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Dumb question - can I use my phone wall jacks?

New Poster

Dumb question - can I use my phone wall jacks?

I know this is going to sound really stupid....

I have not had a home phone (a wall plug in phone) for 10 years.   However, my house has all kinds of phone jacks installed in the walls - nearly one in every room.

I recently signed up for a bundle that added Xfinity Voice telephone service (saving my $30 bucks a month so it was a no brainer).   Now, I'm trying to figure out the phone thing.

Do I just plug phones in to my existing wall jacks and I have service?

My current cable modem is down in the basement attached to the wi-fi router.   IF I'm seeing things correctly online, I'm supposed to replace that modem with the new one they shipped me and then plug in my hard phone to it???????  

The unspoken issue here is....  a phone tethered to a modem in the basement is useless.

OR do I keep my cable modem where it is and then use this phone modem thing in some other location?

Sorry to bug you guys on this - but I refuse to speak with anyone who doesn't have a US accent.  Call me prejudice - but I frankly can't understand a blasted word of their call center staff.

Diamond Problem Solver

Re: Dumb question - can I use my phone wall jacks?

The main thing is to disconnect the incoming service at the network interface box from the outside line from the old phone company to your inside wiring, without this disconnect you will have all kinds of issues.  


Since everyone's house is wiring differently, most installations end up placing the telephony modem (either a eMTA telephony modem or gateway) in a room where the computer is located, the room would have a existing telephone jack in the wall that connects to the rest of the inside wiring telephony jacks.  Then just use a telephone cord from the telephony modem to the jack in the wall.  If all the wiring is still connected together, the jacks will work.  There is always a possibility of inside wiring getting chewed up, water damage, or corrorded jacks causing non working jacks, static or shorted connections.  All connections, splices & jacks need to be clean and tight.


If your going to put the new telephony modem in the basement, then you need to get a telephone line run from the location of the modem and get it connected to your existing inside wiring, hopefully it's close by.  You only need to use the blue / white or red / green pair for a single line hookup.  This is totally dependent on how and where your inside phone wiring is run as each home is different.


If you do a online search for VOIP connections to phone wiring, you will find diagrams and hints on how to do it.

New Poster

Re: Dumb question - can I use my phone wall jacks?


My brain is starting to fire on all neurons - so I might be understanding this.

1) Disconnect the outside line in to my house at the phone junction box.  Even though I don't have an existing service - that action just serves to isolate my house - making it a closed unit.

2) Once I have a closed unit - I can backwards wire the system!  Meaning I use an existing phone wall jack as an INPUT jack from the new intenet/phone modem that Xfinity sent me.  (And I do have several existing phone jacks in the basement to make that happen).  At that point, all of my existing wall jacks should become live (to plug in a phone)

Q:   If my basic understanding is OK - give me a thumbs up or a "you're on the right track" (if not a correction is appreciated)

Q:  Do I have to have a digital phone - or will one of my old touch tone phones work?  (Remember, its been ten years since I had a house phone - so the phones are at least that old)