My Garden ~ a Kiwi's take on life

Life is a lot like a garden

Copper Phone Wire and Landline Static Woes



One pair of copper phone wires. One pair of copper wires lead from a roadside junction box in a trench across Neighbour’s paddock to connect with the landline jack point in our house. One pair of copper phone wires to transmit a lot of information to our multi-generational household. A copper wire connection to bundle data to our fixed line on an unlimited broadband plan to feed data greedy devices.   

Through inertia, or by habit, we kept the fixed landline should we ever need to connect to an exchange in an adverse event. You never know. We almost tolerate occasional cross-line local calls and atmospheric interference to reception. Crackling noises disrupt our phone conversations. So last century, I hear you say.  

Himself and I are Baby Boomers who grew up in homes that had party phone lines and whose parents dialled the local telephone manual exchange to make a toll call within New Zealand.  Mum’s international call to her mother and family in England on Christmas Day had to be booked in advance and was limited to three minutes. The only extraneous noises over the phone then were the sounds of weeping. Houses were linked to overhead phone wires carried on telephone poles across the countryside to connect communities through a system of local phone manual exchanges.

Junction Box

Teleco’s junction box  near the house is the destination for the copper phone wire that comes across the paddock, via a trench, from the roadside junction box.

About three years ago, Neighbour’s Tenant got busy with a small digger and scraped a bonfire pit. Snap! Our link to the world stopped. Putting a mobile phone to work, we entered a marathon Q & A session with Teleco Customer Service Operator. Have you checked for a loose connection or dirt in the jack? How many phones are connected? How do you know your phone wire has been broken? If our technician has to enter your property you will have to pay. Do you understand? The technician came out from town with his fault tracking device that lead him from the roadside phone junction box to the bonfire pit. After digging around, he found the broken copper phone wire ends and made the repair. Teleco CSO phoned our landline and proudly announced through the static, “fault fixed”. Grandsons of the house did not care. They were reunited with X-Box.  

Junction Box
Checking the copper phone wire ends in a junction box near the house.

A year later, we had a similar dialogue with Teleco CSO. Neighbouring Owner returned home. He felled some trees and burned the rubbish on the bonfire pit site scraped by his now-departed tenant. Again,  we were disconnected. Again, Teleco repaired the damaged copper wire. The crackling noise on our landline persists.

Last week, Teleco posted a glossy brochure to tell us they have cell towers waiting to deliver superfast wireless rural broadband to our home. We will not need a landline or a phone jack. Our lives will become more enjoyable, transformed by hours streaming data. Talk to us, Teleco says.

We acknowledge it is time for these Kiwi Baby Boomers to make the change. Before signing up to an exchangeless future, we will be the ones who ask the questions. How indestructible are Teleco’s cell towers? Can Teleco guarantee there will be no static during our phone calls?  


Author: Jenny

My garden is where I lose myself, or as Himself likes to tell others, I lose either my coffee mug or wine glass. Well at least I put them on a gatepost so they are easily found. As I see it, we are here on this place to respect and to preserve nature, not to develop the land. I love how the totara trees stand in silent witness to our human activity. They keep me honest. I love to wander along the stream bank. I like being able to grow fruit and vegetables. I enjoy green open space. My son challenged me to write a blog using my garden diaries to start. Writing a blog is quite different to my diary scribblings. It is for a different audience. In every post, I have to make a conscious effort to get free of an academic style of writing. I write about things I know and do in my everyday life. I am not a photographer but the images I use are taken by me. I believe this adds veracity to my voice in each post. Learning to setup and to manage a blog has been a major effort and remains a work in progress. Who knows where this will lead. Himself and I thought we had retired, about to define this older phase of our life together. But family commitments continue. As it happens, I share this place with Himself, son and grandsons and living creatures who live charmed existences. I watch on as they serve as actors weaving their ways across the stage of daily life. Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It: All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; Always, there's something to write about life lived as I know it.

2 thoughts on “Copper Phone Wire and Landline Static Woes

  1. It is slightly humorous to discover that the same problems exist on the other side of the world.

  2. Yes – it is a global thing.

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