Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]

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         I am looking at a device that is a UPS for providing backup
power to my network devices (cable or DSL modem, router, VOIP devices,
switches, etc.).  It keeps a home network in service in the event of a
power outage.  I looked up the power requirements for each of the
three devices I would need to provide backup power to.  They totaled
101 watts.

         It is made by APC.  The model number is BE600M1.  You can
find it on the Best Buy Web site.  It provides 600VA and has seven AC
receptacles for your network devices to get power from.  That is six
times the power and over twice the number of receptacles I will
actually need for my three critical devices.  So it will allow for
future network expansions or equipment upgrades.  The cost is really
quite modest considering what it will do.  My goal is to keep my VOIP
service operating in the absence of commercial power (backup power for
my Arris cable modem, Cisco 880 series router, and Grandstream HT814
VOIP terminal adapter).

        As I use VOIP (Callcentric) for my home telephone service, I
would lose my phone service were there a power outage at my apartment
complex [without having a device like this].

        I spoke with my ISP (Cox Communications).  I asked if that if
there was a neighborhood outage would I lose connectivity?  I told him
I would want to know because I was considering getting this device to
preserve my service.  Obviously keeping my devices running during a
power outage would be useless if my ISP loses connectivity anyway.

        At first he said, "As far as I know" that the site would go
down.

        I told him that "As far as I know" means he does not know.  I
asked him how we could find out for sure.

        He put me on hold for a short time.  When he returned to the
phone, he told me that if there were an area power outage that
affected their site in my area that connectivity would be lost.  They
would then immediately dispatch a technician to the site.  Of course,
that would be absolutely futile if there were no commercial power
available and no means to provide backup power in its absence.

       Since so many people rely on the Internet for all kinds of
communications, this seems archaic.  Supposing there was a medical or
other serious emergency and you could not use your VOIP service to
call 911?  Or connectivity to your burglar alarm or medical devices
were interrupted at a time when those services were most needed?

       If not a generator, then how about a battery bank that could
hold power for six to twenty-four hours?

        I think our ISPs need to think about the issue of power
failures now and take action to prevent services failures that would
result.  Maybe some of them have.  But [if I can believe their
technical support representative], Cox has not.

        The Internet is no longer just for amusement.  It hasn't been
for a very long time.  It is the primary way we communicate in the
world today.  Most of us absolutely depend upon it for many things.
Reliability is a must and more so for some than others.

        The device will still preserve my service if it is my power
that is out or if the power in my neighborhood is out unless the power
to the ISP's facilities in the area are not.  So it will improve the
odds but not guarantee that my service won't go down.

        Since the cost of this UPS is not prohibitive, I will get one
shortly [and just take my chances].  Half a loaf is better than no
loaf.

                                                                              
       Fred

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
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Er - 100 watts = 100VA  [ignoring power factor].

Either my arithmetic is wrong or 600VA would power you for ~6 min.

--
Julian Thomas   - http://jt-mj.net

The mind of a bigot to the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour
on it, the more it contracts. - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
On 1 Aug 2018 21:46:30 -0400, jt@jt-mj.net (Julian Thomas) wrote:

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600 VA means he has 6x the power budget needed (less the power factor)
- which is probably enough to handle a power on surge....

The duration that the UPS can maintain that 600 VA (or the total
stored power) is a separate item in the datasheet.

If the time the UPS can handle is rated at full load then running at
100 VA instead of 600 means the UPS can keep the system running for
roughly 6x as long.

- -  
Stephen

***** Moderator's Note *****

The specifications for this model of UPS are at -
http://www.apc.com/shop/us/en/products/APC-Back-UPS-BE600M1-600VA-120V-1-USB-charging-port/P-BE600M1

Depending on load, it has runtimes between 6.1 minutes and 1 hour 5 minutes.

Bill Horne
Moderator

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
On Tuesday, July 31, 2018 1:54 PM, Fred Atkinson

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Since so many people rely on the Internet for all kinds of
communications, this seems archaic.  Supposing there was a medical or
other serious emergency and you could not use your VOIP service to
call 911?  Or connectivity to your burglar alarm or medical devices
were interrupted at a time when those services were most needed?

The Internet is no longer just for amusement.  It hasn't been for a
very long time.  It is the primary way we communicate in the world
today.  Most of us absolutely depend upon it for many things.
Reliability is a must and more so for some than others.

Burglar alarms and medical devices should not be on VoIP, period. They
should ALWAYS be on a copper landline. In fact, they should
specifically be on loop start lines. I believe federal law mandates
businesses use loop start lines as opposed to ground start trunks for
such critical equipment because that ensures they still operate in a
mains power outage.

