dead or alive

I'm giving some thought to getting a landline for phone service and/or DSL, I have no Verizon or Earthlink service right now. There's 3 phone lines coming into my apartment but 2 of them are cut (one outdoors and one inside my apartment). I have a few questions:

1) Since I can't follow the total path of the third line outside my apartment how can I tell if it is cut and dead too or if it is active and ready to use? Can I find that out myself or can only Verizon do that? I plugged a phone into the jack in my apartment that the third line goes to but it was dead.

2) If only Verizon can determine this, will they charge me for checking or would they do this for free?

3) If so, approximately how much would that be?

Thank you.