Removal of old telephone connections

Hi everyone, since the changeover of our home telephone service from Telstra (Telecom in my case as it’s from 27 years ago!!) I have an old connection/hub that I no longer use and want to get rid of. Can someone please tell me how I can go about doing this as I’m sure Telstra/Telecom will not be interested. Do I need an electrician to disconnect it or is there an easier way that I can do it myself. It is the original hub of my phone connection and still works but is now just of nuisance value and is an eyesore, so I just want to get rid of it. I would love to just snip the wire and it would be gone but I’m not sure that would be the most sensible thing to do!! Thanks.

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Hi @drcool, welcome to the community.

Is the hub you are referring to an old ADSL modem originally supplied by Telstra … ?

When you suggested snipping wires, it sounds like something different though. If you have a pic or a model name and number or … it might help clarify to the community. What purpose does the cable you refer to serve or look like?

In the interim, have you tried to call and ask Telstra?
I have/had a box of old tech from Telstra modems to recent ADSL2 devices. Our ISP and when we had Telstra typically sold these in preference to a monthly lease. After a couple of years when upgrading they all said they did not require the old junk back. Hence E-waste, not their problem.

Although Telstra did have a habit of charging rental on the old style plug in wall phones for ever.


Hi Mark, thanks for your response. I think I have resolved my problem without doing any major damage!! It is pre-internet days!! That’s how old it is. It was just an old Telecom phone point on the wall that I do not want any more but I didn’t want to cause any major grief or cost getting rid of it. I am putting a Google Nest Hub there in that space. So what I did was basically wrap it all in tape and pushed it back into the wall and it is now hidden. It has not effected my other landline on my desk (which I never use any more) and the Google Nest Hub has covered up the old hole where it was located. All done and dusted. Thanks for your efforts. Regards, Dean


You can buy blank wall outlet covers that cover the hole. As an example is this one from Bunnings:

If you had a star topolgy telephone system (cables branch out to various wall plugs in the house) it may be worth getting a cabling person to just take the rest of the connections out and only leaving the nbn™ one that you have your nbn™ modem connected to (if FTTP or HFC this is not necessary). This can improve you internet speeds by some decent percentages if you currently struggle to get near your paid for speeds.


Thank you grahroll, I think I am fine with hiding the hole as it was not huge and I have now covered it ok. What you are saying about the cables branching out though makes sense as we have one going to an alarm monitoring system (that we never use), the one I have just covered up and maybe a point in another room. Can you tell me what or who is a “cabling person” please? Is that like an electrician or IT technician maybe? Our nbn internet speed seems ok to me, but I’m not sure how much better it could be? I did upgrade it to a higher level in the last 12 months. I am with TPG and typical speeds that I get are about 51 Mbps download and 33 Mbps upload when I run a speed test. If that is normal for a basic household I suppose I have a satisfactory system (as you can tell I am not the most tech savvy person!!). If it sounds like it could be vastly improved I would be happy to know. Thanks again, Dean


If it is a dead connection point, you can do what you like with it. If it is still active, technically only a suitability qualified person can touch it as it is messing with a communications cable.

You must be on a 50/20 package?


hmmm, that doesn’t sound good as I upgraded from the FTTN 50 ($69.99) about a year ago to FTTN 100 Superfast with voice. I presume that means phone line included. So if you are getting those speeds with the 50/20 package, my system must not be working very well. I notice on the TPG website that their 100 plan is on sale at the moment for new customers for $79.99 but the page says that would get 95 Mbps. I think I may need to get an overhaul.


I pay $89.99 for what I have at the moment


The cabling person I am referring to is a registered cabler, they must be registered to work on nbn™ cabling:

There are a number of registries that register these cablers and the site that is a collection of them follows:

and they allow you to search for one:

Some Electricians are also registered cablers, if they are they will advise it if asked. If your telephone lines are still all connected to the nbn™ then a cabler is legally the only one able to work on them, if a connection is incorrectly terminated or incorrectly installed it may affect NBN Co equipment and if a non-registered person has done the work they can be billed for any faults they created in the nbn™ system.

As to your speed obtained you may be too far from the Node to get much better speeds, the upload speed (33 Mbps is pretty good) however makes me think your cabling in the house may be interferring with your download speed. You can ask TPG to check your line speed estimate. If it is close to 50/20 you may be better dropping back but if say it is 75/33 as an example then sadly you will only get that by buying the 100/40 package. This test is best performed after you get your house cabling sorted as the TPG testing uses the telephone copper lines from the Node modem to your house to see what sync speed is possible and if there is too much interference due to bad cabling this can result in a erroneous reading.


Thank you again Grahroll and phb, luckily I have not done anything to the cables/lines like cutting them so I will check out the register and see if I can get someone in to check it all out. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.


FTTN is a very ordinary NBN technology.

The takeaway is that TPG/NBN is technially unable to deliver a 100 Mbps service to you and you should neither have been sold it, nor being charge for it. Maybe the small nudge above the 50/20 plan is worth $10 pcm to you, but maybe not.

This ACCC report is linked in another topic and may be interesting here for you to see what you have with FTTN.


Thank you PhilT. I am learning all the time with this. It is all very interesting (and a bit dodgy) and I am going to delve further for sure. I am presuming that I have no option apart from FTTN? I do believe that I live right on the border of the hub and about 6kms from the central point (I can’t remember what it was called just now) and I do recall being told that being that far away, can and will affect my speeds. I did three tests just now at about 7.30 am and they came back at 54.1 & 32.1, 58.8 & 32 and 61.9 & 32.5 each straight after one another. Those are the best scores I have seen in a while. I will keep delving. Thanks again for your interest and guidance.


