Why isn't my ADSL broadband working?

Whether you already have an ADSL connection, or are attempting to start a new service, you may have trouble getting the broadband internet to work. Here are a few of the most common reasons your ADSL or ADSL2+ connection might not be functioning properly, and what you can do about it:

Modem problems:
Your modem may be broken, or it might not be configured/programmed properly. Call your Internet Service Provider’s (ISP) technical support to make sure everything is set-up right.

Wiring issues: ADSL broadband runs through an active copper telephone line in the ground. There are numerous problems that can arise in relation to this infrastructure. You could have deteriorated copper wire between the telephone exchange and your home, or the wiring inside your house may be broken or worn.

Your ISP can check the line from the exchange to your property, but wiring problems within the home have to be discussed with Telstra, as it is the owner of the infrastructure. Your ISP is not liable for wiring problems within your house.

Major infrastructure or network hurdles:
You simply may live too far from the phone exchange, and preliminary checks weren’t able to inform your ISP that the internet quality would be insufficient there.

You also may not be able to get ADSL2+, or even ADSL1, if there are major network problems like pair-gain systems, RIMs, or sub-exchanges between the main exchange and your house. The ISP should be able to tell you if any of these exist before you begin a new connection.

Problems with phone jacks, line filters: You may have a faulty phone point. Or, it could be a problem with/lack of in-line filters between your ADSL modem and the wall socket.
Some houses seem to do okay with a single filter between the modem and the wall jack, whereas others may need filters on every phone in the house before the broadband and telephone can both work at their optimum levels.

Complex products on the phone line: Some ISPs aren’t able to provide a good ADSL service if there are products like FAX or Eftpos machines, analogue/dial-up modems, back-to-base alarm systems, or processes like Foxtel Programme Purchase being done over the phone line.

If you are using any of these complex products you should let the ISP know before you agree to sign up to a new connection.

Your old ISP’s ADSL broadband codes:
If your previous ISP is slow with disconnecting the internet during the transfer process from one service to another, its ADSL codes may still be on the line when the new ISP goes to connect. Until these codes are taken off the line you won’t be able to start the new connection.

Contention ratio: It’s not as common an issue as with Mobile Wireless broadband, but how many people are using your ISP’s equipment, or all of the phone exchange’s ISPs’ combined users online, can affect the speed of your ADSL connection. This issue can also be compounded by the time of day you go online.

For example, if you log on to the internet just after you return home from work in the late afternoon, you may find everyone else in your neighbourhood is also downloading music or watching Internet TV. This can affect your broadband speed quality, and thus the experience of streaming data, video calls etc.

Computer problems: Lastly, you may have a problem with your computer! If so, take it to your nearest computer technician to see what the problem may be.