How To Get The Most Out Of Your Wi-Fi Connection

Experiencing slow speeds and dropouts on your internet connection? The culprit might be right inside your house. As we move increasingly to wireless connections in our homes, Wi-Fi performance issues are becoming more prevalent.

Wi-Fi issues have become so widespread that nbnco have put out a handy guide that is relevant to all Wi-Fi users, not just those connected to nbn. Their key advice centres around the placement of your home modem or router. Points they ask you to consider:

  • Is your router placed in the centre of your home? Consider your Wi-Fi signal range as a radius extending from the router itself, becoming weaker as it travels. Placing your router as close as possible to the centre of your home will give you better coverage. Consider how and where you use your devices – the router should be as close as possible to the centre of your usage zone, which might mean you actually locate the router closer to the end of the house if that is where all your devices are located and used.
  • Is your router elevated? NBN advise that, for best results, your router will ideally be 2 metres off the ground, and you will not have obstructions between the router and the devices that connect to it. A router at a higher elevation is less likely to be obstructed.
  • Are there any Wi-Fi dampeners between your router and your devices? Objects block signal, and  the more objects your signal passes through, the weaker it will get. Consider relocating moveable objects that may be dampening the signal between your router and your devices, such as fish tanks, appliances or other objects. Walls themselves will also degrade the signal, but are less easy to relocate – in this case, it may be better to relocate the router itself.
  • Do you have too many devices connected? Wi-Fi may degrade if many devices are using it simultaneously. If you have devices that can be cabled in to the router, such as Smart TVs, desktop PCs or other ethernet-enabled devices, you will free up more bandwidth for the devices that must be Wi-Fi connected such as phones, tablets and devices that don’t have ethernet ports.
  • Does your router match your needs? The way we use internet in our homes has changed over time, and so have the routers that deliver our connections. Your older router may not be as efficient or effective at supplying your devices. Consider if it is time to upgrade.
  • 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz? Our article on Spectrum Crunch goes into more detail, but the short answer is: If available on your router and on your device, 5Ghz is usually a better choice, but 2.4Ghz might come into its own if you are far from the router, or have a lot of internal obstacles, such as walls, that reduce your WiFi range.

To read the nbn guide in full, visit https://www.nbnco.com.au/blog/connected-homes/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-wifi-connection

This article was first published on November 19, 2020, and was updated on 18 March 2021.

NBN Unlimited Plans Available Now

Despite what we’ve said before…

NBN Unlimited Plans Available Now On Fixed Line Services (Fibre to the Node/Premises/Basement/Curb and HFC)

“DCSI doesn’t offer NBN Unlimited plans because we don’t want to sign people on to restrictive speed tiers, add sneaky reasonable use policies, oversell to our low consuming customers, trap consumers on contracts, undersupply CVC, allow power users to degrade the service, or move to an off-shore support desk. We just want to offer a reasonably priced NBN service backed by a great support team.” DCSI – April, 2018

When we wrote this, we meant every word… but you have been speaking to us, and you’ve told us loudly and clearly “We just want Unlimited”.

Well… we’ve listened.

Our wholesale supplier has recently introduced CVC bundles, which reduces overall CVC costs allowing more allocation per service. This means many of our original objections to Unlimited plans have become redundant.

It also frees us up to offer Unlimited across the Standard, Standard Plus and Premium speed tiers. To ensure we’re not overselling to people who just don’t need unlimited data, we’ve also retained an NBN Basic plan with 100GB of data, allowing low-consuming users a very good option.

And NBN users, take note: we’re offering all this with no upfront installation* and no contracts.

“DCSI now offers NBN Unlimited plans because we don’t have to sign people on to restrictive speed tiers, add sneaky reasonable use policies, oversell to our low consuming customers, trap consumers on contracts, undersupply CVC, allow power users to degrade the service, or move to an off-shore support desk. We still offer a reasonably priced NBN service backed by a great support team, and now with Unlimited data too!” DCSI – November, 2019.

NBN Fixed Wireless

NBN Fixed Wireless services now have their own separate range of plans.

We will no longer offer NBN Fixed Wireless Standard Plus speed tier (50/20Mbps) as NBNco have advised this speed tier will be discontinued in December 2019. Existing customers have been contacted and assisted to select a new plan. If you subscribe to an NBN50 Fixed Wireless plan and need assistance choosing a new plan, please contact us.

The new range of plans reflects the increase support and delivery costs of NBN Fixed Wireless services, and the maximum data allowance is capped at 1TB per service as part of our efforts to ensure we are not contributing to the network congestion issues that have played such a big role in degrading the performance of NBN Fixed Wireless.

