The NBN have directed their attention to the copper wiring in peoples homes as a potential cause of dropouts and poor download speeds for those on FTTN/FTTC connections.
The organisation has announced the trial of a new diagnostic tool, with the goal of being able to find out if a home has faults within copper wiring that are the cause of connection issues. The highlight of this tool is that it will have the ability to function and test remotely.
“In coming weeks, we will begin a trial of a new diagnostic tool that we hope will quickly and accurately detect premises that may be suffering from speed issues related to in-home wiring faults,”
-NBN acting CTO Carolyn Phiddian
After an 800 home preliminary study earlier this year, results showed that 50% of premises suffering performance issues did so because of in-home wiring faults.
“In many of these cases, poor wiring caused download speeds to degrade.”
If usage of the diagnostic tool points towards your home’s wiring as an issue, there are solutions to solve the connection woes. Closing off unused phone outlets, relocating your modem to the first socket, and installing a central splitter are all options, with re-cabling the solution most likely to future-proof your connection.
During the first test of 800 premises, the above solutions helped achieve download speed increases averaging 55%.
The NBN are not normally responsible for in-home wiring, but the company are focusing on this new resource to address consumer misinformation and dissatisfaction of speeds by testing and outlining factors that could also be contributing to poor performance experiences.
“At these premises we will undertake testing and a limited range of remediation activities — including isolating wiring from the first phone socket and simple repair and alteration of premises wiring — at no charge to the end user,”
If the five week trial proves a success the NBN plans to make the tool available as a diagnostic resource for retail service providers like Activ8me to help address common speed issues experienced by end users.
“We hope we will be able to share the results of this trial with our retail service providers soon and look forward to providing this new tool to lift end user experience and improve the level of service being delivered over the NBN,”
The initial trial is using premises connected to the NBN’s FTTN (fibre-to-the-node) service, which works by running a fibre cable to a communal box (node) in the street, where it meets pre-existing copper connections running directly from the home. Currently, premises further from the node appear to be the ones reporting slower speeds.