One of these days, all homes in Australia will be connected to the NBN (National Broadband Network). The NBN is a publicly owned open-access data network aimed at providing high-speed internet connections throughout Australia. The NBN project itself has been subject to major delays, massive cost overruns and speed and functionality rollbacks, and has been a politically contentious project. It has also presented some problems for end-users who have had trouble connecting and maintaining decent internet connections and speeds.
So let’s have a look at some of the most common NBN installation problems (and their solutions).
Missing node to home connection
Sometimes, you may only have a fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) or fibre-to-the-curb (FTTC) connection. That means that fibre cabling is connected to a nearby NBN node, with copper wiring completing the connection to your home. In some cases, there may be no connection at all from the node to your premises. In this case, the coaxial cabling that is supposed to connect the NBN node to your utility box will still need to be installed. Without this cabling, your home cannot connect to the network or will have to rely on the slower copper wiring to provide your internet.
In this case you may require a specialist cabling electrician to liaise with NBN Co to complete the fibre connection from the node or curb to your utility box.
NBN box location
Ideally, you want your NBN box located in a convenient location as close as possible to your main internet connection or phone point. However, often NBN installers will simply install the box as close as possible to the outside utility box. Making a connection directly through the wall means the quickest and easiest installation job for them. Unfortunately, that can mean that your NBN box ends up in an inconvenient place like a child’s bedroom or a bathroom. It can also mean that your NBN box is located in an obscure part of the house, which can result in poor wifi coverage throughout the house.
Professional cabling electricians can relocate your NBN box by extending and installing cabling from the utility box to your preferred location. They can also equip your NBN setup with signal boosters to improve your wifi signal throughout the house.
Phones and alarms may need rewiring
In some cases, getting the NBN connected can result in phone lines and monitored alarm systems no longer working. You may need to have your phone points rewired or patched to reactivate them. If your alarm system is connected to your phone line, then the same problem could occur. It’s worth contacting your security company to find out what changes need to be made prior to connecting your NBN. You may be able to install patches or splitters to your phone lines to keep the alarm connection active. However, in some cases it may need to be rewired.
Poor wifi coverage
If you have a strong internet connection but poor wifi coverage, you could be dealing with a few different issues. It’s worth double checking the modem to ensure the antenna is properly connected. Make sure the modem is in a clear, open area and that the signal is not being obstructed. Placing the modem in a cupboard, behind or under furniture or in the corner of the room can weaken the signal. If signal strength is a problem, you may need to look at installing a signal booster or extender or relocating the modem.
Interference can also cause problems with wifi signal strength. Electrical appliances like microwaves, cordless phones, TVs or radio communication systems can create interference that can weaken or disrupt wifi strength. If you’re having problems with interference you may need to relocate your modem away from the sources of interference. Try to situate the modem as high up as possible to maximize signal strength. To do this, you may need an electrician to relocate your NBN box.
Unfortunately, the NBN is far from a perfect system and problems connecting and maintaining connection are common. However, with a little strategic thought and some help from a qualified cabling electrician you can set up your NBN to deliver the strongest and fastest signal possible.