Second question first. Not a believer until I see this working more than a couple of days (non-stop, actually).
Steve, is your phone service ground attached to your house electrical ground or is it tied to it's own private grounding rod? I'm wondering if your change has caused the two grounds to become equalized because the phone wire is now acting as the copper that ties them together (since you tie to electrical ground through the UPS). The 22-gauge phone wire is not thick enough to provide any kind of safety protection, but it could be enough to make the potential "correct."
So Steve, are you a believer in grounding?
Phone service is via an Innomedia VOIP box connected to a DC power supply plugged into my house wiring. None of the phone lines touch an outside phone wire. Verizon removed all wires to the street when they installed my FIOS service and replaced it with a single strand of fiber.