Troubleshoot fixed wireless

If you are having issues with your fixed wireless (either through nbn™ or another provider), connection, here are some steps to try before calling your service provider.

It’s a good idea to carefully do all the tests and make detailed notes while you’re trying to find the cause of your problems. You might like to take screenshots or record the speed test results you get. If possible, use the speed tester recommended by your service provider; some will automatically record the results for your provider to see.

If you do contact your provider, keep detailed notes and ticket numbers.

Before running any tests, we suggest checking for any known network outages.

The most common issues with nbn™ Fixed Wireless connections include:

  • Dropouts
  • Slow speeds
  • No connection

nbn™ Fixed Wireless connection box indicator lights

This diagram relates specifically to nbn™ Fixed Wireless connector boxes. Modems or routers supplied by other service providers may look different.

Fixed Wireless connection box indicator lights

Information about your nbn™ Wireless Connection Box

nbn Fixed Wireless connection light descriptions

Light Indicator Meaning Action
Power Green Power On No action is required
Off No Power Check the nbn NTD is plugged in and switched on
Status Green Flashing Normal Operation No action is required
Green Device in test mode No action is required
Amber Flashing Device is starting up and installing No action is required
Red There is a system fault Reset the nbn NTD. If a reset doesn’t fix the problem, contact us on 1800 834 273
Outdoor Unit (ODU) Green Online No action is required
Green Flashing Activity No action is required
Red Offline Reset the nbn NTD. If a reset doesn’t fix the problem, contact us on 1800 834 273
Red Flashing There is an error
Signal Red Low signal strength

(no error)

No action is required
Amber Medium signal strength No action is required
Green High signal strength No action is required

How to troubleshoot an nbn™ Fixed Wireless connection

If you cannot complete one of the steps, then move to the next one.

1.    Check for any network outages

To check for an outage, visit our network outage page.

If you’re on nbn™ Fixed Wireless, outages can be with either your service provider, or with nbn itself. You will need to check both.

2.    Check your account usage

If you are on a plan with metered or limited data, log into your account and check you aren’t “shaped” or “speed limited” (used all your peak data and have been slowed).

Check what “speed tier” you are on.

3.    Perform full power cycle routine.

When troubleshooting a fixed wireless connection, your first step should be a power cycle of your modem, or NTD (Network Termination Device). This means to turn it off and on again.

To do this, you need to turn the modem off, turn off all devices connected to it, leave them off for a few minutes, then turn everything back on.

It is important to turn the devices off and on again in order.

  1. Turn off ALL devices.
  2. Wait at least 5 minutes.
  3. Turn the devices on in order.
    1. Turn on the modem
    2. Wait until all the lights are on and indicate an active connection (this may take a few minutes).
    3. Then turn on your router. Wait until all the lights are on the router, to indicate an active connection.
    4. Then turn on all your other devices – e.g. computer, tablet, or phone.

Check that all your devices can connect to the internet and are able to load websites.

4.    Plug computer directly into the NTD

Plug a computer directly into the modem (NTD), with an ethernet cord, if you can, rather than using the router.

Some recent laptops or computers may need an adapter to run an ethernet cable (for example, recent MacBooks).

Make sure you use the same port that has a cable in it already, as only one port is generally activated by your service provider. This is usually Port 1.

Repeat Step 1 above (do a complete power cycle). If this fixes your problem, you may need a new router..

Contact your service provider for help with router issues.

5.    Check cables

Network cables lull you into a false sense of security by rarely being faulty, then when you least expect it, they break …

  • Try a new network cable / ethernet cord from the router to the modem.
  • Check that the cord is plugged into Port 1 (unless instructed otherwise by your provider).
  • Check all the cables are pushed in fully, making a nice solid “click” sound.
  • If you have a few of them in your home, try them all just in case you have a broken cable.

If you find a broken power cable, remove and replace it immediately. Never use damaged power cables – they can give you an electric shock.

nbn-fixed-wireless-equipment-diagram-uni-d.png

A typical nbn™ Fixed Wireless setup. Non-nbn fixed wireless setups may be similar.

