Is there anything I can do to improve the reliability of my home telephone, which uses a land line?
The problem is that it only works a few weeks at best before the line goes dead. There will be no dial tone, and either a faint hum and crackle or no sound at all that I can hear. Sometimes it comes back for a day or so, then it vanishes again. I ask Verizon to fix it, and it takes weeks for them to get to the job - one time it took almost 3 months. They say they have more repairs than they can keep up with. In any case, when they fix it, it will work a few days, maybe a few weeks, and then we start all over again. They usually say the problem is wiring on the poles between me and the exchange, but twice they have said the problem is bad wiring between my house and the pedistal (which I understand is the distribution point on the ground, in a little green box the size of a wastebasket, that fans out from a utility pole to the several closest houses). Twice they have placed a new cable between my house and the pedistal, so we’re on the third cable now, and the phone hasn’t worked in over a week.
As a consequence I usually do not have a land-line telephone available at my house. Unfortunately cellular coverage is very weak here, and though several of us have a cell phone, they only work occasionally at my house, and that’s if you go outdoors and stand on the far end of the high front deck, and the tree leaves are dry or missing. People in this area complain about unavailability and compare notes, and Verizon is generally the one people say works best, and that’s what I have, but it still is maybe half successful.
I don’t know why this should be so difficult. I’ve lived in more rural areas that still had telephone service. My guesses are that there is a secret missile silo or something under my house that messes with it, or Verizon has decided residential land lines are a doomed business for which they are going to stop infrastructure investment, or possibly there is some trick to being a telephone customer that some kind Doper will finally let me in on.