Acceler8ed Broadband is available as an alternative in many Gippsland-based NBN Fixed Wireless areas, offering a maximum speed of 60/20Mbps and Unlimited plans. If you are interested in finding out what it would take to switch, we’re only too happy to help. Email support@dcsi.net.au or phone 1300 66 55 75 to find out if Acceler8ed is available to you.

*NBN New Development Fee may apply to the first connection to a premises. We can advise if this fee applies at the time of sign-up.

NBN Scams and Email Hacking

In an article dated June 17, 2019*, Emma Koehn writes in the Sydney Morning Herald about the increasing prevalence of scams that take advantage of community confusion regarding NBN.

The article says that losses so far this year have exceeded $500,000, averaging more than $110,000 a month in the first half of the year.

NBN Co Chief Security Officer Darren Kane said NBN Co is a wholesaler and will never call ordering a consumer to give access to their computers.

The article goes on to quote ACCC chair Delia Rickard advising consumers to “Do a Google search or check the phone book to get your service provider’s number, don’t use contact details provided by the sales person”.

Meanwhile, spammers are continuing to attempt to obtain email account details via “phishing” (scam) emails. This enables them to spread spam via legitimate, trusted email accounts. DCSI customers have been specifically targeted by some of these scammers, with emails being sent to @dcsi.net.au email addresses purporting to be from us and attempting to trick customers into following a link to a non-DCSI website where they are asked to enter their email login details.

The only link you should ever use to review or update your DCSI account details is the customer portal at simple.dcsi.net.au

If you ever receive an email telling you that DCSI will close down your email or service, or that you’re required to log in to make changes, please do not click the link. Please call us on 1300 66 55 75 to ask if it is genuine, or use the customer portal to check the validity of the claim.

It’s your responsibility to protect your account details and not disclose them to unauthorised third parties. We are here to assist if you need advice or assistance in determining the validity of an email.

You should also review your account password, and ensure it is strong and sufficiently complex that it can’t be easily guessed. If you update your password via our portal, you will be required to choose a password that is at least 8 characters long and contains a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols.

 

The Long-Awaited Launch of IPv6 Is Here

IP addresses are the “phone numbers” of the Internet – a unique identifier used to ensure that the traffic from point A (for example, a Netflix server) can get to point B (for example, your laptop) accurately and efficiently. Historically, IP version 4 (“IPv4”) has been used successfully to run the internet, but with available addresses nearing depletion due to limitations with how many unique addresses can exist using IPv4, the time has come for a new system – IPv6.

IPv6 is crucial to the future of the internet, with IPv4 addresses scarce and expensive, today’s internet needs to run IPv6 everywhere sooner rather than later. IPv4 space is terribly finite and procuring more just isn’t feasible. While we continue to investigate and evaluate strategies to extend our IPv4 resources, IPv6 represents the immediate future of the internet.

Retrofitting IPv6 into an existing ISPs network brings a lot of challenges, it’s just not as simple as turn it on and away it goes – there are many challenges to consider: modem/router compatibility, authentication systems, assigning addresses to thousands of existing services, BNG support, the list goes on. A startup ISP can enable IPv6 without these considerations.

While our Anycast (AS58511) backbone network has been the most connected IPv6 network in Australia for many years now, it’s excellent that we can finally announce that all DCSI customers, old and new, can enable IPv6 from right now.

In less than 2 years since we acquired DCSI, we have faced some significant network challenges; including growing and upgrading the fixed wireless network, replacing the third-party billing system with our own system and new customer portal, and now finally – IPv6 for everyone.

We are not done yet though – even once we deliver IPv6 to all our DCSI customers we have many more upgrades and changes to come. We will continue the tradition of DCSI innovating for our customers on both our NBN and fixed wireless networks!

The technical stuff –

Our IPv6 deployment uses DHCPv6 Prefix Delegation to give every customer service a /56 IPv6 prefix – that’s 256 subnets of 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 addresses each. To enable IPv6 on your connection, all you have to do is enable it on your modem/router, and the network will take care of the rest.

We have also elected to continue to use PPPoE for our customers – PPPoE allows some specific features that are unavailable via IPoE, such as enhancements to FTTN connections specific to Australia’s NBN.

IPv6 can be used on all DCSI broadband services: NBN, Fixed/Acceler8d Wireless, Fibre Connect and ADSL.

