I keep a POTS line, mainly as a fallback in case of storm damage. And,
indeed, when my power failed here in Stamford during Isaias, the POTS line
continued to work [but] the backup battery on my VOIP and Internet gave out.
I don't recall what the old standards for the CO backup power were, but I
expected 24 hours - probably quite a bit more. Hah. Within about 8 hours,
the POTS line was dead.
Now, it's certainly possible that this was independent line damage - but it
was many hours after the storm itself passed, and there were no nearby line
cuts in the area. (We had a large tree supported by communications lines
leaning completely over a nearby road - but the POTS line came back when our
power came back, several days before crews finally got to that tree.)
Of course, you only need to walk around the neighborhood a bit to see the
sorry state of Frontier's external plant. Maintenance? Not a priority.
I recall reading the power backup is no longer important. Something
about people have cellphones for communications if the power goes out.
It came from feedback on the FCC's website in the context of 911
There was some scathing criticism about the policy change on the FCC website.
In Maryland, when Verizon performs inside work, they now remove the
old ONT with the battery backup and replace it with one without the
Also see docs like
My guess is that your phone line is fed from a concentrator, what used
to be called a SLC, and its battery ran down.
COs usually have large battery banks and a way to hook up a generator
so I would be surprised if the CO went down.
In rustic upstate NY my rural LEC is installing fiber to the home,
providing both Internet and phone. It has a UPS with what looks like a
motorcycle battery. I looked up the specs and it appears it's enough
to keep my phone and internet on for four days.