I don't understand why my phone system does what it does.

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Jim Rusling wrote:

A grass fire is probably one of the easier things to respond to since unlike a tornado or hurricane it doesn't really leave a ton of debris in the way that need to be cleared first.
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Chuckle. I bet they have lost several generators, however. Bolt cutters are cheap.
Unless they have buried service in your area, most cable outages are due to tree limbs and/or ice taking lines down.
This is what rabbit ears are for, folks. Cable TV is nice-to-have, not a survival neccessity. If you get your phone via the cable TV, well, you shoulda read the fine print. The tradeoff for lower cost is lower reliability. If I had cable, and went with cable phone, I'd at least have a prepaid semi-disposable cell as a backup.
Were you the poster with all the UPS boxes and the generator? Just how were you verifying cable stayed on during the power outage? aem sends...
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cable. See my other post about the grass fire. All my cable services were back up in about 5 1/2 hours. The phone company was still trying to get people back up 4 days later and their lines were underground not overhead.
--
Jim Rusling
More or Less Retired
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aemeijers wrote:

I have backup for my backup for my backup :). I also work from home full time and rely on my Internet connectivity, so when (most of) the lights go out I am still online and working. I also have two land lines (underground in this area) and dialup provides marginal backup for the cable.
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Bingo.
--
:)
JR

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wrote:

I believe that neither a subscriber-provided UPS or genset can be used to restore power to a cable-based phone system as it is the current applied to the neighborhood's coaxial network that powers the voice port mounted on each subscribers' home.
Nevertheless, yours is a classic example of our decreasing tolerance for service outages and our improving lifestyle that places such things as a standby generator within reach of more and more mere mortals.
In the case of a home-based VOIP system (Voice Over Internet Protocol) during a grid power failure, a UPS then generator could power the system in the home. Of course, the VOIP system relies on working input from the broadband provider. If the neighborhood system, which provides the needed data flow to a VOIP system, is down, the VOIP user has no "dial tone".
--
:)
JR

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Jim Redelfs wrote:

I haven't run across a cable company that doesn't have backup power. I'm sure there is some crappy system without backup somewhere, but all I have dealt with had reasonable backup. Now that they are in the voice and data markets as well as video they are also taking backup even more seriously.
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Yours is a legitimate issue. I suppose it is no different than subscribing to the services of a single electric power utility - upon which virtually all of us rely. Subscribing to TWO such feeds, even if a second were available, would be cost prohibitive.
Coaxial cable-based telephone networks employ a vastly different and, in some ways, improved technology whereby everything is delivered via one coaxial cable. There is an "RT" (voice port) on the outside of most subscribers' premises. It is there that the digital signal is converted to analog to interface with your legacy telephone equipment. The current required to power these individual terminals is delivered over the same coax from the neighborhood's interface/node/whatever. It is this power (and the conversion at the back of the house) that creates the dialtone heard when going off-hook and the ringing current when a call is received. If you listen carefully at this RT on the back of the house when receiving a call, you'll hear a small relay clicking on-and-off, interrupting the ringing current.

This is not necessarily a given. If the CATV-based system has prompt standby power, your dialtone could easily remain virtually uninterrupted or restore much more promptly than the failed grid, which would empower "corded" phones while cordless sets/systems would remain silent without their required grid power.

Agreed. However, a POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) phone, AKA a "corded" phone, is a valuable tool to use at the interface for trouble shooting. Regardless of who or what is providing your telephone service, a corded phone might work when the lights go out. Keeping a CheapieChirper<tm> phone in a drawer is cheap insurance.
--
:)
JR

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wrote:

You're making a generalization here that is not true. Some systems may work this way, but many do not. For example, here in the NYC area, the large cable network Cablevision, only supplies a VOIP box that the customer plugs into the cable and AC supply anywhere inside their home. If the power goes out, there is no cable feed powering the box and you lose service.
Plus, many people are using third party VOIP phone services, like Vonage. They are not even part of the cable or phone companies. They send you a VOIP box that is also powered by the home AC.

