Telecom Collapse?

Joe Abley jabley at
Thu Dec 4 15:33:01 UTC 2008

On 2008-12-04, at 09:47, Josh Potter wrote:

> I believe there is a law that requires just that, even if you don't  
> have an
> active service plan the phone must still be able to access 911.

With GSM phones you don't even need a SIM in the phone to call 911  
(and equivalent numbers in other regions).

I have two children at home, and I haven't had dial-tone on copper for  
years. I don't lose any sleep over it; that's just one of a thousand  
highly-improbable disasters that could happen, albeit one that  
apparently enjoys better marketing than some.

If I *was* concerned, I think I'd buy a cheap GSM handset with no SIM  
and leave it chained somewhere the kids could find, plugged in.

I seem to remember when I *did* have dial-tone from Bell Canada I'd  
pick up the handset and get dead air a disturbing proportion of the  
time. The idea that copper wire-line providers are the only ones who  
can provide stable telephony doesn't ring true, for me. There's a  
reason why the five nines don't include the last mile.


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