Call Waiting is a useful facility to have when you are using your phone to make ordinary voice phone calls and you are expecting an important call. You will be notified of the incoming call so that you can put your current caller on hold and not miss the new call.
Unfortunately, Call Waiting doesn't work when you are using your phone line to connect your computer to the internet. You wont hear the signal that indicates you have another call but your computer will and your computer will probably interpret this as a signal to disconnect your internet session. Not only wont you get to answer the incoming call but you will need to re-establish your internet session and redo whatever you were doing when the line cut out. Just what you need when you are 14 minutes through a 15 minute download.
So what can you do about it? Well the first thing that you need to do is to ensure that Call Waiting is deactivated during your internet session and re-established after your internet session is finished. The way that you do this varies from country to country and phone company to phone company. We are located in Australia so the following codes are specific to Australia. If you live elsewhere then the same principle applies but you will have to search elsewhere for the specific codes.
You probably received a booklet with your phone or phone service that gives codes for activating and deactivating Call Waiting. With Telstra these codes are #43# and *43#. You could use these codes respectively to manually turn Call Waiting off before you connect and back on again you disconnect.
This is not quite what we want when we are connecting to the internet, we want to be able to disable Call Waiting during our internet session and not have to remember to re-establish it after we finish the session. There is a really easy way to do this, we just add a special code on the front of the phone number that we put into the dial-up screen for connecting to the internet. The following codes when added to the front of the phone number will disable Call Waiting for the duration of the following phone number only with Call Waiting being automatically reactivated when the call is complete. The code to use if your phone service is with Telstra is *44, if your service is with Optus then the code is #87, and if your line uses faxstreamduet then add the code *11*3#. If you are with a different phone company then you will need to contact your phone company to find out what code that they use for this.
This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.