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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I apologize. I recall encountering one, such arrangement. It took me by surprise and took a while to figure out. What I described is what Cox is doing in its Omaha service area. With the voice port mounted outside the premise and, hopefully, near the incumbent telco entrance/interface, switching networks is more convenient and serviceable than if the dialtone were emanating from a modem/box behind a TV or computer some where inside the premise.

Where/how do they connect with the outside world to make VoIP work? Their connectivity is coming from either a physical, land-based network OR wireless/satellite provider.
--
:)
JR

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Jim Redelfs wrote:

Traditional telephone service has historically been more reliable than CATV service due to it's lack of active gear on the poles and remote from the central office.
With traditional phone service each customer has their own wire pair all the way back to the local telco central office switch so there isn't anything but wire on the poles and the central offices have been built to the old Bell Labs standards with substantial backup power.
CATV has always had active gear on the poles in the form of line amplifiers and now fiber optic "nodes", so there has always been an issue with needing to provide backup power at all those remote locations.
The situation is rapidly changing now where growth of urban sprawl and the need to provide data and video services to every customer has made it necessary for the telcos to shift to the remote terminal model which puts active gear in the field just like with the CATV system and subjects them to the same remote backup power needs.
Basically the old notion of the telephones always working is going out the window just as rapidly as the old notion of the cable never working. In many areas where the telcos RT transition is in place, which also correspond to areas where the cable operators are the most up to date, both services are of comparable, reasonably high reliability.
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Do you have a voip phone system?

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On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 19:20:41 -0400, "RBM" <rbm2(remove

No
Jethro
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1. Cordless phones cannot work when the base station is unpowered. 2. Your cord-connected phone ought to remain in service even if the electricity fails. The phone company ought to be able to check your house circuits. Because two or more houses exhibit this behavior, the fault is probably in the phone company trunk. 3. In the mean time, a cell phone may meet your needs.
--
Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs
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On Sat, 25 Aug 2007 21:07:09 -0400, "Don Phillipson"

Yes I know.

That would seem so.

I already have availed myself of that alternative.
Thanks
Jethro
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No solution for you, jut a story.
When a storm knocked a small telephone pole down, so that they cable for our 109 houses went into the stream, the phone company came out I think but didn't tell me, though I had called.
I should say that all the phones were working fine, even with the wire under water when it rained.
When I called again a couple months later, after that I could see where the electric company had come out and marked wires, to say they weren't theirs or something.
It took 2 1/2 years before they replaced the pole.
I had called a total of 4 times.
I wouldn't have kept calling them if they had acknowledged any of my calls and told me it could take years. I could live with that. The phone worked fine, although I did suspect that my low dial-up speeds were because of it, but I'm convinced now that they weren't.

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wrote:

I have to tell you - your story hit my funny bone. God, I sure hope my problem doesn't descend to anything like yours. In any case, I am thinking of changing phone service to cable. I just don't know how that would adapt to my present Verizon system, or if it would do me any good.

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If your current service is good, or even just adequate, switching providers would be for SAVINGS alone. Even then, after the switch-over inticements are used up (1/2-price for 6 months, etc), the price is rarely much different. Lately, the incumbent telco is occasionally CHEAPER than the "new" dialtone company. Ain't competition grand?
--
:)
JR

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on 8/26/2007 11:29 PM Jim Redelfs said the following:

A few months ago, when I was tired of paying exorbitant prices for my telco phone service and thinking about VoIP, I decided to give the telco one last chance. I called them and asked (rather facetiously) the service rep who answered, "I'm paying too much for telephone service, should I go with Vonage or Time Warner"? She dropped the monthly charges by about a third and I didn't lose any of the extras I had been paying for before.
--

Bill
In Hamptonburgh, NY
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willshak wrote:

Sometimes competition works :) It's also important to periodically audit your current service vs. current offerings as you may find that there are newer offerings that are less expensive and they don't automatically shift you to those cheaper options.
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