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Receive phone calls while connected to the Internet?

Posted on 1998-12-23
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Does anybody know if it is possible to receive phone calls while connected to the Internet (with one line, of course)?;
Does the answer depend on software (which one?) or hardware
(what?, a voice modem?).
My machine is a Pentium II 333/64, running Windows NT4 and Windows 95 (OSR2), and a 56 Kbps data/fax PCI modem
TIA for any help provided.
Season's Greetings !.

Efrain R Portales
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Question by:efrain12
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by:mark2150
ID: 1013975
Umm, if you have a standard phone line, it is *NOT* possible to receive a call while the line is in use. The best you can do is "call waiting" where the tones will bump you off the internet when a voice call arrives. The telephone switching system is in control. There is nothing you can do from your PC in hardware or software to modify the phone co's central office gear. If you are connected to the internet and don't have call waiting or have it blocked (*70) then inbound callers will get a busy signal. If you have voice mail that is set to forward on busy then they'll get routed to the voice mail instead. But think about it, how can the line be used for an inbound voice call when you've got it tied up talking on the internet?

Most telcos offer low cost 2nd lines. Be sure to get a 1+ bar on the line to prevent it from dialing long distance. This will convince the telco's that you're not going to run up a huge bill and they won't deman a huge security deposit. The install charge should also be minimal as there is usually a four-wire circuit coming in to your home with only one pair (red-green) active. The yellow-black pair is most likely already in place and as soon as they activate it at the pole, you'll have a 2nd line available. You'll need to modify the jack (or pay the telco folx to do it) to connect the modem jack to yellow-black instead of red-green. If you wire it backwards you'll get dialtone, but when you push a button the dialtone won't go away. Reverse the wires and it should work. This is *NOT* rocket science.

M

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mark2150 earned 50 total points
ID: 1013976
Oops, meant the above as an ANSWER!

M

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by:rmarotta
ID: 1013977
mark2150,
Good comment......  but the wrong answer.

efrain12,

Question:
"Does anybody know if it is possible to receive phone calls while connected to the Internet (with one line, of course)?"

Answer:
  Yes.  For more information, see 3Com's white paper, here:

http://www.3com.com/nsc/500606.html

Question:
"Does the answer depend on software (which one?) or hardware"

Answer: Both.

Let me know if this helps.

If you find the proposed "answer" doesn't answer your questions, please reject it.

Regards,
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:mark2150
ID: 1013978
Just how are you going to tell the central office that a standard phone line is *NOT BUSY* when it's OFFHOOK?

This isn't a feature that the computer has control over. Now if you're talking ISDN or some other advanced service, then yes, it can walk & chew gum. But a standard telco "local loop" will show as *BUSY* anytime that your modem is active - no matter *WHAT* the software does!

M
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by:mark2150
ID: 1013979
I just checked your reference and it is ISDN. If you read my original post the first line reads:

"... if you have a standard phone line ..."

And ISDN is definately *NOT* that. I took efrain12's question to be with normal modem/computer/telephone line.

Yes, ISDN/ATM et al., can do tricks that POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) cannot. *BUT* my original post was *CORRECT*, a POTS line *CANNOT* do two things at once.

M

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Author Comment

by:efrain12
ID: 1013980
Thanks to both mark2150 and Ralph for their prompt responses.
mark was very thorough with the explanation given; Ralph probably assumed my phone service was an ISDN, but is not.
As of now, I cannot afford the expense of an ISDN service, so I guess I'll have to get used to this annoying issue.
Thanks again.
Regards,

Efrain
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1013981
My comment was the answer for the questions.
Efrain asked if it was *POSSIBLE* to do.
No mention was made about POTS, or what he could afford.

Ralph
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