Dial Tone & Static Problems

First check to see if all of your telephones are hung up. Turn off any dial-up Internet connections. If that doesn't work, try NID Testing or contact MTA Repair.

NID Testing
Find your Network Interface Device (NID). The NID is normally mounted on the exterior of your home or building in the general vicinity of your electric meter. In some cases, such as mobile homes, it is mounted on a 4x4 post. The NID is the telephone company's point of demarcation and where a customer can test their telephone lines. If you do not have a NID, please proceed to Telephone Equipment Testing, below. This is what a NID looks like:

Closed NID
Closed NID
  Open NID
Open NID

Using a screwdriver, loosen the fastener and open the NID cover. Disconnect a modular plug from a test jack. This disconnects the inside, customer-owned portion of the line from the outside telephone company-owned portion of the line. If there are multiple test jacks, you will want to test each of them.

Plug the line cord of a basic telephone (one that does not require any electricity or batteries to operate) into a test jack inside the NID. You are now plugged directly into the telephone company’s portion of the line. If you have dial tone, then dial 611. This is the number for your telephone company’s repair desk. A repair representative will be able to assist you further at this point.

If you hear noisy static or have no dial tone outside at the NID, the trouble could possibly be in telephone company's portion of the line and you would need to contact MTA Repair to report the trouble.

If your telephone has a clear dial tone at a test jack in the NID, then there may be a problem with the customer-owned inside wiring, jacks, and/or telephone equipment/accessories inside your home or building. Proceed to Telephone Equipment Testing.

Until repairs are made, you can place and receive calls by plugging a long line cord into the working test jack at the NID. Just remember to protect the NID from the weather. Once you are finished at the NID, disconnect your testing telephone and securely re-insert the original modular plugs. Finally, close the cover and twist the fastener with a screwdriver until snug.

Telephone Equipment Testing
Unplug all telephones from all inside jacks and electrical outlets (power sources). Remember to first write down any information you may have saved or stored in memory (numbers on Caller ID, Speed Dial, etc). One bad phone can cause the same trouble on any other phones connected to the same line. If any of your phones don’t unplug, contact MTA Repair.

The problem could be caused by one or a combination of telephones or telephone accessories (such as an answering machine, speaker phone, modem, fax machine, splitter, cordless phone, security system, or night bell), please verify that they are each working properly. Follow the warranty instructions that came with your equipment, or contact your equipment retailer.

MTA cannot repair most customer-owned telephone equipment and MTA wire maintenance service covers inside telephone lines and jacks only. Wire maintenance service does not cover your telephones themselves.

If All Else Fails
Try plugging one basic telephone (one that does not require any electricity or batteries to operate) into each of the jacks. If the line is okay when tested with a basic phone, read Telephone Equipment Testing, above. If a basic telephone doesn't work on one or more of your jacks, you may have a wiring or jack problem. You have three options regarding repairs to wiring or jacks:

  1. MTA can fix the problem for you. If you subscribe to our optional wire maintenance service, there will be no charge to repair your jacks or inside wiring. To request repair service contact MTA Repair.
  2. You may hire any independent contractor or home repair expert to repair your jacks or inside wiring.
  3. You have the option of repairing the problem yourself.

© 2012 - 2017 Matanuska Telephone Association, Inc.