6.    Do a speed test

Visit our speed test page for more information.

  • If you get slow speeds all the time, there may be a problem with your in-home equipment.
  • If the slow speeds are mostly during peak times/busy periods, it may be congestion.

You should run the speed test at various times of the day and night, especially when you think your speed is slow.

Record the speed test results, so you can forward them to your internet service provider.

Keep in mind that your speed will vary depending on a number of factors, including congestion at peak times, how many users are using the same connection, and what the users are doing on the connection.

Check your Customer Agreement from your internet service provider to see what it says about expected speeds, as your service provider probably doesn’t guarantee you’ll get 100% of the peak speed of your service 100% of the time.

7.    Check the weather

Weather conditions such as extreme heat or heavy rain can cause problems with a Fixed Wireless connection.

Cloud, light rain, snow, fog, dust and smoke do not normally cause problems.

Wait until the weather clears and see if this resolves your problem.

Record the dates and times of any weather events, such as lightning strikes or high wind speeds.

8.    Check your device/s

  • Check to see if you can access the internet with another device, phone, tablet or laptop.
    • If you can, the Wi-Fi device drivers in your non-accessing computer may need to be updated.
    • You should ask your local computer specialist for help with device driver updates, as it’s tricky if you haven’t done it before.
  • If using a computer, download and install a fresh copy of a browser you haven’t used before.
    • If you use Windows and your main web browser is Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge, try using Chrome or Firefox.
    • If you’re a Mac owner and your main web browser is Safari, try using Chrome or Firefox.
    • Sometimes browsers get “clogged up” with little spare files called “cookies”, or older copies of a webpage in your cache. Clearing cookies and your caches can help with this.
  • Check that your computer doesn’t have any issues.
    • Check for spyware, viruses, and malware. These programs are easily downloaded and installed, without your knowledge, while you’re surfing the Web. They can run undetected and have a significant impact on your Web surfing speed and overall system performance.
    • There are plenty of free and subscription-based utilities available that will detect and eradicate these programs and prevent them being downloaded and installed in the first place.
    • Ensure your malware software is up-to-date.
  • Try turning on your computer in “Safe Mode”. Instructions are in the Tech tips page for your device.

Safe Mode starts your computer with the bare basic software, so if you have antivirus or some other program or malware that’s slowing your computer, speed tests in Safe Mode will reveal that.

Congestion and reduced speeds

Service providers often have a limited amount of bandwidth available, and the more people who share it, the less of it everyone gets. This is known as “congestion”.

Peak times are when you’re more likely to experience congestion. These are generally evenings, when everyone gets on the system to watch movies, play video games, catch up with friends and family, and generally all be online at once.

Some service providers may also have too many customers available for the bandwidth they’re supplying. If your speed seems to be slow all the time, and other people report much better speeds from other fixed wireless service providers on similar plans, your supplier may be over-subscribed.

Speak to your provider first about improving your speeds.

Running two connections at once

It is possible to run two separate nbn™ Fixed Wireless connections into the same router. You can sign up with a second nbn™ Fixed Wireless provider and, by running the two connections over the same setup, test whether the issue is with your provider, your local tower, or the nbn network itself.

This is best done with a provider that offers trial periods, or month-by-month no-contract services, so you can disconnect the unneeded service at the end of the trial.

TechRadar: Best wireless broadband in Australia: NBN Fixed Wireless, 4G and 5G plans compared

Whistleout: nbn™ Fixed Wireless plans with no contract

More tips

Choice: 5 tips to improve home internet speed

WhistleOut’s tips on speeding up your connection.

ACCC: Using NBN fixed wireless

nbn™ FIxed Wireless guide (PDF)

Still having issues?

If you have tried all the steps above and are still having problems, you will need to contact your provider.

Use your Provider Contact Sheet to contact your service provider to help you troubleshoot your issue further.

If your provider is unable to help resolve your issue, get a fault number/ticket number from your provider, ask for the nbn Incident Number and fill in our escalation form. We’ll do our best to help you.