with huge rolls of cable a, pocket full of fittings and a crimper (or whatever it is called)? Is there any evidence that these two groups are actually qualified?

As an aside I do have a 50m run (commercially made) that works just fine, I believe the theoretical limit is actually longer.

Yeah I usually cant be bothered crimping cables, and we certainly don’t bother doing that in our server room and throughout our office (though we do have qualified cablers and electricians). If not doing PoE I’d worry about signal quality over 50m cables (even CAT6) though it’d likely be fine for uses that aren’t A/V intensive.

I use mine for a security camera that has video and sound, never had a problem.

The protocol supports the run for compliant UTP cable to be 100 metres (328 feet) to avoid data loss in most general uses (collision detection and noise are some reasons for the limit). If a run of over 100 meters is required then active hardware such as a hub/switch or a router must be used to keep the segments to that roughly 100 metres.

Cat 5 types (I would be inclined to use 5e compliant cable as it supports 1 Gbps against 100 Mbps that Cat 5 is rated for) and Cat 6 types (both rated to 10 Gbps but if running a 10 Gbps network I would use Cat 7) can be roughly 90 metres of horizontal solid run and 5 metres of stranded patch cable between patch panel and device at each end, a little longer in total eg a metre or 2 will make little difference. So a 50 metre cable that is compliant with the cable type requirements is perfectly fine but usually a waste of cable and in a server and/or patch panel room is very untidy and space wasting. Cat 7 as it uses bandwidths up to 600 MHz to transmit data at up to 10 Gbps is very touchy about the 100 metres limit.


If you use premade ones, yes (and you can’t make your own unless you are qualified). If you plan to cut cables, install/crimp on RJ45 connectors and install sockets etc, the rules are no different to electric cables. One needs to be qualified electrician to wire a house (install wiring, circuit breakers, power points etc), but one can run an extension lead without any qualifications. The same applies to ethernet cable, where cabling qualifications are needed to legally wire a house/office with ethernet cables or make ethernet cables.

They will be qualified. Qualifications are different to that of an electrician…and an electrician needs to have cabling qualifications on top of the trade to install cabling. One also doesn’t need to be an electrician to install cable.


Thanks for that and to @phb as well. I still don’t know what terrible calamity will befall the broader network if a mistake is made with the cabling on the house side of the router though. In other words what is the supposed point of this regulation, whether it is a real threat or not?

I agree and the current requirements seem a little over the top. My own thoughts is if you do it commercially (or as part of your employment), then yes, you should have cabling qualifications to run out a LAN network. If you want to do it at home, then one should be allowed to. The risks to a homeowner is very low and no different to other handyman jobs which could be legally performed in a house (drilling a hole in the wall to mount something etc).

I suspect the regulation stems from the old days of wired telecoms when eaves dropping devices could be installed etc. Possibly also industry protectionism. I agree the risks are very low and maybe it is time for review of the regulations. An easy change would be that cable connection upstream of the modem/router must be installed by a qualified person…and that downstream for individual/own purposes, by a competent person.

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A few things could be counter to the larger network operations. PoE if incorrectly connected could pass voltage larger than the permitted maximum through copper wires to as an example the FTTN hub and burn out equipment. If FTTC this could destroy the pit device that converts the data transmitted over copper to fibre optic carried data.

Data that is sent to NBN Co equipment needs to be sent in a manner that does not damage that equipment, an employee or contractor or interfere with others use of the nbn™ network. Power even while low voltage in general could cause a worker injury while they’re working in pits particularly if water is present.

So anything that connects to the nbn™ or other telecommunication systems that are external to the local home network must be certified as compliant. A cable made by a certified/manufacturing party is (should be) covered by their insurance, if not done by someone who has that public liability insurance it places a severe financial risk on the user. That’s why modems or routers and cabling that directly connect to the nbn™ and it’s equipment are to be certified as compliant eg the NBN Ready certification, modems or routers beyond that direct connection do not have to be compliant as the nbn™ network is protected by the certified device. The gateway device will sacrifice itself before allowing the internal LAN network to do damage to the WAN.

Hopefully that explains some of the risk. Who knows when a non compliant cable could be innocently plugged in to directly interact with the external network.

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Not necessarily. Each Australian state has variations on the requirements for electrical work including restricted licenses for specific tasks; or requirements for competent persons for some tasks; or other/no requirements.

From the Qld Legislative requirements: (my bolding)

“Electrical work” does not include the following—
(d) assembling, making, modifying or repairing electrical equipment in a workplace under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 that is prescribed under a regulation for this paragraph, if that is the principal manufacturing process at the workplace, and arrangements are in place, and are detailed in written form, for ensuring that—

General Comments, (QA Engineers hat on)

If made in a factory, the production lines are not manned by qualified electricians or cabling technicians. That applies whether in Australia or for the 99.99% of items made somewhere in SE Asia.

For imported items there is a certification process of each item or product.

Simpler items such as a compliant Cat5e cable should have the manufacturers details, specification and Australian Standard markings printed on the sheath. If not beware. If purchasing on line from OS one does the homework and takes one chances.