I just ran Speedtest once again and our Internode 50/20 NBN measured 53.31 Mbps download and 18.90 Mbps upload.

We are 400 metres from the node and our copper line was noisy when we still had the old phone service prior to the NBN.

Our plan is NBN FTTN Gold 500 for $74.99 a month.

Perhaps change down to the 50/20 plan or change your provider.


At 7.30am on a Saturday, there shouldn’t be any congestion/bandwidth availability problems and this is likely to be your maximum download/upload on current settings for the speed tier.

If you aren’t a very heavy user with many devices connected at the same time (maybe 10 or more streaming HD video) where the additional 10mbps won’t be potentially beneficial…or regularly upload very large files (many Gbs).where the greater upload speed could save time, it may be worth discussing with TPG dropping to the 50/20. When they do, check speeds and if they aren’t around 50/20, push for the NBN to open the throttle to achieve the purchased tier speeds (which you know can be achieved).


Again I thank you. I’m not sure that TPG will let me drop back, but I have kept some data that I could feed to them to push my case I suppose. I did some tests pre upgrade and then post as per below.
I upgraded in December '19.
March '19 47 & 18.2
Nov '19 (5pm) 45.8 & 19, 43.3 & 19, 45.6 & 19
March '20 (5pm) 50.8 & 34.3, 50.4 & 34.9, 48.7 & 34.1
April '20 (9pm) 50.6 & 32.2, 48.1 & 32.8, 48.8 & 33.1
Dec '20 (7.30am) 61.9 & 32.5, 62.8 & 32, 62.9 & 32
I then did the test again just now (all uploads were 32 so I haven’t included those but did 9 downloads over about 10 minutes)
(10am) 49, 57.7, 58.4, 59.8, 54.8, 63.4, 57.1, 55 & 56.7.
So in general, in my case, the new 100 plan appears to have improved from around mid to high 40’s (under the 50 plan) to around mid 50’s to low 60’s. This is nothing like they say it should be giving me.
I am not a heavy user, in fact I would say a light to medium user given there are only four of us in the household and not a huge amount of downloading being done. I will press on delving and I"ll give TPG a call to see what they say. Thanks again to all.


It might pay to read the following first. It is current.
There is an obligation on TPG to either deliver the speed you are paying for or offer a remedy. That might include dropping you down to a lower cost and speed plan they can deliver. TPG have previously been taken to task by the ACCC and given undertakings in response to being found to have done wrong by consumers.

Note per the ACCC:
If your connection has a limited maximum speed, the provider should tell you either at the time you sign up if the provider has that information, or as soon as the information becomes available to the provider. This way you can ensure you have the best service for your needs, taking into account the capability of your connection.

If a provider sells you a service with a specified maximum speed that your connection cannot deliver in full because the maximum speed was not known at the time of sale, the provider needs to quickly address that. Once the provider gets this information, they should let you know any limitation on the maximum speed your connection can deliver during off peak times and offer an appropriate remedy.

There is every reason to ask for a refund (credit to your account if you choose to stay with TPG) of the difference for as long as the speed plan has not met the promise.


Thank you mark_m, that’s good to know


The Star topology (star wiring) of your household telecom wiring can be having dramatic effects on speeds achieved. The upload speed og 30+ Mbps shows line quality is good, if it had bad SNR (signal to noise ratio) you wouldn’t see that upload.

The thing is that without even dealing with the wiring your peak speed achieved is 60+ Mbps and this from NBN Co should explain why I suggest you may get much better speeds if that wiring is dealt with:

"“In-home wiring – the copper cabling that runs to and between telephone sockets in the vast majority of homes – can have a very real impact on the quality of service that end users experience … after an internal study we conducted earlier this year on nearly 800 premises found that, of those studied, speed performance issues identified in one in two premises on Fibre-to-the-Node networks were caused by in-home wiring. In many of these cases poor wiring caused download speeds to degrade by more than 50 per cent. (my highlighting)

With good in-home wiring, there should be little to no impact on your nbn VDSL service. But in cases where wiring is old, poorly put together or where unused telephone outlets are still wired to the main system, this can lead to speed degradation and cause drop-outs (my highlighting).Thankfully, there can be a relatively simple fix for homes suffering from speed degradation caused by poor wiring. The range of solutions includes moving your modem to the first socket, closing off unused phone outlets, installing a central splitter, or re-cabling poor wiring.In fact, our study found that the above simple fixes resulted in an average speed increase of 55 per cent (from 30Mbps to 46Mbps download speeds) *(my highlighting).”

Source: (20 September 2017)

In the above excerpt you may have noticed they didn’t discuss upload speeds but they focused on the improvement of up to 50% on download speeds. This is why I suggested that on 50 Mbps you might go to 75 or so Mbps, if currently getting 60+ this might go as high as 90 or so Mbps. Nothing is certain re improvements but I think you will see at least some decent improvement. Getting your wiring fixed will give you certainty as to whether you should downgrade your package or keep it.

Closing off unused sockets means removing the wiring from the circuit at the point it joins the main (first) outlet from the street not just disconnect the plug from the wall. This means it is a cabler’s work.


Thank you grahroll, just as an update for you and everyone else who have helped me, I have just got off the phone with TPG and they are going to arrange for a technician to come here to inspect and fix the wiring/cabling for me, free of charge, which I think is a pretty good offer by them. I will post the outcome in due course if you are interested. Thanks again. Dean


Indeed, it saves you about $200 in cost, the outcome should be a much better nbn™ experience.

Thank you for keeping us updated.