Let’s face it – the NBN is a mixed bag at best. If you’re lucky enough to have Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), you’re probably enjoying super fast internet, assuming you can get a data point to where the NBN installed your modem.

But what about the majority of people who are stuck with outdated copper to deliver their NBN services?

For Fibre to the Node (FTTN), some Fibre to the Building (FTTB) and even Fibre to the Curb (FTTC) installations, your internal copper wiring could be affecting your speed performance. How you ask? In the good old days many homes were set up with multiple phone sockets, this let you have a wired phone in more than one location.

If your home has this kind of set up it could well be affecting your NBN or ADSL connection. The ‘dead legs’ in that system can degrade the signal attenuation used by ADSL and as a result reduce your overall speeds. There is a simply solution however, just cut off the dead legs.

Now let’s be very clear here, randomly cutting telephone wires in your house may not be 100% advisable unless you’re a cabler: if you cut the wrong wire and you’ll be having no internet, cut something that’s not a telephone wire and you may be having a quick trip to a hospital.

PSA: DON’T cut wires yourself, pay a cabler or electrician to do it for you. It won’t cost much, and it saves you from accidentally getting wired up.

For my recent install I was able to boost my speeds from my 100/50 NBN FTTN installation from 37/16 to 47/20 (on a set of average Google speeds tests). While 40/20 is still crap for a 100/50 plan any increase is appreciated. To achieve this, all the technician had to do was cut the “3 way split” in my roof. After that ….. an immediate speed boost.

Unfortunately, for people in apartment buildings and the like on FTTB style installations, your access to your cabling may be varied. This could mean that your cabling is affecting your speeds and you’re powerless to fix it, sorry. That’s a good topic for the next strata meeting!

Another trick you can try to improve your overall speed is to rewire your main line in from the connection box on your house to your modem point. This requires pulling new cable though your walls/ceiling/floor/ who know where, and isn’t completely simple. However, if your internal wiring isn’t in good condition or has multiple splits and joins, replacing it with nice good quality copper may give you a few extra mb/s.

While we all can lament the failed botch job that is the NBN rollout (there’s no undoing the travesty that is our national disgrace), this simple trick could improve your speeds. Let us know if this worked for you, and remember to use a professional.

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    Gilbert Griffith

    I had techs here a few times trying to fix my slow speeds. I ran a new cable to the modem to show him the house wiring was ok. He didn’t mind. The fault later proved to be a weird connection in a junction box 50 metres down the street. Now getting 90 plus Mbs downloads. I am old enough to have been wiring mains, computers and other lines and have plenty of training and experience, but no formal qualifications except Amateur Radio Licences.

    Jeni Skunk

    Duncan, there is one task you forgot to recommend for strata titles/body corporates to carry out:
    Sending the bill for the essential premises phone rewiring, to former Prime Minister and Former Member for Warringah, Tony Abbott.

    Burnt too many times

    My viewpoint is dont go through NBN until it is virtually acceptable and really cheap. Dont get a white elephant just because few suckers were already fleeced.


    My FTTN is capable of 143mbps but the best plan is 100/40. Could literally save 30m of line length in my situation but theres no benefit.


    This actually works in some instances. I had NBN 50/20 installed and had dozens of dropouts every day. Dropped it down to 20 and the dropouts minimised but was still frustrating. I disconnected all of the phone points in the house at the central point (fortunately there was a home hub in the garage so it was simple to do) and the dropouts disappeared, I increase my plan to 100/40 and I haven’t had a dropout in months.


    Don’t bother cutting, had a new line put in at my house that runs straight from the line in box right to where a I wanted to put the router. Connection download speeds went from ~25mbps to ~50mbps. Was definitely worth it.


    Life is grand on FTTP 100/40.


    Great advice. Not illegal as people say above. Just get an ACMA certified cabler. Many advertise NBN improvement these days. They have the tools to zero in on problem NBN wiring.


    We have FTTB and I average 98mb download, have hit 105 in the past. Luckily the building was fitted with cat5 cables using a twisted pair per apartment so we have good data quality cables to each apartment.

    Baz bazzington

    Terrible advice.
    Risk of fire in lightning strike (unlikely)
    Big fine from telco if you muck it up and they come out

    Chris Rowland

    Actually, making changes on the customer’s side of the network termination point isn’t usually the telco’s problem, but yes if you break something and ask them to come fix it, then you’ll pay for it.

    However, if you engage a licensed cabler to make these changes for you, then there’s very little risk (and it’s on them).


    It’s also illegal to work on telephone or electrical wiring without an electrician’s license.

    Al H

    Well ackshually… they’re two separate things. To work on electrical you need to be an electrician.

    To work on telephone you just need an open licence from the ACMA.

    Having said that, these days most electricians are dual qualified.