The Internet was never designed to be reliable like the phone network
was.  Connectivity could go down at any time. Most businesses that
have gone to VoIP keep a landline for precisely this reason.

On the flipside, you can always use dial-up Internet in a mains power
outage, regardless of whether your broadband works or not, IF you have
a UPS. So you will still have some connectivity, but through a
different ISP.

If the Internet is your primary way of communicating, fine, but it
should not be relied upon 100%. Landlines have 99.999% uptime, the
Internet can't compete with that. They often work even in earthquakes
and hurricanes. Bottom line is you should be putting anything critical
- 911, medical devices, etc. - on a landline, not on VoIP. VoIP can go
out at any time for any number of reasons beyond your control. Mains
power is irrelevant if you have equipment connected to a landline.

***** Moderator's Note *****

It's summer, and everyone is asleep in the shade. I hope this will
still the air a bit.

Bill Horne
Moderator

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
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I agree, but even copper landlines aren't what they used to be.  My
landline is wired copper back to the central office, which I know
because the CO is three blocks away and I can see the wire up on the
poles.  The CO has a large battery bank and a generator on a trailer
that they can start up when the power is out for more than an hour or
so.

People out in the country get their service from concentrators (often
called SLCs after an old Bell model) which are battery powered.  The
batteries don't last forever and the plans to recharge them during an
outage are spotty.

R's,
John

***** Moderator's Note *****

Older readers might think of a "Concentrator" as an electromechanical
device - a micro crossbar exchange - which could be used to select CO
lines for handling by an answering service, or as a measure to
postpone maintenance on outside plant by denying dialtone to customers
when no pairs were available for their calls.

The Subsciber Loop Carrier system, or SLC, is called a "Slick." It is
a T-Carrier system, fed either by wire or fiber, which is often
installed in new apartment buildings and businesses. Although it save
on outside plant costs (with either a 1-to-24 or 1-to-48 fanout,
depending on options), it is not a concentrator, since all subscribers
are able to use it simultaneously.

Bill Horne
Moderator

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
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Germany has been migrating its telephone infrastructure to outdoor
cabinets ("Fiber to the curb") to allow for faster DSL on the now
shorter tail ends (up to 100 Mbit downstream is in wide deployment
with 400 Mbit beginning its test phase this month), and of course to
be able to sell off the buildings that used to house the telephone
switches and are usually located in locations that are very valuable
as a property.

I have put my local infrastructure on a UPS as part of overvoltage
protection and witnessed a five minute power outage last week (which
does happen _really_ seldomly in Germany, it's usually an item in the
local paper when it happens). I was devastated to find out that the
DSL went down together with the power and took two minutes longer than
the power to return (DSLAMs need to boot up, too), proving that the
incumbent hadn't bothered to put _any_ kind of uninterruptible power
into the outdoor cabinet, not even a short period battery.

And there goes the telephone network as reliable infrastructure.

Greetings
Marc
--  
-------------------------------------- !! No courtesy copies, please !! -----
Marc Haber         |   " Questions are the         | Mailadresse im Header
Mannheim, Germany  |     Beginning of Wisdom "     |  
Nordisch by Nature | Lt. Worf, TNG "Rightful Heir" | Fon: *49 621 72739834

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
On Friday, August 3, 2018 at 1:15:32 PM UTC-4, John Levine wrote:

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The Bell Labs history 1925-1975 provides detailed information on the
above Concentrators.  The link was previously posted, but I'll dig it
out again if anyone is curious.

Some writers claimed Bell was too liberal in its use of concentrators
and how much they loaded onto them - to the extent that subscribers
often couldn't get a call out.  Given the service problems of the
1960s and 1970s, I think, in some areas, there is some truth to that.

***** Moderator's Note *****

In Massachusetts, the legislature was more concerned with *where* the
concentrators were being placed: mostly in low-income, high-crime
sections. They were known as "two-man areas" to the outside plant
crews, because there were always two employess on any truck dispatched
there.

My aunt lived in such an area - the Columbia Point housing project in
Dorchester. I lifted her phone once when I was visiting, and heard a
busy signal: she explained that it meant there weren't any wires
ready to place the call, and that I'd have to wait. I told her that it
was unfair and that she should complain. She thought that was very
funny.

Bill Horne
Moderator

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
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The 1960s and 1970s were tough time for both Bell and the independents.

