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Why can’t I get a dial tone?

If you’re not getting a dial tone, anyone calling you may also be getting a busy signal. You could have a receiver off the hook, a cordless telephone with dead batteries, a malfunctioning answering machine, or some other problem with your equipment, including inside wiring.

If you have one phone:

  1. Check to ensure the phone is on the hook.
  2. Unplug the phone.
  3. With the telephone unplugged, call your telephone number from another phone. If you get a ringing signal, the telephone set likely needs to be repaired or replaced. If you still get a busy signal, call Northwestel repair at 1 888 423-2333.

If you have two or more phones:

  1. Check to ensure all phone receivers are on their hooks.
  2. Unplug all the phone devices one at a time (other phones, cordless phones, answering machines, computer modems or fax machines).
  3. After unplugging all phone devices, wait for five minutes. Now test a devise by plugging it back in and checking for a dial tone. Continue to test the remaining devices, one by one, waiting five minutes each time.
  4. Still no dial tone? Call Northwestel at 1 888 423-2333.

If you have Cable Home phone:

  1. Make sure that your multifunction cable modem is powered on. In the event of a power failure, the battery of your digital phone modem will take over for approximately 8 hours.
  2. Verify what lights are on in the front of the eMTA Home Phone modem
  3. If you are able to access your Home Phone modem, check to make sure that the phone line connecting your home’s telephone wiring to the Home Phone modem is securely plugged into the jack labelled “Tel 1” on the back of the terminal.

Check your Network Interface Device (NID)

Many buildings have a NID installed on the outside wall. If you have a NID, you’ll find it outside near your hydro line or meter. It looks like a metal box and can be opened by loosening the bottom screw and releasing the snap (as shown on the cover).

Once you’ve located your NID, disconnect a phone that you believe is working, and follow the simple instructions on the inside cover of the NID. By following the instructions, you can determine if the problem is with your inside wiring, or if it is a problem with Northwestel’s network.

If the tests reveal that the problem is with your inside wiring, you can save the cost of having a Northwestel technician visit your home unnecessarily.

If the tests reveal the problem is with Northwestel’s network, please call 1 888 423-2333.

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