Forum Discussion

wyattphx's avatar
New Contributor
6 years ago

Must install a modem for basic phone service

On Friday 5/18 I was working from home & my broadband went down, including phone.  Viewing the app told me there was a service issue in the area I saved a screen shot lol) but when I called an hour later the phone rep said no, no service issue and she proceeded to get me back online.  When I mentioned no dial tone she said something to the effect of yes, I see there might be an issue & wanted to schedule a tech to visiting.  I declined, but by Monday there was still no dial tone so I checked via online chat.  The online tech advised a modem was now required for digital phone.  I had been getting repeated emails and door hangers all spring about "upgrading my equipment" which I ignored but then checked to see if it was required.  I was told repeatedly NO, that NO upgrade was required to maintain my service.  However, the online tech yesterday said, YES, a modem is now required.  I'm beyond annoyed - I DO NOT WANT yet another electrical device that I have to plug in just to get basic phone service.  Worse, I purposely asked for month and was told it was NOT required.  Where on earth did this disconnect (no pun intended) happen and why would it not have been made crystal clear that I can no longer maintain an analog line?  I don't even use the *** basic tier of tv I'm paying for so I'm ready to chuck it all.

9 Replies

  • Bruce's avatar
    Honored Contributor III

    For the past 10-15 years, Cox provided Digital Telephone Service.  We didn't (don't) need a modem to receive the service because a Network Interface Unit (NIU) outside our homes sent the digital signal to our analog telephones.

    The NIU is old technology because it's Circuit Switched.  An Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter (eMTA) is new technology because it's Packet Switched.  For Cox, Packet Switched will be a more efficient network.  For us, Packet Switched will be more telephone features, such as better call-blocking.

    Cox needs to migrate their telephone service from the NIU outside our homes to an eMTA inside our homes.  However, it appears Cox has encountered some obstacles during the migration.

    Until your Friday 5/18, I was like you.  I'm ignoring their emails, door hangers and letters and still receiving telephone service.  My cutoff date was six months ago.  When Cox finally pulls the plug on my NIU, I'll get the eMTA.  It appears Cox finally pulled your plug.  When your broadband went down, it was probably Cox reprovisioning your NIU, neighborhood node and headend.

    As far as the internal "disconnect" at Cox, I'd give the reps some leeway.  Although they're aware of the migration, they probably don't know the specific cutoff dates.  As of now, does everyone NEED an eMTA?  No.  In the future, will everyone need an eMTA?  Yes.  When will I need an eMTA?   We're not crystal clear because of some obstacles.

    I too will not appreciate another Cox box.  I could get an all-in-one Cox box (Cable Modem, eMTA, router) but that'll incur another rental fee.  No thanks.  Cox has to freely issue an eMTA and its electricity would be cheaper than a monthly fee.

    • COX_VICTIM's avatar
      New Contributor

      "some obstacles" is to put it lightly!! We have been without land lines for 3 weeks since they pulled the plug. Tech spent 4.5 hours yesterday at my house on the phone to India because he could not get their "upgrade" to work!! Each new failure required India to "open a new ticket" and wait for it to get approved before he could call back. Tech finally gave up and left. After he left we were not only without phones but with out cable TV in our master bedroom. This is a cluster and they should NOT have pulled the plug if they were unable to get their new system to work!! Plus I was left with a massive cable cord and a huge box...... 

      • NicholeC's avatar
        I'm sorry to learn of the service troubles you're experiencing. This is certainly not what we want for you. Are you still without service at this time? If you're still experiencing any trouble, please feel free to email my team with your name and address at

        Thank you,
    • DJV's avatar
      New Contributor II

      Well, this was my response to the same issue:



      I need clarity please?


      1. What does this “most advanced phone equipment available” do? Does it do more than make phone calls?
      2. My current phone does not require electricity, a coaxial connection or a modem that connects to the wires in my home, so how is this improved and more advanced?
      3. Per the COX telephone representative, 911 will not know my location…huh!!!! That takes about 10 steps back. My current system, 911 knows exactly where I live.
      4. The new advanced system will only work for 4-8 hours during a power outage? Huhh, what, my current system will work for years during a power outage. How can this be advanced.
      5. The new advanced system requires a backup battery, yet you are going to charge for that, yet, I don’t need a backup battery today… Say What!
      6. The new advanced system uses a modem that will eventually require firmware updates, prone to hacking, has an IP address, etc, etc. How is this advanced…. This is a telephone, it’s just a phone, so why all this extra equipment to run a phone.


      Lastly, a few weeks back the COX network to include cable, VIOP and internet were down for hours, what do you do now? You cannot make a phone call to 911 if you need help? My current copper phone line system worked during that outage, and you call this “advanced”.


      Clarity please, as this makes no sense to me.

      • COX_VICTIM's avatar
        New Contributor

        Exactly!! This "upgrade" is a "downgrade" and only benefits Cox. Good news is made us decide we don't need our land lines after living without them and enjoying not been harrassed all night by political calls and the IRS from India! We are moving in the next 60 days and when we do we will cancel our land lines - oh - sorry - cox informed me there aren't any "land lines" anymore.......we will cancel our "modem" phone. I suggest everyone consider whether they need a "modem" phone.........I'm sure you already have a cell that works just fine........

  • CarolLM's avatar
    Former Moderator
    Hi Wyattphx, as you noted Cox has been sending notifications via email browser alerts, door hangers and letters about the telephone equipment update requirement. You may visit for more information. I can review your account to see what's going on if you'll private message your complete address and account name to Facebook, Twitter direct message or email to and include a link to this conversation. We want to get your telephone service working as soon as possible. -Thanks, Carol