Below is a link to a discussion from January about payphone vandalism:

https://groups.google.com/forum /#!searchin/comp.dcom.telecom/vandalism%7Csort:date/comp.dcom.telecom/Ep_q_jJscJg/n4vNANCJAAAJ

IMHO, the excessive time and money phone companies had to spend to
repairing vandalism to its infrastructure and security (like two-man
crews) contributed to the service crises of the 1970s.

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP
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    I respectfully disagree.

    POTS line are slowly going the way of the dinosaur.

    How many of you continue to push antiquated technology to your
customers?

    We should be able to rely on the new technology and the providers
should provide backup power so that their service continues to operate
in the event of a power failure.

    If the customer wishes to provide a UPS or other means of keeping
his/her hone network devices going in the event of a power failure,
that would be their responsibility.

    Many would be quite OK with providing their own backup power when
it is needed.

    Let us always remember that the chain is no stronger than its
weakest link.  If their customer provides backup power on their home
network and the network goes down when there is an area wide power
outage [or local power outage to the area if the provider's
facilities] then their customer invests in backup that is only half a
loaf towards keeping the network up when a power outage occurs.  Of
course, I already stated that in a previous post.

    The last thing I would ever lean on is outdated [or nearly
outdated] technology.

    To Bob Prohaska: POTS is a service that is generally a loop start
line in a residence or small business.  Loop start (by definition)
will always provide power (negative battery] on the ring of the
circuit as long as POTS lines are still around.  Of course, even those
are slowly going away.




                                                     Fred

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP
For Fred:

I respectfully disagree with your respectfully disagreeing.

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I don't know where you live, but that's generally not the case. Usage
is declining yes, and some large telcos. would love to get rid of them
because it's expensive for them, but you can always choose to get a
POTS line. The primary reason they are "going away" is because people
like you think they are.

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This seems contrary to how technology works these days. Technology
these days is made to be cheap, disposable, and mains power reliant.

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Nobody's forcing you to. You can use all the fandangled new technology
which nevers works in a crisis. But even 911 centers advise people to
keep a landline. One day, cord-cutters will pay the price.

The idea that old technology is outdated is a little absurd. Electric
lights are about as old as POTS lines. The power grid is too. Pencil
and paper are even older. Yet, nobody considers those things
"outdated".

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP
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Many of the "new" technology isn't better, it is just shuffling the
money to somebody else now.

Eg. my company decided my hybrid digital PBX wasn't worth it, so for
even more MRC, they pushed VoIP on us, and if I get more employees in this
office, the MRC will go up even more. It has less features. Eg.
we used to be able to do modem testing and FAX's. Now we have to buy
an external crappy FAX service whose website looks and acts like it
will only work with Internet Explorer 6. We used to have crystal
clear conference calling, now we have to again buy external conference
bridges that sound like crap and have major delays. (I'm not the one
buying these services unfortunately).

So, for far more money monthly, we shuffled the money onto the "new players"
in the market, for far less reliability, usability, etc. because
everybody has to be VoIP.  

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Its all about the profit margin now-a-days. We aren't going back to
the time when things were built to last forever, and be as robust as
possible. You say providers *should* do this, but we live in the age
of "it works good enough most of the time", and this is never going to
happen because there isn't enough demand for it.  

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The maintenance of keeping a UPS for communication services at a
typical residence is way beyond the capabilities of most consumers.
ie. UPS batteries need to be replaced every 3 to 5 years, and most
UPSs are horrible at methods used to say when the battery needs to be
replaced (ie. APC units tend to just drop power on the protected
side). What would the typical consumer do? Probably unplug the UPS and
throw it away, leaving them without any of it.  -- Doug McIntyre
doug@themcintyres.us

***** Moderator's Note *****

As has been pointed out in the past, "UPS" devices are *NOT* intended
to provide power for any longer than it takes to shut the computer
down gracefully, i.e., without losing data. Anything longer than a few
minutes requires a power source, such as a generator, that can run
indefinitely.

Bill Horne
Moderator

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP
On Tuesday, August 7, 2018 at 5:39:45 PM UTC-4, Doug McIntyre wrote:
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...


...


UPS assemblies come in a huge range of capabilities, and that includes
the run time supported by the batteries used.  I worked on one at the
US Government Printing Office (GPO): it was a conversion of the
gigantic wet cells in the basement from supplying nothing but
emergency lighting to supplying a huge UPS system that would keep the
printing presses' controllers from forgetting what they were doing
when power was lost.  That would prevent very large amounts of waste
caused by starting large print jobs over from scratch.

