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Broadband Dropouts

This page is about disconnections for ADSL/Broadband and ADSL2+/Broadband2+ connections. Satellite users, please contact our Technical Support Team for further assistance.

Why is my connection dropping out?

There are many reasons why your ADSL/Broadband connection may drop out. This article describes some of the most common causes of disconnections - the main culprit being problems relating to Filtering. Diagnosing the cause behind dropouts can be quite a time consuming process. For the fastest resolution, you may wish to contact our Technical Support Team.

Before you begin, if you have only recently noticed the problem, try switching your modem off for 30 seconds and then switching it back on. Your modem may have simply locked up, and if so this should resolve it.

  1. Filtering
  2. How Do I Plug In A Filter?
  3. Isolation Test
  4. Checking Your Disconnection History
  5. Line Noise
  6. Phone Cabling and Phone Socket
  7. Wireless Dropouts
  8. Testing Your Modem
  9. Further Troubleshooting


Any devices that are located in your house/premises that connect up to any phone socket at all, need to put plugged into what is called a Line Filter (1). There are 3 common types of line filters, pictured below:
(1: the only exception is if you have a separate phone line physically installed - this will generally have its own phone number and have its own line rental charge).


The reason why every device needs to be filtered, is because the signal from your ADSL modem and other telephone devices will eventually be combined once they leave your house. ADSL uses a higher range of frequencies than other telephony devices. The other devices are unable to distinguish from one or the other and subsequently will pick up the higher ADSL frequencies. If the signals have not been filtered, then they will cause the Broadband connection to disconnect frequently, create noise over your phone calls, and may even render your internet connection unusable at times.

Please Note that ADSL modems do not need to be filtered. The "ADSL" socket is not actually filtered, and merely there to provide double adaptor functionality in case you need to plug two devices in to the same phone socket.

A common misconception is that only telephones need to be filtered. This is incorrect - below are a list of devices that commonly connect up to a phone socket that will cause disconnections. Many (including telephones) monitor for an incoming signal, and will still cause disconnections, even when you are not using them.

  • Cordless phones
  • Fax Machines
  • EFTPOS Terminals
  • Monitored Alarm Systems / Back To Base Alarm Systems (2)
  • Foxtel Digital / PAY TV Systems
  • Dial-up modems

(2: If you have one of these, you may have what is called a central splitter installed. Please consult your alarm company.)

If you are unsure if devices you own (for example, if you have an Alarm System) will need to be filtered, check the device and see if it connects up to a phone socket. If it does, then it will need a filter on it. Many Foxtel systems, for example, will only have a Satellite dish connection and thus not require a filter. However, if your Foxtel/Pay TV offers content on delivery services, these typically connect up to a telephone socket, which will require a filter.

If you have any of these devices, and they do not have a filter plugged in to them: You will need to purchase a filter to plug the device in to. These can be purchased from most electronics stores, as well as our Sales team.


How Do I Plug In A Filter?

See the Broadband ADSL Filter Setup article for further detail.

A filter will typically have a "Line In" socket on one side, as well as a "Phone" and in some cases "ADSL" socket on the other side. Plug your device into the "phone" socket, and then run a cord from the "Line" socket to your telephone point on your wall. Remember that ADSL modems do not need to be filtered, and if you plug your ADSL modem into a "Phone" socket on the filter, this will also cause disconnections. Only plug your modem in to the ADSL socket of a filter if you intend on plugging another device (e.g. Telephone) into the filter. Never plug it into the phone or line sockets.


Isolation Test

If you have all your devices in your house filtered, the problem may still be with your filters. Filters naturally wear out over time, and may be subject to surges over the phone line as well. In order to determine whether your filters are the problem, it is recommended you do an isolation test.

An isolation test involves unplugging all devices that connect up to a telephone point in your house. It allows us to determine whether dropouts are being caused by ADSL filters not functioning correctly. It is recommended that you do isolation tests overnight, to avoid any inconvenience from having your phone disconnected.

To perform the isolation test, do the following:

  • Unplug all devices that connect up to a phone socket in your house. This includes any devices in the list above.
  • Unplug any filters from your ADSL modem.
  • Plug your ADSL modem straight into a telephone socket in the wall, preferably with the shortest possible cable.
  • At this stage, the only thing plugged into a telephone socket in your house will be your modem.
  • If your modem's telephone cord runs through a surge protector, unplug this as well.
  • Note down the time you started the isolation test, and leave your line isolated for at least several hours (overnight if possible).
  • Once you have done that, log in to Westnet's MyAccount using your Westnet username and password.

Line Noise

Another common cause of ADSL/Broadband dropouts is line noise. Pick up your telephone handset and listen for any static/crackling. If you can hear anything significantly audible, you will need to contact your telephone provider to lodge a phone fault with them. Please note that they will generally require you to test a corded phone handset with different phone cabling before allowing you to submit the fault.


Phone Cabling and Phone Socket

The phone cable that runs from your modem to your wall socket may also wear out over time. If it is particularly long (usually in excess of 10 meters), it may also cause disconnections. Try another shorter phone cable, and see if you still disconnect following this.

If you have any additional phone sockets in your house, try plugging your modem into them and see if you are still getting disconnected.


Wireless Dropouts

If you are using a Wireless Modem or Router, please see this article to determine if your dropouts are related to your wireless modem.


Testing Your Modem

Modems can also begin to malfunction over time. The easiest way to determine whether your modem is at fault is to test another modem at your location. If you do not have easy access to another modem, perform a Factory Reset on your current modem first (see below).

Factory Reset

A Factory Reset will restore your modem to default "factory" settings. In some situations, if the modem has become faulty, a factory reset may help fix the problem. Please Note: Factory resetting your modem will erase your Westnet username and password from your modem. You will not be able to connect up to the internet until you put them back into your modem. This can be a difficult process, and varies greatly depending on the model. It is recommended you contact our Technical Support Team for assistance with this. If you are confident to do this yourself, there should be a small pinhole located on the back of your modem. Insert a pin/pen/sharp object into this for about 10 seconds, and proceed to put your Westnet Settings in the modem, and check for disconnections after this.

Trying Another Modem

It is recommended that you use an old modem, or borrow a spare modem from a friend/family to confirm that the problem is with your modem before committing to buying a new one. If the disconnections stop, it is likely that your other modem is at fault. Again, contact our Technical Support Team if you need assistance with setting up the modem. Make sure you perform an Isolation Test on this modem as well.


Further Troubleshooting

If your ADSL/Broadband connection still disconnects frequently, please contact Westnet Technical Support for further investigation. Advanced users may wish to try some of the following suggestions:

  • Set the modulation to "G.DMT" in the modem.
  • Change the modem's encapsulation to something different, for example if it is currently set to PPPoE, change it to PPPoA.
  • Set the modem to Bridge mode, create a Bridged dialer in Windows and connect. If your connection holds steady in bridge mode, then the modem is likely at fault. Bridge modem defers the handling of the broadband connection over to the computer, so if your connection holds while the modem is bridged we can tell the problem is likely with the modem. If you're not sure how to do this, please contact us for a hand.
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