Why We Don’t Offer Unlimited Plans

All Internet Service Providers (or ISPs) offering NBN plans need to cover the same basic wholesale costs of delivering the service. Unlimited NBN plan providers need to make sure that they meet their cost of delivering the service, but how can they be sure of doing that if there are no limits?

Limited Speeds – Many Unlimited NBN plans are offered only on the 12/1 speed tier. At speeds similar to or slower than ADSL, there’s only so much data users can push through at a time, so their usage will be limited by the speed. Most people would benefit more from a higher speed tier than a larger data limit.
Reasonable Use Policies – Unlimited NBN plans are often accompanied by small print which reveals that they are subject to a “reasonable use policy”. This means any service that exceeds a limit the service provider deems “reasonable” can be cut off. Unlimited plans on a reasonable use policy aren’t unlimited – they just have a secret cap.
Overselling to Low Use Consumers – ISPs can offset the cost of providing Unlimited NBN plans to high data consuming customers by recommending the plans to low use customers – people who would be better off on a cheaper plan because they will not get value out of Unlimited NBN. A plan that has a cap you never reach is functionally indistinguishable from an Unlimited NBN plan, but often much cheaper. We prefer to help you identify what you actually need to keep your costs down.
Contracted Services – Many providers offering Unlimited NBN plans require a long contract period of 12 or 24 months and it’s common for consumers to find themselves trapped on a plan that no longer suits their usage or budget. Families with older teenagers often fall into this trap – once the kids move out and and household usage plummets, the consumer is stuck with their expensive plan until the contract expires.
Undersupplying CVC – The infamous CVC that is the cause of congestion woes for customers of so many NBN services.
If ISPs do not purchase enough bandwidth from NBN, several things happen:
* Consumers find their services run slowly at peak times
* Slow services consume less data
* ISPs save on their cost of supplying the service.
Because we set a cap on each of our plans, we’re better able to predict usage and purchase sufficient NBN bandwidth – no peak congestion, no artificially limited data speeds. Without “Unlimited” data users, DCSI can ensure all NBN customers have a better, more consistent experience, at all times of the day.
Allowing Power Users To Make Things Worse For Everyday Consumers – When high consumption users have Unlimited NBN access, they can degrade the service quality for other users. Our high limit plans mean most consumers won’t have any worries about reaching their data cap, and the minority of users whose monthly consumption is extreme can’t abuse the service, driving up costs or driving down service quality.
Offshore Call Centres – DCSI chooses to employ local people, keeping your dollars in the local economy and giving you access to a team with local knowledge who are affected by local issues just like you. We care… not just because you’re our customers, but because you’re our neighbours.

DCSI doesn’t offer NBN Unlimited plans because we don’t want to sign people on to restrictive speed tiers, add sneaky reasonable use policies, oversell to our low consuming customers, trap consumers on contracts, undersupply CVC, allow power users to degrade the service, or move to an off-shore support desk. We just want to offer a reasonably priced NBN service backed by a great support team.

Do I Need To Connect To The NBN?

As the nbn™ rollout continues across the country, we’re often asked how nbn will affect existing services. Some of the concerns we hear are from people who are satisfied with their current services and don’t want to change, or those who don’t want to connect to nbn’s network, or those who are concerned that nbn may not be suitable for their situation. The reality is that all people with phone and/or internet services need to be aware of the type of nbn connection rolling out in their area, and how that will impact their service options.

So let’s start at the beginning, with the services that will be affected. nbn co ltd has advised that the services that will be discontinued as part of the nbn rollout will include:

· Telstra home and landline phone services (except some Telstra Velocity lines)
· Home and landline phone services from all other phone companies, where the service is provided over Telstra’s copper phone lines
· All ADSL, ADSL2 and ADSL2+ internet services (from all providers)
· Telstra BigPond cable internet services, and;
· Optus cable internet and cable phone services

According to nbn co, the only exceptions will be in areas designated to receive Fixed Wireless or Sky Muster Satellite. In these cases, residents will have the choice to continue with their existing copper landline service, or to switch to VoIP.

nbn co also notes that in areas where phone or internet is provided over another network, such as DCSI’s own Fixed Wireless product, these services will continue to operate unless you are informed otherwise by your provider. Our team is working hard to continue to grow, upgrade and support our network, giving residents and businesses in our service area a fantastic alternative to nbn services.

If you’re still unsure how your services will be affected, our team are on hand to check and advise you of your options. We can ensure that you have a clear understanding of the choices available to you, and the right service and support for your internet and phone needs.

You can reach our local sales and support team on 1300 66 55 75 for more information.