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There are 2 main types of apartment complex door answerphones. One type has its own phone line and is preprogrammed with your apartment telephone number. When someone in the lobby activates it they can usually hear it get a dial tone and touchtone out the number. It calls out to the selected apartment and is usually answered and a touchtone key pressed to open the door. This type of answerphone does NOT interfere with your apartment's DSL signal - it acts just like any other incoming phone call.
The other type of answerphone is connected in series with your phone line (and all the other apartment phone lines in the building.) This type can most definitely mess up your DSL signal. You most often find this type of answerphone in larger apartment or condo complexes, though they can be in small ones as well. A telling sign is if you get a special ring on your phone, such as a fast ring-ring when your code is entered in the lobby answerphone. This type can also beep at you while you are using your phone to let you know someone is downstairs. That beep will also likely cause you to lose your DSL sync momentarily. This type can degrade the quality of your DSL signal to the point of being much slower then you could otherwise get. It may also cause hum and static on your line as the DSL signal is altered by the electronics of the answerphone that does not know what to do with the signal.
The fix is to install a DSL filter/splitter between the phone companies demarcation point (the Network Interface Device, NID, sometimes called a NetPop) and the enterphone system. Then to run a home run or use a spare pair to your apartment to bring the clean DSL signal up. How you get this done will have to be discussed with the building management, as the phone companies work ends at the NID, and usually a communications contractor handles the enterphone. Check with your management before calling the phone company or trying to do it yourself.
- Riss_Centaur 1/29/05