Albany Creek, Queensland, Australia
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Do you guys do voodoo on the phone lines?

Do you guys do voodoo on the phone lines?

The other day there was a little bit of network weirdness as I call it.

I awoke to some alarms on one of the phone systems we manage indicating the SIP trunk had dropped out but they were from the carrier only - normally the phone system gives an alarm first and then the carrier some time later.

The fact that the system had not sent an alarm suggested the Internet was down. I called their IT provider who were able to ping the router and the phone system indicating the internet was Ok and the phone system seemed to be working OK.

I was preparing to head down there when I made a test call and it rang through OK. It had fixed itself which I don’t like because it had obviously dropped for a reason. Several days later it did drop out properly due to a carrier fault on their Ethernet over Copper circuit.

Spending a day in the office I had a call from another customer to say they could receive calls but could not call out on their SIP trunk. Due to their odd network configuration with the Wi-Fi on a different subnet to the wired network, they had to take a laptop to the router so I could access the phone system.

On accessing the system it all looked OK with registration requests going out and being acknowledged. The customer did admit that they had run out of credit on their 4G prepaid SIM that’s running the lines so presumably when the trunk came back after they put more credit on, it had not registered properly. It was simply a case of forcing it out of and back into service again to fix the problem.

The last one was a site that has had persistent problems lately and the contact said “do you guys and the carriers get together and do voodoo on the phone lines periodically? They have 7 sites and 3 had line problems.

Again the SIP trunk was down but I was unable to remotely access the system so I had to go to site to investigate. When I arrived about 30 mins later the trunk was back up with no other intervention and the log showed it last dropped registration back on the morning of the 31st of October. Maybe some issue with the routing in carrier-land.

The lack of connectivity was puzzling although they had had an Internet provider change recently. Tracing the cable through saw it go into the ceiling space upstairs and then go no further - it was not plugged into anything! It was a very long cable so I was able to run it down the same pathway as another cable and plug it into an existing switch. Why the cable was unplugged was a puzzle because the ceiling tiles were painted to the metal T-bars and had to be cut loose. The customer provided the answer: they had IT problems with one of the PC’s in the workshop and somebody had run another cable although why they removed the link to the phone system is unclear.

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