Cisco SPA 525G2 phones keep losing connectivity

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My phone system is causing me major problems.  I believe that it is possibly an ISP problem, but I cannot say that for sure; further, assuming that it is an ISP problem, I cannot get anyone with the ISP (Spectrum) competent enough to fix it.  

Here is my attempted brief explanation:

All of my phones are Cisco 525G2.  Four of them are at my primary office, and the fifth is at my home office.  The home office has remained connected for quite some time without any complaints to speak of.  The four phones in my office, on the other hand, are frequently loosing connectivity.  They go from all five lines being solid green to some or all of the five lines going to either a flashing or solid orange.  Considering that my home phone is working fine but my four office phones are causing me problems, I concluded that it is probably an ISP issue.  

This problem has surfaced mysteriously and without explanation.  To elaborate, the phones worked flawlessly for months (probably around 18 to 24 months).  Then, suddenly about four to eight weeks ago I started experiencing the previously mentioned problem without any changes having been made on my end.  As of today, it is a constant recurring problem.  Nothing stays connected.  I am constantly unplugging my phones and plugging them back in; this usually works but not always.   When it does work, the fix does not last long.  

Spectrum is sending out a technician to work on the issue tomorrow, but I fear and expect that they are going to point the finger at RingCentral.  RingCentral, of course, is going to point the finger at Spectrum.    

I just cannot comprehend how this could, all of a sudden start happening.  It is random and totally arbitrary.  I suspect that Spectrum changed a setting in the modem but trying to pinpoint that is nearly impossible.     

I am at a loss.  This issue has crippled my office for the last several weeks.Any suggestions at all would be greatly appreciated.  
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Jason Spindler

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Posted 3 months ago

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Brandon, Champion

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Do you know how to run a simple ping test?  If you could do that from a machine in your office and correlate packet loss with the same time the phones go out I think you could feel pretty confident that it is an ISP issue.
(Edited)
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Jason Spindler

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So I am finding the IP address on each of the phones and then pinging them when the phones are down...am I understanding you correctly?
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Brandon, Champion

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No I meant something like (from Windows): ping -t sip.ringcentral.com and/or ping -t 8.8.8.8. 

It would run in a command window and you could notice packet loss at the same time as the phones go down.
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Jason Spindler

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I am not sure if this addresses your suggestion or not, but I do note that my internet remains active when the phones go down. In other words, I can still utilize Google Chrome and other internet-based apps while the phones are down.
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Brandon, Champion

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That is basically what I was getting at, but a short outage could affect phones and not be noticed during normal web browsing.  I think you need to get a network engineer/tech to your office to help out, honestly.  Or just keep kicking Spectrum to troubleshoot and replace equipment, etc.  

It could end up being something like Abdul suggested though where maybe the Spectrum provided modem/router had an update and changed a timer or setting that is causing this.

It sounds like you have no firewall or router of your own and that is generally not a great network design even for a small business.  Ideally you want your Spectrum internet in a bridged mode and a decent business class firewall that you or an IT vendor can manage for you.  Something like Cisco Meraki MX, for example.

Good luck.
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Abdul Majeed

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IP phones need to regular register with ring central. Looks like your ISP provider may have some network changes which is timing out registration.To prove this need to do some wireshark traces and see what the error code is in the messaging.
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Jason Spindler

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I have never done Wireshark.  I assume that these error codes are something that I am going to be able to relay to my ISP to fix the problem?
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Brandon, Champion

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Abdul is right and this would surely give you the most reliable data, but if you have never used it you probably want to call an IT tech/company to help you.
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Jason Spindler

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Also, while my modem / router / switch configuration should not be the problem (or else it would not have worked successfully for 18 to 24 months), is there anyway to eliminate the potential issue with the ISP, which is Spectrum?  For example, right now, I have some network cables running into my modem and some network cables running into the switch.  Could I bypass any problems caused by the ISP by having all phones ran into the switch?  I would do it right away, but I have already used all outlets on the switch. 

To make matters even more complicated, the network cables are ran up through my drywall and into an attic and then dropped down into where the modem / router / switch are located.  Because of this, I cannot easily say what cable goes to what device.  
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Abdul Majeed

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One way to prove whether the issue was with  ISP is connect a small POE switch directly to router instead of to your existing switch. Connect one phone to the POE switch and see if  registers ? If it does then ISP network ok and problem local network. Fails to register the issue on ISP network. 
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Mike, Official Rep

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Jason,  Here's another option.  If you have time, run a PingPlotter and save the results and show them to the ISP tech when he arrives.  Also, you are welcome to post them here for us to take a look.  PingPlotter is basically a more sophisticated "ping" or traceroute that can reveal network issues.  Follow the steps on this page:  Running PingPlotter to isolation of QoS issues.

If you are seeing latency and/or packet loss somewhere between your phone and the RingCentral, your ISP should be able to fix it.  If the report comes back clean definitely open up a case with us so we can assist. 

Mike
(Edited)