Shorted phone lines auto-dialing 911? [Telecom]

Comcast provides the Internet telephone service for three numbers in our large aging house. Three ports on the Comcast modem feed a web of aging twisted pairs that run all around the house, some of them across the roof, some of them in ancient conduits in the concrete slab foundation.

When the massive rainstorm hit the SF Bay Area last week, line A held up fine; line B began developing horrible audio crackling on conversations during the day, then went dead in the early evening; and we didn't observe what happened on line C except that it definitely went dead at some point in the evening.

(The modem ports themselves, if you unplugged the house wiring and plugged in a single phone into each of them in succession, all remained fine.)

The mystery observation was a police car with two nice officers in our driveway in the middle of the first night, reporting a 911 call on line C, and insisting that protocol required that they check directly with the person sleeping in the room where the only phone using line C was connected.

A second 911 call from line C was also logged and transmitted to us by email the following morning, when lines B and C were still dead and remained dead all the following day.

Did Comcast do this? (They say, no way.) Can shorted out lines auto-dial 911? Other hypotheses?

(We have no auto-alarm systems of any kind in our house.)

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A very off-the-wall conjecture, based on my ability (in the past) to "pulse-dial" numbers by carefully timed tapping on the hook switch:

*if* some portion of the local loop for line C were to manifest the sort of audio "crackling" described in the OP for line B, and *if* this crackling were due to circuit opening/shorting, and *if* the timing were just right, so as to emulated the dial- pulses for a 9, a 1, and another 1, then just *maybe* it would ring through as a call to 911 on line C. *Maybe*. More likely not, but I had to offer this. Cheers,

-- tlvp

-- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP

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My VoIP router has pre-programmed short-dial codes in it as defaults, perhaps there is something similar in these boxes calling 911 from a single digit (misinterpreted because of the noise) and then a pause?

-- Regards, David.

David Clayton Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Knowledge is a measure of how many answers you have, intelligence is a measure of how many questions you have.

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David Clayton

This happened to my brother in Calgary a number of years back in his apartment. He picked up the phone and heard a horrible audio crackling. So he hung up and phoned telco repair vai an alternate means.

In the middle of the night the local police service hammered on his door. He answered the door in his underwear and they politely told him the problem. He picked up the phone and the crackly audio was very audible.

As an aside my brother had left a partially dissassembled rifle on the kitchen table. They just looked at it, shrugged and left. Yes, at the time he was single.


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