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What to do when you need an NBN technician
NBN technicians are only available under specific circumstances.
Getting an NBN technician out to your home isn’t as easy as calling one. You might even have trouble getting an NBN technician if you contact NBN Co directly. In fact, there are only a small number of specific instances when an NBN technician will come to your home.
Let’s take a look at those instances.
NBN technicians for installation and setup
The first instance an NBN technician may need access to your property is to set up the hardware that connects your home to the NBN. This will have already happened for many homes in Australia, which may mean that you’re moving into a home that has already had this step completed.
For homes that haven’t yet had this step completed, an NBN technician is requested by ordering an NBN plan from your preferred NBN provider. Once a plan is ordered, your NBN provider will liaise with NBN Co and let you know if an NBN technician is required. If an NBN technician is required, discuss preferred dates with your NBN provider and you’ll be contacted by NBN Co (usually via text message) to confirm a date and time frame for these works to be completed.
The NBN technician may text or call you on the agreed day to confirm their expected arrival time. They also may not need access to the inside of your property to install equipment, though you should discuss equipment placement with them if you have preferences. Inside the home, an NBN technician may install equipment such as an NBN connection box, and some drilling may be required to feed through relevant cables (depending on the NBN technology connecting your home).
If you don’t have an NBN plan, check out a handful of popular picks from our comparison engine below.
NBN technician for connection issues
Because NBN Co sells wholesale internet services to NBN providers, your first point of contact for any NBN issues is your NBN provider. Generally, an NBN provider will run you through troubleshooting steps for any NBN issues you have. You can potentially save some time by powering off networking equipment—modem, router, modem-router, network switch—for at least 60 seconds, then powering everything back on again.
This may help clear any issues with your NBN connection. If it doesn’t, your NBN provider will walk you through additional troubleshooting steps. Still got NBN issues? Talk to your NBN provider about organising an NBN technician. Note that there may be a fee if an NBN technician determines that there isn’t a fault on any cabling or equipment controlled by NBN Co.
If an NBN technician is called out and determines there is a fault with NBN equipment, it should be fixed for free. Note that NBN equipment includes external cabling and any hardware up to and including an NBN connection box. Any other devices—including routers, modem-routers, WiFi extenders, network switches and individual devices you may own—can’t be troubleshot or fixed by an NBN technician.
Steps for requesting a visit from an NBN technician
To avoid fees and to ensure that an NBN issue isn’t something that can be fixed at home or by an NBN provider, it’s worth running some tests. The easiest one is an NBN internet speed test, which can be run across multiple devices. Still, you’ll get the best results from an Ethernet-connected computer where available, or a modern WiFi device close to the router or modem-router using a 5GHz WiFi connection.
Outside of a basic speed test, the most accurate way to test for NBN speed issues is an isolation test. This requires a computer or laptop dock with an Ethernet port. Disconnect the router from the NBN connection box and run an Ethernet cable directly from the NBN connection box (or modem-router) to an Ethernet-compatible computer or dock. Now when you run a speed test on this computer, there’s no chance of other devices interfering with speed results. An isolation test may also identify an ageing or faulty router as a potential speed culprit.
Finally, you may be able to ask your NBN provider to perform a line test. This is another way to isolate potential external network speed hurdles. An NBN provider line test is a speed test that’s run from your provider to your NBN modem, NBN-compatible modem-router or the nearest telecommunications pit for Fibre-to-the-Curb (FTTC) homes. While you shouldn’t expect to receive speeds as good as the line-test results on your home devices, it can let you know if there’s a potential issue outside of your control that may require attention from an NBN technician. If you’re unsatisfied with the results of a speed test, line test or isolation test, discuss troubleshooting options with your NBN provider.