home router battery backup

John Lightfoot jlightfoot at gmail.com
Thu Jan 13 22:29:13 UTC 2022

In Vermont I have a Tesla Powerwall that Green Mountain Power paid for if I agreed to let them manage it.  Since then I’ve never had an outage of any kind, I usually figure out that there is one by seeing my neighbors’ lights go off.

I’ve also had great luck with my ISP, which is Comcast.  Even before we had the Powerwall, when the power would go out the (older) Comcast router would work on its own battery backup and my laptop would flip over to battery power, so I didn’t have any loss of connectivity even then.


From: NANOG <nanog-bounces+jlightfoot=gmail.com at nanog.org> on behalf of Scott T Anderson via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org>
Date: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 8:28 AM
To: Scott T Anderson via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org>
Subject: RE: home router battery backup
Hi everyone,

Thanks very much for all the responses throughout the day. They are very helpful. Your (collective) answers triggered a couple follow-on questions:

For those individuals with backup battery power for their modem/router, do they maintain Internet access throughout a power outage (as long as their backup power solution works)? I.e., does the rest of the ISP network maintain service throughout a power outage?

Are the modems with backup power designed to operate for a specified period of time without power and if so, for how long and how was that duration identified?
If those with backup power do maintain Internet access during a power outage, do they lose that access if the power outage extends beyond a certain time? I.e., does the ISP network equipment go offline at some point in time due to batteries being drained and not having power generation capabilities?

Again, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience!

From: NANOG <nanog-bounces+standerson4=wisc.edu at nanog.org> On Behalf Of richey.goldberg at gmail.com
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 12:38 PM
To: Scott T Anderson via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org>
Subject: Re: home router battery backup

At my last employer we installed lots of Adtrans at Car Dealerships, Hotels, and other SMBs.    It was common for them to have a small UPS but 9 times out of 10 the UPS 2-3 times older than the life cycle of the battery and no one ever knew that you could change the battery in them.    So they usually just had a heavy power strip that was prone to failing after a power loss.

We did have the option to install a battery back up on the Adtran but it would have been useless because most of them didn’t have any kind of backup power for their PBXs.

I’m pretty sure that my own power protection on my network gear and theater gear far exceeded the average end user’s remote offices.


From: NANOG <nanog-bounces+richey.goldberg=gmail.com at nanog.org<mailto:nanog-bounces+richey.goldberg=gmail.com at nanog.org>> on behalf of Andy Ringsmuth <andy at andyring.com<mailto:andy at andyring.com>>
Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 1:16 PM
To: Scott T Anderson <standerson4 at wisc.edu<mailto:standerson4 at wisc.edu>>, Scott T Anderson via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org<mailto:nanog at nanog.org>>
Subject: Re: home router battery backup

> On Jan 12, 2022, at 11:35 AM, Scott T Anderson via NANOG <nanog at nanog.org<mailto:nanog at nanog.org>> wrote:
> Hi NANOG mailing list,
> I am a graduate student, currently conducting research on how power outages affect home Internet users. I know that the FCC has a regulation since 2015 (47 CFR Section 9.20) requiring ISPs to provide an option to voice customers to purchase a battery backup for emergency voice services during power outages. As this is only an option and only applies to customers who subscribe to voice services, I was wondering if anyone had any insights on the prevalence of battery backup for home modem/routers? I.e., what percentage of home users actually install a battery backup in their home modem/router or use an external UPS?
> Thanks.
> Scott

Given that most people barely even know what their home router is, I suspect the percentage would be somewhere south of 1 percent. Outside of my home, I honestly cannot recall EVER seeing someone’s home using a battery backup for their internet infrastructure.

I personally do, but of course I (and probably everyone on this list) am by no means representative of the population at large in this particular area.

Andy Ringsmuth
5609 Harding Drive
Lincoln, NE 68521-5831
(402) 304-0083
andy at andyring.com<mailto:andy at andyring.com>
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