partly offtopic, but need feed back now.

Jon Radel jon at
Tue Jan 12 05:19:37 UTC 2010

Gary Kline wrote:

> according to him, on each one copper circuit, there were two unused wires that
> could be used for a second phone number.  so that afternoon I had a dialup line
> and the house had a voice line.

Or more....

Each POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) line takes one copper pair.  The 
wiring inside your house probably has two pairs, which can either be 
used for 2 lines or for 1 line plus power to light the dial of your 
Princess phone.  If your wiring is of the right vintage you might even 
have the old transformer for providing the power dangling somewhere. The 
wiring up to your house probably has some even number of pairs.  I think 
I have a 4-pair and a 6-pair at this point, though most are no longer 
used (I'm down to a single POTS and a single T1, way down from my high 

> if I'm not mistaken, there are some Qwest people amongst this group.  I would
> like to know if what the telephone installer told me 14 years ago was true, and
> also, if it is likely unchanged.

Well, pretty much unchanged other than that all the local exchange 
carriers that actually run copper wire to houses are eager to get out of 
that business to one extent or another.  I don't follow this closely, 
but I think AT&T is the only one to have actually gone public with a 
request to the FCC to set a date when they can drop POTS lines forever.

> at any rate, within four hours, the cable company will take ownership of the
> second voice line.  I think it is just one physical circuit split in two by a
> clever tech.

Hmmmm....if you're doing the standard thing, and porting your phone 
number to the cable company, they'll have to put some equipment of their 
own on or in your house.  They don't really take ownership of the 
"line", just the number.

See if you can get the tech to make real sure that your two inside pairs 
are well isolated so maybe you can get rid of the problem of ring 
voltage leaking from one to the other.  He'll probably just detach one 
of your inside pairs from Qwest and hook it up to his box, assuming he 
doesn't just wave his hands and tell you plug your phone in "here" and 
go away.


--Jon Radel
jon at
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