Telecom Collapse?

Josh Potter joshpotter at
Thu Dec 4 15:55:41 UTC 2008

People have been digging up fiber thinking it's copper anyways, but yeah
that's a big problem.

On Thu, Dec 4, 2008 at 9:43 AM, Joe Greco <jgreco at> wrote:

> > That is the one and only thing keeping a land line at my home.  I
> > have two young children, and I need to be sure that if something
> > were to ever happen that: 1.) The phone would work even if the
> > power was out, or the Internet connectivity was flaking out.
> > 2.) 911 would function exactly the way it is supposed to, and
> > not be routed to some 3rd party call center which could potentially
> > delay a response.
> >
> > I haven't found the power to be reliable, and the cable Internet
> > tends to go down when the power goes out.  There's always cellular,
> > but then you have to depend on there being someone with a cell phone
> > around to make the call, and my kids aren't to the age yet that I
> > would want them toting around their own cell phones.  As long as
> > my POTS line is more reliable than VoIP, I'll probably keep it.
> Network reliability is certainly one aspect.
> However, in some areas, copper is being stripped (and I don't mean stolen,
> though that's a problem too), see the typical Verizon FIOS install for
> example.  The reliability of having a battery-backed CPE of some sort is
> questionable.  In an inside-CPE environment, replacing the battery is a
> rough proposition.  You can't expect customers to do it, look at how hard
> it is to get smoke detector batteries replaced, and this would be a more
> complex SLA-alike less frequently.  You can't get workers to do it, just
> think of the logistics.  In an outside-CPE environment, you could do it,
> probably.  But then you might well be better off just running DSL to the
> home and centralizing the battery, and um, does that bring us back to
> U-verse?  (Did I just make an argument for U-verse?)
> It would be nice to see a program like AT&T Lifeline that was oriented
> towards maintaining copper for emergency purposes, except that I suspect
> that this would raise a whole new set of issues, such as periodic testing.
> Regular use of a landline ensures that it works.
> This raises other issues as well; E911 services are probably experiencing
> an ever-higher volume of "test" calls, for example, and testing of copper-
> only "emergency POTS lines" would raise that further.  I suppose this
> could be addressed with an automated system fronting the 911 call ("You
> have reached 911.  To report an emergency, please press 1 or wait on the
> line.  For test functions, press pound.")  I'd personally like that, it
> would be better for testing purposes.
> Fun pics:
> VoIP service is dodgy on the end of consumer grade Internet connections,
> though.  Around here, the cable TV tends to fail with the power when the
> power supply/amps on the poles burn through their batteries in an hour
> or two.  DSL may be a bit better, but since everyone's got a cordless
> phone that requires AC power, ...
> Really, I sometimes wonder at how readily accessible 911 really is in a
> regional crisis.  You're probably well-covered if you have VoIP *plus*
> a cell or POTS, but how many people have actually checked with their 911
> dispatch to make sure that their VoIP is registering properly?
> Given the tendency towards wireless, if you don't have POTS, it may be
> best to just keep an old cell around without a service plan to be able
> to dial 911.  You can probably even teach the kids how to deal with that,
> at least once they're old enough to know their home phone and address.
> ... JG
> --
> Joe Greco - Network Services - Milwaukee, WI -
> "We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then
> I
> won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail
> spam(CNN)
> With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many
> apples.

Josh Potter

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