Phone suddenly stopped working but internet fine...

Sep 16, 2018
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I have been trying to resolve a telphone problem for a relative but without success and I wonder whether anyone can throw any light on what the cause of the problem might be.

My relative has a domestic phone and broadband contract with TalkTalk.

The internet works fine but the phone has recently stopped ringing and there is no dialing tone at home - this is the case with or without the filter. Prior to this sudden, unexplained issue with the phone, everything had been working fine for several years with no phone or internet problems at all.

TalkTalk insist that there is no problem with the line.

Things I have tried so far without success:

(1) I have removed the front plate of the NTE5 Master Socket and tried the phone and the filter in the internal 'test socket' (together and separately) but the situation is the same - i.e. the internet is fine but the phone does not ring and there is no dialing tone.

(2) I have checked the wiring connections in the NTE5 Master Socket (A and B) and they were fine - both the blue and the orange 'live' wires were connected securely (the unused green and purple(?) wires are unconnected and don't seem to be an issue).

(3) I have checked both the phone and the filter on another line elsewhere and both of them work fine elsewhere, just not at the address in question.

(4) I have tried the phone with 2 other filters at the address in question but still the problem is the same.

(5) I have also temporarily replaced the existing NTE5 Master Socket with one of my own and re-attached the wiring just as it was before but still the situation is the same - i.e. the internet works fine but the phone does not ring and there is no dialing tone.

(6) I have also checked the connections inside the small, rectangular green junction box just inside the front door where the external drop wire meets the internal drop wire before leading off to the Master Socket about 5 metres away. All that wiring seems to be fine too.

I am puzzled as to how the internet can be fine but the perfectly good phone and filter (as tested elsewhere) have suddenly stopped working.

Surely both the phone and the internet rely on the same two orange and blue live wires that come in from outside?

Any ideas on the possible cause of the problem and a DIY solution? (Naturally, we want to avoid any extortionate call-out charge from the phone/internet company).


David Corkindale
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Jan 7, 2009
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Welcome, David :).

Any way you could test a different phone in that house (rather than that phone in a different house)?

If it still fails, I'd contact TalkTalk and insist they send an engineer round to take a look - as if the master test socket fails with 2 different phones, there isn't much you can do.


Sep 16, 2018
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Thanks for your reply.
My apologies, I forgot to mention in my original post that I have tried two other phones in that house and they don't work either.
We are, as you suggest, going to talk to Talk Talk again to explain everything we have done and from what we have found out the phone requires BOTH of the core wrires to function correctly whereas (so I have been told) the internet will continue to function with only one of the core wires functioning as it should, so it is very likely to be one of Openreach/BT/TalkTalk's wires on their side of the Master Socket that is the problem.
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