I also worked on a UPS system that included a 20 foot diameter
flywheel and a forward only clutch.  The electric motor which turned
that flywheel was a genuine monster.  The 2 parallel back up
generators were designed to come up to full operating voltage and
current in 2 minutes.  At full designed load that flywheel would not
let the power fall more than 0.50 Hertz out from 60.0 Hertz for 5
minutes.  We often joked that if anything ever happened to that set of
bearings that people 25 miles away might be crushed.  When you are
supplying computer arrays which bill communications satellite usage
time you do not allow the power to falter.  Now that was a UPS!

--
Tom

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
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Do POTS lines still get power from batteries or gensets at the central
office? I gather they did "once upon a time", but is that still true?

Thanks for reading,

bob prohaska

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
+---------------
| > On the flipside, you can always use dial-up Internet in a mains power
| > outage,  
|
| Do POTS lines still get power from batteries or gensets at the central
| office? I gather they did "once upon a time", but is that still true?
+---------------

Yes... and no. While  many POTS lines are still directly connected
to and powered by the CO [which usually has both batteries & backup
generators], these days an increasing number of "POTS" lines are
connected via remote concentrators (SLC/USLC/ISLCRCU/RLC):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subscriber_loop_carrier
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remote_concentrator

which power the "POTS" lines and in turn are powered by whatever
power utility is local to the remote concentrator. Such remote
concentrators (usually) contain *some* backup battery capability,
but it is often woefully small compared to what is needed in a
major power outage due to weather, fire, traffic accident, etc.
Providing 6 hours or less of backup is not unusual.


-Rob

+--------------------------------------------------------------+
627 26th Avenue        <http://rpw3.org/
San Mateo, CA 94403

Re: [telecom] Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
On Thursday, August 2, 2018 at 6:14:13 AM UTC-4, Naveen Albert wrote:

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I don't know about most of the country, but in my area Verizon has
made it quite clear publicly it is not interested in maintaining its
existing landline network.  It actually has abandoned some
neighborhoods, telling them to get FIOS or go away.

A neighbor, an elderly man in poor health, lost phone service.  It
took Verizon ten days to fix it, causing him no end of grief while he
waited (including Vz not showing up as promised).  In the end, they
just switched him to a different cable pair, which is a quick and easy
fix.

My landline had trouble and I had similar frustrations with Vz.  My
community does not have FIOS.

FIOS is no panacea since that requires house current and its backup
batteries will fail during an extended power failure.  At least my
landline kept working during a long power failure (I am close to the
C.O., which has generator backup).

Cable phone (provided by Comcast) goes out the minute the power fails,
and takes a while to come back.  It is not that reliable.  Dealing
with Comcast is frustrating.  Their people all follow pre-written
scripts and can't fix anything not covered in the script.  A friend
lost his Comcast landline and had to wait until a senior technician
could come out (the plain tech couldn't fix it).

A big part of the problem today is that everyday consumers no longer
care about the high reliability the old Bell System landline used to
provide.  People want the remote connectivity and bells and whistles
of their cell phones.  Since texting can work on a delayed basis
(unlike a voice conversation), people will tolerate some downtime.
Overall, people seem to be content with the lower reliability of cell
phones.

***** Moderator's Note *****

I doubt most people would be comfortable with lower reliability if
they knew that their insurance rates have gone up as a result. Home
insurance underwriters pay close attention to the "Fire Danger
Protection Rating" of each neighborhood their employers cover: When
the percentage of CO-powered landlines falls, the rates go up.

Bill Horne
Moderator

Re: Backup Power for Cox [or other] ISP [Telecom]
My ISP is Spectrum. When power is out in my neighborhood the gray cable  
boxes on the phone poles switch to battery power which is good for 2 or  
3 hours. After 3 hours the batteries are depleted and everything goes out.

My solution is to use a home router that fails back to a cellular  
service Internet tethering device.

Small UPS's don't run very long on battery. They are designed to run no  
longer than 10 - 15 minutes tops to allow for controlled shutdown of  
your computer equipment.

I use an older Tripplite SmartPro Net 2000 VA UPS that is connected to  
all the computer gear including cable modem and router in my home office.
It has external battery boxes that can be plugged into the UPS in  
parallel and extend run time. Not a cheap solution but gives me over one  
hour of run time for everything in the office with a single pair of 35  
amp 12v batteries wired in series for 24 volts total.
Adding additional battery boxes would increase run time.

Usually by the 45 minute mark I switch over to running a gasoline  
powered generator.

Steve
73 de N2UBP

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