I ran across this Q&A while reading over the ATA 186 FAQ on Cisco’s website:

Q. What if the telephone cord is too short to reach the nearest telephone?

A. Replace the six foot line cord with any RJ11 cord.

Although this may seem funny at first I think that the answer is technically wrong.  Here is how the conversation would go when the customer calls into TAC in regards to this issue:

TAC Engineer 1: Thanks for calling Cisco TAC.  How can I help you?

Customer: I have an ATA 186 and the six foot cord provided doesn’t reach the phone.

TAC Engineer 1: Have you tried rebooting the ATA to see if that resolves the problem?

Customer: Yes and I’ve even tried to update the software load on the ATA but the six foot cord still won’t reach.

TAC Engineer 1: I’m going to need to escalate this case.

TAC Engineer 2: Hello customer!  Let me review the ticket notes and see if I can find a solution.

Customer: Thanks!

TAC Engineer 2: The ATA 186 FAQ states that if the phone can not be reached using the six foot cord provided to replace it with any RJ11 cord.

Customer: Great, I have another RJ11 cord right here!

TAC Engineer 2: Let me know if this solves your problem.

Customer: No it didn’t solve the problem.  The ATA still can’t reach the phone.

TAC Engineer 2: So you replaced the RJ11 cord but you still can’t reach the phone?

Customer: That’s correct.  I replaced the six foot cord that came with the ATA with a three foot cord but it still doesn’t reach.

TAC Engineer 2: D’OH!

So technically “any” doesn’t really work.

I can remember having to deal with a couple real situations simular to this scenario ;)

About Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210:

Brian Dennis has been in the networking industry for more than 22 years, with a focus on Cisco networking for the past 16 years. Brian achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching in 1996, and is currently the only ten year CCIE that holds five CCIE certifications. Prior to working with INE, Brian taught and developed CCIE preparation courses for various well known training organizations. Brian not only brings his years of teaching experience to the classroom, but also years of real world enterprise and service provider experience.

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5 Responses to “A Phone Cord of Infinite Length”

  1. Sean says:

    You forgot the part where they ask you for a show tech and a network topology, and then spend a day trying to sort out your SMARTNet contract.

  2. IPv6Freely says:

    … and the part where they try to give you a solution that has absolutely nothing to do with your question …

  3. That’s funny. I guess whoever wrote the ATA 186 FAQ didn’t realize they would need to expand on “any”.

  4. Hudson says:

    Guys. I told a client to reboot their server and the lady rebooted her monitor and insisted she had rebooted the server…


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