Telecom Collapse?

Daniel Senie dts at
Thu Dec 4 16:36:01 UTC 2008

Mike Lyon wrote:
> That makes two of us...
> Anyways, for residential VOIP, where are we these days with E911? Are
> providers like Vonage and such providing reliable E911 when people
> call 911? That is one of the major problems I see with the residential
> realm going with VOIP offerings...

Where we are, the SLC units on the telephone poles have batteries. Until
very recently, DEAD batteries. We'd lose power, and the POTS line would
go out. We've got our own genset and UPSs to bridge the gap, so we kept
power, the cable Internet service stayed running, and the Vonage VOIP.
The only thing NOT working was POTS.

After many calls to Verizon, most of which were met by people telling me
I was an idiot, I filed a complaint with the Commonweath and had our
police chief file a complaint with the E911 folks he interfaces with.
Suddenly, Verizon wanted to help. A manager came out and asked what was
up. I suggested he get the batteries changed, and get a program in place
to regularly test and replace them. It got done. But for over 3 years,
when the power went out, 911 wasn't available. Of course the power
usually goes out during bad ice storms, when people are more likely to
be hurt.

We're going to give up the POTS line because it costs a lot for poor
service. Verizon has only themselves to blame. But I do expect them to
show up in Washington, DC, since all the other big companies are lining
up for their handouts. Politicians say small businesses are the backbone
of the economy, but clearly when it comes to buying members of Congress,
the big companies have the money to spend.

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