[Telecom] Cable phone service disrupted from power outage

Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 10:41:50 -0700 (PDT) >From: Hancock4 >To: snipped-for-privacy@invalid.telecom-digest.org. >Subject: Cable phone service disrupted from power outage >Message-ID: > >Our area lost power from Hurricane Irene. Those of us with >traditional landline Verizon phones (and plain wired phones, not >cordless) never lost service. However, our neighbors with cable phone >service (Comcast) lost phone service as soon as the power went out. I >don't know why. > >My cheapo electronic answering machine has battery backup (2 AA >cells), and that worked fine for 18 hours. My clock radios have a 9V >battery backup but they needed to be reset. (They work okay for brief >power outages). > >Being without power is not fun, especially at night. I had >flashlights, but I need a lantern type light that shows a broad light >as opposed to the narrow spotlight of a flashlight.

My father had a VOIP phone towards the end of his life. I was concerned that he might not be able to call for assistance if there was a power outage. So I got him a UPS and set it up.

I plugged only the cable modem and his Linksys VOIP router into it. Since I did not plug the PC or any other device(s) into it, it would support those two devices for quite a while during a power outage.

He'd be able to call the electric company or emergency services in the event that power was out.

Before I did it, I spoke with Comcast. They insisted that if the local power went out that their system would remain in operation.

Fortunately, we never had to put it to the test.



Reply to
Fred Atkinson
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Per Fred Atkinson:

My LinkSys SPA3102 allows for "Dial Plans" - basically a text string that tells the box what to do depending on the number dialed.

Mine is set to dial out on the POTS line for "911".

I've been keeping up the POTS phone account and only using VOIP for outgoing - but it's finally dawned on me that 911 is supposed to work even on an inactive phone.

Once I can verify that (and establish that I'm not paying minutes for incoming VOIP calls), I'll probably migrate the POTS number so VOIP and discontinue the POTS service.

Reply to
Pete Cresswell

The answer is pretty much "no" (as one would expect)! However, any pair with dial tone on it will have working 911 service, generally speaking. The regulated wireline companies do (in most states, must) have special "lifeline" tarrifs for lines intended to be used only in emergencies, though in some cases only the elderly or infirm are eligible for this class of service.

Another alternative, in some states, is to have a line "suspended", such that it cannot receive incoming calls and, though dialtone is provided, can only dial 911 and 611. This carries a small monthly charge usually calculated to sum to the disconnect/reconnect fee over a period of a few years, and historically was basically intended to save the telco the hassle of disconnecting and reconnecting service once or twice per year at infrequently used summer/vacation homes.

Reply to
Thor Lancelot Simon

Per Pete Cresswell:

If anybody's confused, it's Yours Truly.

Thanks for the elucidation.

** Moderator Note: Shucks, drat, and PHOOEY!! Do you know how _hard_ I was wishing I was wrong. *grin*
Reply to
Pete Cresswell

I can tell you I had my copper replaced with FiOS over two years ago. The copper is still in place, but it is dead. No dial tone, no nothing. This is in suburban Philadelphia, however I suspect it's the same everywhere.

My phone backup plan is a combination of the battery in the FiOS ONT, a UPS to power one cordless phone and the ONT, a basic phone or two, cell phones with car chargers, and in the worst case I'll hook up a 12V battery to the ONT's aux battery input.


Reply to

Does that mean a subsequent subscriber at the same service address would be able to order POTS and not FiOS?

Reply to
Adam H. Kerman

My understanding is the copper line is basically dead and has been removed from Verizon's list of provisioned, active and maintained lines. If I or a subsequent resident of my house wants to bring back the copper, it will probably require a significant amount of money; if it is even an option. However, if that's what I wanted I wouldn't have switched to FiOS.

I also understand that any tariffed phone service should be available through the ONT. I believe I can cancel all FiOS services except phone and switch to a low cost plan with unbundled long distance and no features.

I think the only significant user cost difference between FiOS and copper is the back-up battery. When it dies, I'll have to pay to replace it. I expect that any other issues with the ONT would be fixed by Verizon.


Reply to

I'm not sure I agree with that.

[ moderator snip ] ** Moderator note: Verizon has an established policy of decommissioning the copper when FiOS is installed. It locks the location into Verizon service, since a CLEC cannot get a 'copper pair' to that location, and can't 'ride the fiber', either.

See the Digest archives for prior discussion about that policy.

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