I experience frequent disconnects from my ISP (about 100 every day). Some connections do not last longer than a few seconds.

I also experience very slow internet download and upload speeds – even for Australian standards where fixed line broadband networks aren't state-of-the-art: about 1 Mbps download and about 0.3 Mbps upload. These speeds are worse than ADSL1.

Ever since the arrival of Netflix and other domestic video streaming services 2 years ago the public noticed a general drop in download speeds for home broadband because ISPs wanted to make sure that this service can sell.

Before I wanted to make a complaint to my ISP I wanted to find out if my ADSL 2+ modem router might be the culprit. I have a Billion BiPAC 7300 RA (data sheet) that I think only cost me AUD 70. While I also have an AirPort Extreme connected to it to run my wireless devices, I experience the issues even when the AirPort Extreme is not connected.

I know that many technical factors can have an impact on the internet connection speeds like those listed here:

  • the length of your phone line to the exchange;
  • Internet traffic congestion;
  • the quality of your line;
  • signal strength;
  • the number of joins in your line;
  • the speed of the websites you visit; and
  • factors within your home such as unfiltered devices and lengthy phone cords.

The latter two on this list should not be an issue, because a) I experience slowdowns even on usually fast websites, and b) I have no unfiltered devices or overly lengthy cables.

ISPs here are normally reluctant to admit any wrongdoing on their end and usually point to these factors. So I want to equip myself with knowledge and arguments.

Also, if you believe that my Billion modem router could be a (or the) factor for the speeds and disconnects I experience, and if you can't recommend a specific model, what would be specifications I should look for when purchasing a new ADSL 2+ modem router?

  • Possibly. I had hte issue when I upgraded from 1.5mb dsl to 3mb, I'm just on the edge of the distance they can provide service and my signal to noise ratio took a big hit at faster speeds, causing all sorts of issues. Downgrading back to 1.5mb fixed it. My provider recently ran more fiber, now I can connect at a solid 6mb, but upping to the 16mb offered gives me the same problem as before. – ivanivan Sep 24 '17 at 15:08
  • @ivanivan Thanks, but would you know by any chance if the model/type of your modem would've had a play in this? – Alex Ixeras Sep 24 '17 at 23:01
  • 2
    Considering that xDSL uses sophisticated signal processing, low-quality electronics could cause connection issues. But ISPs seem to also do a poor job of troubleshooting the copper loop. Ideally you want them to a TDR test of your line. I got my line fixed because of static on the voice side. The telco knows how to fix POTS problems. But solving xDSL problems requires a smart tech to service your call, or you get generic solutions like "replace the modem". – sawdust Sep 25 '17 at 0:15
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    If you expect the telco/ISP to get involved, then it helps to have a good log of the "line statistics" as reported by the modem. Abnormal values and/or variations could indicate line issues for which the telco/ISP is responsible. Also rule out obvious issues: mrtelco.com/blog/… – sawdust Sep 25 '17 at 0:19
  • Thank you sawdust. I will check that out. My ISP checked the line from their end. I thought it worked like TDR test. – mvr950 Aug 30 '18 at 20:16

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