How to Fix a Slow NBN Connection

No one looks forward to frustrating internet speeds when trying to catch up on work, the latest shows or finesse online gaming skills. Most businesses and homes on NBN receive speeds of about 50 Mbps. 

This speed should be enough for a typical household’s needs. Video conferencing requires about 2-3Mbps, while ultra-HD streaming uses about 12Mbps. 

So why do most people struggle with painfully slow speeds, teleconference stutters, game lags and video freezes? Sometimes the issue is not with speed but rather other external factors.

Let’s explore possible reasons why your NBN is slow and what to do about it. 

Potential Reasons Why Your NBN is Slow

Your slow NBN speed could be due to various reasons. You can resolve most of these issues through the ways we suggest below. 

  • Network Congestion

Some NBN plans experience congestion during certain peak hours. NBN providers indicate typical evening speeds, so you know what to expect during peak hours. 

The maximum speeds vary based on the NBN provider. 

  • Hardware Issues

Your slow NBN connection may be due to an inefficient router or modem. Unless you have an older model, you should try some tactics before you get a new one.

First, you can try placing the modem in a more central and open area. Avoid having electronic devices such as ovens and fridges between you and the modem. Such devices cause interference which affects the internet speed. 

  • Distance from the Node

According to NBN, nearly 90% of homes using FTTN are within 700m of the closest node. However, the signal still degrades even at this short distance. 

This effect goes by the name attenuation and is the primary reason old ADSL connections result in slow ADSL2+ speeds. 

If your home is near the node, you’ll experience greater speeds than other houses farther away. The speed reduces as the distance increases. 

  • Plan Speed

Your NBN speed tier affects the maximum speed you can receive. If the speed is inadequate, it’s best to upgrade to a faster plan or higher tier.

  • Connection Issues

NBN is an extensive network with various components. There are numerous areas where issues can arise and affect internet speed. 

Most NBN connection issues are primarily due to faulty equipment and network delays. 

Ways to Fix a Slow NBN Speed

  • Run a Speed Test to Help Troubleshoot the Issue

The best way to determine whether your internet speed has an issue is by conducting a speed test. The test confirms your internet speed in Mbps, and you’ll find free tests online. 

If you’re using a wired device, plug it directly into the router or modem using a LAN cable, then run the test. If you have a wireless device, run the speed test when standing at various areas in your home.

If you get low speeds like two or 3Mbps, the issue is likely on your provider’s end.

  • Update or Upgrade Your Modem

Older WiFi devices often deliver slower speeds. These devices also fail to meet WiFi standards affecting internet speed.

If your modem’s maximum potential is still inadequate, you should upgrade to a newer model with better capabilities. 

  • Try Mobile Broadband or Home Wireless Broadband

If you experience a constantly slow NBN connection, going wireless might be the solution you need. Mobile or home broadband uses the same network as your smartphone.

You can choose a 5G or 4G connection for your home wireless broadband. 5G offers higher data limits or unlimited data and faster speeds. The main disadvantage is limited coverage.

4G plans are more popular and available across multiple providers but offer lower monthly data limits. The speed is also limited, capping out at about 50Mbps.

  • Sign Up For a Faster Speed Tier

You should consider upgrading to a higher tier if you’re on a cheaper NBN plan. Most Australians prefer an NBN 50 plan because it offers excellent speeds and reasonable value.

  • Change NBN Provider

The speed of your NBN connection during peak hours depends on your provider. NBN providers are open about the expected speeds so that you can compare different providers. 

If you’re unsatisfied with your provider, you can try a different one. 


Sometimes the root cause of your slow NBN connection is not on your side but on the providers. It could be an issue with network configuration and faulty node connections. 

Whatever the problem, a certified electrician can help answer your NBN questions.