Batteries Not Included

Peter : On Rad's Radar?
| Peter Radizeski of RAD-INFO, Inc. talking telecom, Cloud, VoIP, CLEC, and The Channel.

Batteries Not Included

One of the hurdles for the TDM-to-IP Transition is the power outage. With POTS lines, the dial-tone is powered from the central office, so even with a blackout for a while the consumers can still dial 911.

With VoIP, notsomuch - the broadband modem has to have battery backup, the ATA has to have battery backup and the provider has to have battery backup at the POP. That's a lot of batteries!

When FiOS was rolling out, AARP was clamoring because its members wouldn't have dial-tone during emergencies. VZ had a plan to swap out the batteries in the FiOS ONTs. I have no idea if they do that or not -- and neither does the FCC. But the NECA daily was filled with noise about "Network Resiliency". This usually led to talk about battery backup. See here for the ACA discussion with the FCC and here for Public Knowledge and the Rural Broadband Group discussion with the FCC.

Many people make the argument that cell phones will work. How? The cell tower needs the generator to kick in. The fiber regen stations have to stay powered. The POP probably has backup power. The cell phone would have to have power, too. We have seen in emergencies where the towers were either overloaded with calls or ran out of power (like during Sandy). That's the kicker when everything is IP and battery technology has not kept pace with technology. (Have you seen the size and weight of battery packs for laptops and smartphones?)

I guess it is a good time to invest in Duracell, Everready and APC.

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