home router battery backup

Brandon Martin lists.nanog at monmotha.net
Thu Jan 13 05:44:15 UTC 2022

On 1/12/22 9:35 PM, Jay Hennigan wrote:
> From what I've seen on the market, home router or "residential gateway" devices with built-in battery backup typically only provide backup for FXS style analog POTS services, not for data, wireless, etc. 

This was definitely the case for the Verizon FiOS I had about 14 years 
ago.  They're the only carrier I've ever used that provided regulated 
("POTS replacement", at least) voice service by means other than POTS 
and that automatically gave you a battery backup with their NID.

AT&T and Comcast don't seem to provide battery by default if you buy 
voice service from them.  Note that AT&T still offers POTS in my market 
even where they've overlaid FTTC-based VDSL (U-Verse/Lightspeed) or 
FTTH, which may be part of why.  I assume they offer it as an option if 
you inquire per the rules OP mentioned, but they don't seem to mention 
it or do it by default even on their "business class" services.

> Most of our customers don't back up their home network gear. If they do 
> it's most often an under-desk style UPS with 15-minute runtime that 
> hasn't been serviced in a decade. Its battery is very much dead and so 
> swollen that it can't be replaced without the use of some serious prying 
> tools.

This has been my experience as well.  Even among customers with an 
automatic standby generator, having a UPS for their "IT" gear seems 
rare, and they're often uninterested.  They just live with things 
dropping for a minute or two while everything reboots/reconnects if the 
power glitches.

The networks I operate (some of which I own and some of which I operate 
on a contract-for-services basis) tend to only automatically provide 
batteries in MDU/MBU settings where one ONT or other NID serves multiple 
subscribers and is powered from house/common power.  We do that because 
power to the ONT/NID is then out of the hands of the subscriber, and 
they wouldn't be able to put it on a battery if they wanted to as they 
often don't even have physical access to it.

For SFU/SBU subscribers who inquire, we offer to provide and set up a 
typical "desktop" style UPS like you mention or of course try to plug 
the gear into one if they already have one.  It doesn't take a big 
battery to keep a single-port ONT and Wi-Fi router up for several hours 
which is all most customers seem to hope for if they don't have a 
generator.  Obviously we charge for the UPS, though even with a modest 
mark-up it ends up being comparable to retail pricing.  We don't really 
charge to set it up (how much set up is there?), but we also don't 
attempt to monitor or maintain them; we treat it as a one-time purchase 
and just do it to try to keep customers happy.

Based on seeing ONTs drop when I know there's a power outage in an area, 
I'd say maybe 10% of the customers I manage operations for have their 
ONT on a UPS tops.  That's including the MDU/MBUs where we've provided 
it (which accounts for maybe half or more of that 10%).

Note that none of the networks I operate offer voice service at all. 
There hasn't been enough of a demand for it to deal with the regulatory 
hassles.  I'm mostly in residential and very small business, so they 
either just use their mobiles or usually have some setup they're happy 
with.  I try to keep an ITSP with local service/support on-call to hand 
referrals in case someone asks, and usually I can get them to do me the 
same if they're working with one of their customers who are in the 
market for better IP connectivity.  It works out well enough.

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