Telstra NBN VoIP and Modem woes

Telstra NBN VoIP and Modem (Netgear V7610) woes

Recently some of my clients have been transitioning to the NBN network and choosing to stick with Telstra as the retailer. You read that right. Telstra is NO longer the wholesaler of the backbone network but rather the NBN Co is – see their statement here. This post is about the issues that we have faced, work arounds and general preparation for the transition.

If you do not have time and want to skip to the recommendation here it is – convince Telstra that you DO NOT want to use this modem, actually I would advise to steer clear of Telstra altogether.

To see why read on…

Guest IP Range you CANNOT change

ISSUE: So the NBN technician came out and informed me that they couldn’t replace our previous Asus N55U with the Netgear V7610 because of the client’s IP range. They are using 192.168.5.X range and apparently that is what the modem uses for a quest network. To change all the internal IP range would take ages as they have a server, all port forwarding set up, statically assigned devices, etc.

WORKAROUND: What we have done in the meantime is kept the Telstra Modem (Netgear V7610) as the VDSL Modem. Then connect a LAN port from the Telstra Modem to the WAN port of the Asus. It’s unnecessary, has caused issues already, pain to deal with port forwarding, etc.

Proprietary VoIP configurations

ISSUE: Now as a disclaimer I do not know for sure that this is the case, but according to my own testing and that of the technician who configures it we’ve come to know that Telstra employs a proprietary VoIP connection. They do not hand out SIP server addresses like all the other ISP’s that I’ve dealt with. As a result you MUST have the Telstra Modem connecting to the VDSL network. Then it gets the details from Telstra and configures itself. If you do NOT do this, as in I use another VDSL capable modem first and just configure the Telstra modem WAN port to connect to the internet, then it will lose connection to the VoIP servers.

WORKAROUND: No work around that I know of to date.

Telstra ADSL to VDSL migrations

ISSUE: Same ISP, but a simple transition turned into 3 weeks of sporadic internet, no static IP and many unnecessary costs for the client. Basically they shut off the ADSL more then a week from the time the NBN Technician was booked in for the changeover. Migrating the Static IP also proved to take ages. All in all the whole process was abysmal.

WORKAROUND: If you cannot lose your Static IP, then sign up for a new ISP and tell them you want to pay for a new line. It costs $299 inc GST but it will save you money. That way you can have both running simultaneously and change over to the NBN at your IT Technician’s design and out of peak times. Dealing with Telstra is like slowly removing a band-aid, it is painful. Thankfully I had Backup MX records which meant that we didn’t lose any email. But still we couldn’t access it unto there was an assigned static IP.

At the end of the day I really hope that Telstra reviews their processes, the hardware that bundles with NBN connections. Some of these things are incredibly frustrating, costly and unnecessary which with better management policies, planning and revisions could be completely fixed up. Which is why I type this post.

As always have a blessed day all.

regards,
Steven Swarts

ESV John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

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