What to Do if There's an NBN Outage

NBN outages can be a very frustrating experience, but it’s important to know what steps you can take if your connection drops out.

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, updated on September 19th, 2023       

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Internet Banner - Young frustrated woman on the phone to her internet provider after an NBN outage at her office

Experiencing an NBN outage can be a frustrating and disruptive situation, especially in our increasingly digital lives where internet connectivity is paramount. Whether you rely on the NBN for work, entertainment or staying connected with loved ones, it’s worth knowing some of the steps to take if the internet drops out in your area.

In Savvy’s comprehensive guide, you can explore what to do if you encounter an NBN outage, providing you with practical steps, troubleshooting tips and insights into resolving connectivity issues swiftly. Discover the best strategies for getting back online with minimal downtime with us today.

What can I do if I experience an NBN outage in my area?

Experiencing an NBN outage can be frustrating, but there are several steps you can take to address the issue promptly:

Check online for outages in your area

Begin by checking online for any outages reported in your area. Sites such as NBN Co, as well as certain providers, offer free outage checkers which allow you to look up your address to help you determine whether the problem is localised to your connection or if it's affecting a broader area.

Restart your modem or router

Sometimes, the issue may be with your modem or router. If the outage isn’t affecting other homes or businesses in your area, you can restart it. In terms of how to do so, you can try the following steps:

  1. Turn off your modem and router.
  2. Unplug them from the power source.
  3. Wait for about 5 minutes.
  4. Plug them back in and turn them on.

This process, known as power cycling, can help refresh your connection and resolve minor issues.

Check for online notifications from your provider

Visit your internet service provider's website or social media accounts for outage notifications and updates. They often provide information about the cause of the outage and an estimated time for resolution.

Contact your internet provider

Failing all of these, it's essential to get in touch with your provider’s customer support. You can usually find their contact information on their website or your account details. When you contact them:

  • Inform them of the outage and any troubleshooting steps you've taken.
  • Ask for information on the cause of the outage and when they expect to restore service.
  • Inquire about any compensation or alternative solutions they may offer, especially if the outage has lasted an extended period or has caused significant disruptions.

What are my options for staying online during an NBN outage?

When faced with an NBN outage, staying connected to the internet is crucial, especially for businesses and remote workers. Here are some options to consider for maintaining your online presence during an NBN outage:

Mobile hotspot

Most modern smartphones can be turned into mobile hotspots. This feature allows you to share your mobile data connection with other devices, such as laptops or tablets. To set up a mobile hotspot:

  • Go to your phone's settings and find the hotspot or tethering option.
  • Enable it and configure the settings (e.g., set a Wi-Fi password).
  • Connect your other devices to your phone's hotspot Wi-Fi network.

Public Wi-Fi

In urban areas, you can often find public Wi-Fi hotspots provided by businesses, libraries, cafes and other public spaces. Of course, to use public Wi-Fi, you’ll need to leave your home. This option may not be available to businesses, particularly in rural areas.

NBN modems with mobile backup

Some NBN plans offer modems with a built-in mobile broadband backup connection, typically 4G. These modems can automatically switch to a mobile network when the NBN is down, keeping you connected through your outage. Not all providers offer this, however.

What are the alternatives to the NBN if I’m unhappy with my connection?

If you find your NBN connection is consistently dropping out and you’re unhappy with your service, there are several steps you can take if you wish to switch providers or internet plans. These include:

Home wireless broadband

Home wireless broadband uses 4G or 5G mobile networks to provide internet access to your home, rather than a fixed line. It typically involves a wireless modem or router that connects to mobile towers. Speeds can vary based on your location and network congestion, but 5G internet can theoretically rival speeds possible on the highest NBN speed tiers. This option is a popular alternative for those in an area with good mobile coverage.

Mobile broadband

Like home wireless connections, mobile broadband relies on mobile networks to provide internet access, which can come via a data-only SIM card, USB dongle or a pocket Wi-Fi device. It’s designed for on-the-go connectivity or as a backup internet solution but generally isn’t used as a primary home or business connection due to the comparatively high cost per GB of data.

Fibre internet

In addition to the NBN, some providers offer an alternative, privately-owned fixed line connection, known generally as fibre internet. Providers such as Opticomm use the same technology as the NBN to achieve high speeds and performance but aren’t as widely available around Australia and commonly only utilise Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connections, which limits their accessibility further.

Compare other NBN plans

If you're unhappy with your current NBN plan, it's still worth exploring other NBN options. You may wish to consider different NBN speed tiers (such as NBN 25, NBN 50 and NBN 100) and providers to find one that better suits your needs. You can compare plans online through Savvy today to help you determine whether there’s a better NBN solution out there for you.

By assessing these alternatives, you can identify a solution that addresses the issues you have with your current NBN connection or explore other NBN plans that better align with your preferences and requirements.

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Compare internet plans with Savvy

Regardless of whether you're looking for an internet plan for a one-person household or for your medium to large business, you can compare a range of offers from leading Australian providers side by side with Savvy. Get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!


Savvy is partnered with Econnex Comparison (CIMET Sales Pty Ltd, ABN 72 620 395 726) to provide readers with a variety of internet plans to compare. We do not compare all retailers in the market, or all plans offered by all retailers. Savvy earns a commission from Econnex each time a customer buys an internet plan via our website. We don’t arrange for products to be purchased directly, as all purchases are conducted via Econnex.

Any advice presented above is general in nature and doesn’t consider your personal or business objectives, needs or finances. It’s always important to consider whether advice is suitable for you before purchasing an internet plan. For further information on the variety of internet plans compared by Econnex, or how their business works, you can visit their website.