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 totaled101 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.