Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Thursday, October 06, 2005

No longer telephonically challenged

On Monday I did something I should have done a long time ago. I called AT&T to find out about installing new phone jacks in our house.
For those of you who haven’t been reading along since the beginning, our house has an . . . interesting phone arrangement. It had three jacks when we moved in: one in the master bedroom, one in the second bedroom, and one in the dining room. The first two were the old four-prongs, the dining room jack was more modern. We also had a weird Jacob’s ladder-esque object on the laundry room ceiling, near the back door, and no normal outside phone box.
We went with AT&T CallVantage, a digital phone service, which has been excellent. But the way it’s supposed to work is that you plug the broadband router into your computer, then plug it into the nearest phone jack as well. You disconnect the outside phone line, and now all your jacks connect to the router because it’s a single circuit with only the one input.
Yeah, not in our house. First off, there’s no phone jack in my office—where the router is. Second, we don’t have an outside phone box. Third, the three phone jacks we do have are all on different wires, though they do all connect to the monstrosity in the basement.
The result? For the past ten months we’ve made due with two phones—one corded and one cordless—both plugged directly into the router and sitting in my office.
Well, no more! Communication Technology Services—the company AT&T uses for service and repair—came out yesterday. They installed jacks in my office and in the family room, updated the ones in the two bedrooms, and tied them and the dining room jack together. Now we have one phone in my office, one in our bedroom, one in the basement, and one in the dining room. Ah, freedom!
This may not seem like a big deal. But we’ve had to carry the cordless phone up and down with us whenever we left the office, to make sure we had a phone somewhere nearby. And, because it’s an older cordless and its base was on a different floor, the sound was never that clear. Now we don’t have to deal with that. Plus our cordless in the dining room has Caller ID and tells us when we have voice-mail. We are quite pleased. I’ll probably get a regular corded phone for my office again, and we might move the one in the family room to a different spot, but it’s so much better than it was.


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