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NBN outage: What to do when your internet drops out

NBN outage: What to do when your internet drops out

An NBN outage can be caused by an isolated issue in your home or a widespread issue that’s affecting other households in your area.

If it’s an isolated issue, you might have a fault in your equipment, including your modem, router, NBN connection box or cable. If it’s an area-wide issue, network devices being disrupted or damaged by harsh weather or power outages could be to blame. 

What to do in an NBN outage

It can be frustrating not knowing why your NBN isn’t working and how long you’ll be offline. But there are some simple steps you can take to find answers and stay updated on the situation, until things kick back into gear.

Conduct an NBN outage check

If you notice your internet is out, it’s a good idea to check whether the problem is limited to your home or if your neighbours are in the same boat, so you can get a sense of what you’re dealing with. You can check for outages by visiting the NBN Co website and typing in your address or by going to an independent website that monitors multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

Another way to conduct an NBN outage check is by going directly to your ISP for any alerts, either via their network status page, social media or app. With your home internet being down, you’ll need to hop on your mobile phone and turn on your data to do this.

If you’ve identified an area-wide outage, you can keep tabs on the situation by regularly checking the NBN Co website and your ISP’s communication pages for updates. It’s important to remember that when you’re experiencing an NBN area outage, all you can do is sit tight and wait until the experts fix the issue.

Restart your modem or router

Turning a device off and on is a go-to strategy when it comes to technology troubles, and the same goes for the NBN.

If you’ve conducted an NBN outage check and concluded that an area-wide outage isn’t to blame, the problem may lie within your modem or router.

You can check if everything’s set up as it should be by looking for any loose cords that may have been accidently knocked out or if any lights are off or flashing in a different colour.

Once you’ve done this, try and re-establish the connection by restarting the modem. To do this, find the power button and turn the modem off for a minute or two before turning it back on, then give it a good 5 to 10 minutes to see if things get back to normal. If nothing changes, now’s the time to contact your ISP to see what’s going on.

It's also worth noting that you may need to restart your modem or router after an NBN outage has been and gone, to get back online.

Call tech support for assistance

Dealing with an isolated issue that a restart didn't resolve? Calling your ISP to let them know what’s going on is the next best move. From your explanation and their diagnostic testing, they should be able to figure out why your internet has dropped out and the best way to solve it. Depending on the root cause, they may be able to help you over the phone or send out a technician.

Here are the numbers of popular ISPs, to save you searching around for their contact details:

  • Telstra: 13 22 00
  • Optus: 13 39 37
  • Vodafone: 1300 650 410
  • TPG: 13 14 23
  • iiNet: 13 22 58
  • Belong: 1300 235 664
  • Aussie Broadband: 1300 880 905
  • Tangerine: 1800 211 112
  • MyRepublic: 1300 130 888
  • Flip TV: 1300 354 788
  • Mate Communicate: 13 14 13
  • Dodo: 13 36 36
  • Exetel: 13 39 38
  • Kogan Internet: 1300 010 400

Staying online during an NBN outage

Internet drop outs are never ideal, especially when you’ve got important things to get done that require you to be online, such as work, study or… just life!

If you don’t have the time to sit around and wait until the NBN outage is over, here are some ways you can stay online in the meantime.

Hotspotting

Your home internet may be out but your mobile internet shouldn’t be. This means you can hotspot or tether your phone to other personal devices, such as your laptop or tablet, to get back to what you were doing before the disruption began. 

This function is available on both Android and iOS systems but keep in mind that it will eat away at your data. It’s therefore worth checking how much data you have left for the month before browsing or streaming, to ensure you have enough at your disposal.

Visiting a local cafe or library

If you don’t want to go down the data route, you can head to a local cafe, library, or wherever public WiFi is available until your home internet connection is back up and running. 

If you’re experiencing an area-wide outage, it can be worth calling the venue beforehand to check if their internet connection is working to avoid getting there and finding out it isn’t.

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This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Georgia Brown before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.

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