We knew one thing going in when we bought the house here in Goodlettsville: that we would be living in a coverage hole with just about every cellular carrier. The thing with the terrain here is that it’s in a hilly area that are basically the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Radio signals really prefer to have line-of-sight from antenna to antenna.

If I want one bar of cellular I can hike up the hill behind my house and with a bit of luck I could make a call.

What we also knew was that the iPhones we were using had Wi-Fi calling (AT&T calls it HD Voice). Since we have high-speed internet here we are and I can set up a robust Wi-Fi network we were set.

Except that we weren’t.

Immediately upon arriving I set up the internet from Comcast (the only folks who serve my house, so don’t bother complaining) and set up a mesh network of Google WiFi access points. My phone attached and I was able to make phone calls just fine. So was Jackie. It was all rainbows and unicorns.

En showed up and her phone basically said “oops, something went wrong.”

Her SIM card was from an old, old, old iPhone 5 or so. It worked so no reason to change, eh? Well, that old card for some reason couldn’t be enabled for Wi-Fi calling. No problem. A quick swing by the AT&T store and a new SIM was issued. She was able to get on Wi-Fi calling and all was well.

Except it wasn’t.

Within a few minutes, my phone was kicked off the AT&T Wi-Fi calling system. I reset my network settings and reattached. Then Ennie was kicked off. It was 100% reproducible.

Next trip to AT&T.

The local folks said they couldn’t fix anything and to call 611, the AT&T support. That escalated to advanced support. Things were reset. It looked like it would work.

Except it didn’t.

Another trip to AT&T. In theory we didn’t have to go to AT&T, but figured that is we needed hardware help we would at least be there.

Another call. Another escalation. More pausing and reading the lengthy correspondence. More resets. My phone’s ceuular was bricked — not it couldn’t even connect to cellular. The rep suggested that we swap SIM cards on my phone this time. I got in the queue to get support locally while on the phone with the level-2 tech. Anthony from the AT&T store descended on us. Anthony seems to be someone from corporate and he asked, basically, WTF are you asking for a SIM? Why did you ask for an EID when that’s likely what bricked it. He popped in a new SIM because the phone rep effectively killed the original one. Without really consulting with the tech be nuked the account’s features and rebuilt them all while rolling his eyes at the problem.

And it worked.

Finally.

Thanks to Anthony at our local store.