Phone Not Working, Internet Is – A Common Issue!

A phone line that’s dead while the internet remains functional might seem improbable, but it’s entirely possible.

As engineers, I too was completely perplexed when I first faced this issue. I assumed the customer must be mistaken.

Here’s how the conversation went:
“Are you certain you’re not connected to your neighbour’s wifi?”
“Absolutely not.”
(I confirm the router’s SSID (transmitted identity) – it’s indeed functioning).
“This doesn’t seem possible.”
“But it’s happening.”
I attempt to call the customer’s number. Instead of ringing on their end, I only hear a busy tone. Quite odd.

Regrettably, some customer service representatives from the service provider may also refuse to accept that this “phone not working, internet is” situation can occur. It’s not part of their standard script. However, there’s no need to fret…

What’s the Actual Scenario?

One of the little-known facts about broadband is that it can operate on a single core of a pair of wires. This means that even if one of the two wires is disconnected, the broadband will continue to function, albeit at approximately 70% less speed than usual. The disconnection of one of the wires typically occurs somewhere within the Openreach network. Unfortunately, the best you can do is report this to your service provider.

Precautions to Take

Before doing so, ensure that no damage has occurred to the incoming cable on your property. This step is necessary to avoid incurring a substantial bill.
Consider whether the cable, perhaps entwined with ivy on the side of your house, has been recently trimmed?
Has any work been done on your driveway? Could a worker have accidentally damaged the cable while digging?
Has your pet poodle had another tantrum and chewed through the cable?

If the cable on your property is visibly damaged, it may be more cost-effective to hire a local independent engineer for repairs instead of going through Openreach. We can put you in touch with several across the UK. Feel free to contact us.

A Simple Test

If no physical damage is evident, conducting a basic test is still worthwhile. Detach the front of your master socket and test your incoming line when disconnected from any other devices on your property. This is one of the key benefits of not meddling with your master socket, as we’ve previously discussed. Test from this point back to the Openreach’s network.

If the fault persists? Great! You’ve just confirmed that the problem isn’t on your end. The customer service representative will ask if you’ve performed this test, so it’s worth doing. It’s now up to your provider to resolve this issue.

Standard Warnings – BT Landline not Working

They will caution you about the potential charges for an Openreach call-out if any damage at your end is discovered. This is their standard procedure – try not to be deterred. If you’ve thoroughly checked and tested from the master socket, simply tolerate their scripted warnings and insist on a visit from Openreach. Remember, the call centre staff are only doing their job.  

Locate an Engineer Near You

I hope this article helps shed light on the “phone not working, internet is” situation. Of course it could also be because your virgin landline is not working or sky landline not working too. Unfortunately, we can’t offer a free helpdesk service via email, but if we do answer your query for free, feedback on Google and/or Facebook is appreciated. Feel free to call us with any questions

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