I had a strange visit from the San Francisco Police Department today. The nice officer said she was replying to a 911 call from my land line phone. She said nobody spoke during the 911 call, but the dispatcher heard a scratchy noisy line. My phone line did have a loud scratchy hum on it the few times I tried to use it last week. I didn’t investigate at the time, as I had my cell phone and just used that instead.
I showed the officer around my room to convince her nothing was wrong, at her request. I told her about the scratchy line quality, but she didn’t ask to check it herself. She was quite pleasant and soon departed, but advised me to call ATT to find out what’s wrong.
I checked the line immediately, and it was still scratchy and noisy. I called ATT on that line, as it was still possible to speak and hear on the line. ATT said it was probably an issue on their end and advised sending a technician to investigate. They warned that if the problem was mine that they would charge me $55. I told them I wanted to do some more tests on my own before committing to a possible charge, and told them not to send a technician. I am glad I did, as I fixed the problem within minutes of ending that call.
I eliminated the scratchy line by removing from the circuit an adapter that converted 1 phone jack into 2 phone jacks! This adapter was plugged directly into the ATT access box in my inside garage. When I plugged my phone directly into the access box without the adapter, the line was suddenly ‘like new.’ Had ATT made that test, they would have likely charged me $55, because I don’t think anything was wrong with their circuitry.
I did a search online to see if a noisy line could trigger a call to 911, and I found accounts written by others that said that it could. I didn’t know that until today.
We have been experiencing intermittent high speed Internet service, also from ATT over the same wire pair my phone uses, so I hope that by removing the faulty adapter that our Internet connection stability improves.
Note that my phone number is listed in the telephone book, so I am easy to reach.