NewSprout Support Articles

My ADSL has slowed and is dropping out!

in Broadband

With ADSL, the quality of the copper and the connections between the premises and the port at the exchange is the variable.
You just don’t know how it is going to perform until you are connected. And it may vary periodically.

This is the problem with using copper that was originally only designed for voice use all those years ago. And is partially why the new NBN project has been rolling out across Australia  – to attempt to improve broadband speeds and accessibility. Unfortunately the Australian Government did a U-turn and instead of laying fibre to the premises, they are now using the final length of copper from the node or curb to the premises therefore there still may be copper related issues with NBN FTTN and FTTC/FTTdp connections!

Factors that can and will affect the ADSL signal.

– Heavy rain
– Electrical storms in the area, not necessarily a strike on your door step
– Technicians working in the pits and exchange and messing around with and testing ports
– Corrosion in the copper, joints, wall sockets, cables and modems in the client premises, and in the telephone exchange
– Coastal areas are often affected by corrosion issues. Even the tiniest speck of corrosion or dirt on a contact in a wall socket, filter, or lead can dramatically affect speed and also cause dropouts. See that corroded contact in the photo below? Speed dropped from around 10Mbps to <1Mbps overnight because of that! With that in mind…think of your wall sockets and length copper line to the exchange and apply the potential corrosion/dirt problem. Yep!

Corroded Filter

– A definite hiss or crackle or no dial tone on your line will most definitely mean your ADSL signal is either dead, or badly affected. If this is the case then you need to lodge a fault with your phone provider.

OK, but my phone line has dial tone and no obvious crackle or hiss…

The Voice signal travelling down the copper line is not as sensitive as the ADSL signal. You could have a clear sounding line, but there is an issue somewhere that is messing around with the ADSL signal!

ADSL issues require a thorough troubleshooting process and nothing can be overlooked.

What can be done?

1. Ask your service provider to Resync your phone line. It is much like tuning in a radio station to get a clearer reception. Some lines need a resync more than others, and randomly at that too
2. Power cycle your modem off for 1 minute then on  – a couple of times to see if that resyncs the line
3. Ensure that no powerful motors are near your modem such as a fridge compressor or power tools. The EMF emitted from motors can really affect the ADSL signal and also your local Wi-Fi network signal
4. Check all the contacts on your wall sockets, cables, filter, modem. Make sure they are shiny and clean. If not, grab a cotton bud dipped in some Isopropyl alcohol and rub them shiny to attempt to get rid of corrosion. Ensure they are thoroughly dried before re-connecting cables
5. Remove the filter temporarily and speed test again. It could be a faulty or corroded filter
6. Check for any obvious signs of a loose wire in the phone socket itself
7. Try another phone socket if there is one in the premises

Above all be patient and ensure you and your service provider are thorough and systematic with the troubleshooting process.


24/7 Email Support
Response time: less than 58 minutes

Call 02 6687 6533

Speak to our Australian Support team
8:30am - 5:30pm AEDT