The phone box is located inside my house. It had listed on it there were 3 phone lines in the box .

Since I moved in never had a home phone . Just went to get Internet service needing a phone line . Checked out my phone jacks in the house there is no dial tone . I looked inside the box . There are 6 jacks inside the box . Wires on several of them . Line 1 has several RED and Green wires on the terminal . Others have BLACK and Yellow.

I will attach pictures of the mess in the box .

Shouldn't I have dial tone on one of those lines. If I only have a single line how do I rewire the box .

  • 4
    Do you understand you have to pay for phone service in order to get the phone company to turn on phone service so you can have an active line. Internet over phone lines may or may not be a service your local phone company provides. First thing to do is call the phone company.
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 25, 2020 at 22:02
  • When you say Internet needing a phone line, do you mean dial up or DSL?
    – Machavity
    Apr 25, 2020 at 22:03
  • I do have a home line . I had to get that when I signed up with ATT to get the internet service . I was able to get the internet with wireless router . Did not use the house phone jacks . I tried to switch internet to another company , they said I need a home phone line . That is when tried to use phone jacks for the modem ,found out they did not work .
    – Mike G
    Apr 26, 2020 at 0:10
  • With ATT they make you get a home phone line . It wasn't DSL . It is high speed internet router . No need to plug the box into phone line .
    – Mike G
    Apr 26, 2020 at 0:13
  • @MikeG Well that would have been important info to include in your question. But you only said "Since I moved in never had a home phone" Perhaps you can use the edit button to better explain what your real situation is and what your goal is so someone can give you the CORRECT answer.
    – Alaska Man
    Apr 26, 2020 at 2:21

2 Answers 2


The box on your house marks the end of where the phone company services. That wire in the box will run to a nearby box or pole, where the phone company has their equipment. If you do not have service with them, I would not expect you to have any dial tone, as it was likely disconnected there.

If there is a problem with this existing wire it will be fixed during service Install.

  • I have internet service for over 2 years now . ATT makes you add a home phone line with internet service. The router I have does not need to plug into a phone jack. I just was switching over to Verizon for internet ,told me the same thing get a home phone line with there DSL internet service. Could not hook up the modem to the phone jacks ,no dial tone . Canceled the service with them ,until I can see what is wrong with the wiring or service. I still have ATT internet ,no dial tone on anything .
    – Mike G
    Apr 26, 2020 at 0:22

Since you say you have a phone line, somewhat recently (past couple of decades) installed, you should have a Telephone Network Interface Device box, which is typically located on the exterior of the house and labelled as such. The "network" referred to in this case is not "the internet" but rather the "telephone landline network" which can be used as one way to get to "the internet." Any wiring inside is very unlikely to be the telephone company's for something like 35 years now. While you may have a box inside that used to belong to the phone company, and your house may once have had 3 phone lines, this is very unlikely to be the active service in place now. It may or may not be connected to the active service.

The Telephone Network Interface Device is also called the "demarc" (demarcation) point. It has a portion intended to be opened by the customer (you) with normal tools, and a portion intended to be opened only by the company with special tools. Inside the customer part there are telephone jacks (which may have lines to the inside of the house plugged into them) - if you plug a phone into those jacks, dial tone indicates that you have service. If you don't have dial tone inside, you have a problem with "customer owned wire" and fixing it is on you. If you don't have dial tone at the interface, and you are paying for a landline, that's on the phone company. If you never attached a phone to the line you had, it may be that the lines into the house were never connected to the interface box when it was turned on.

In most areas it is still unusual for there to be access to more than one landline telephone provider, despite rule changes that were supposed to make this possible - so I am a bit dubious that you had an actual landline from AT&T and yet Verizon is offering you DSL (which uses an actual landline) at the same house. You may have had some sort of "internet telephone service with a landline interface on it" but it's really hard to say if you never actually used it, which obviates asking such pesky questions as "did it work when power was out" (a real landline will, unless the phone line is out.)

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