TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Phone Multiplexer Failures, Power Outages, and Firewall Problems

Re: Phone Multiplexer Failures, Power Outages, and Firewall Problems
Wed, 20 Jun 2007 12:20:08 -0700

On Jun 19, 3:55 pm, John Levine <> wrote:

> The decreasing resiliency of the phone system to power failures is a
> real problem that nobody seems to be addressing.

It used to be all basic telephones were powered by the central office
which had diesel generators to recharge the batteries in case of
commercial failure. While the likelihood of a power failure is fairly
low, nasty storms or power company failures do create local outages
that can last for 24-48 hours. During such an outage telephone
service is especially critical since roads may be blocked. PBXs had
batteries and hand generators for ringing.

It seems most people at home have cordless phones powered by house
current. How long, if at all, will such phones last in a power
failure? People are supposed to have a plain landline phone, but do

But I wonder today how many business PBXs have any battery backup at
all for both talk and ringing, especially for an extended period of

Some organizations have their own diesel generator power backup, but
fail to test the switchover on a regular basis. This is vital because
without good testing a changeover will fail when it is needed. (trust
me on this)

I know the cable TV system in my area depends on commercial power and
stays out even after power is restored (I guess they have to reset
it). That scares me if I dependended on cable TV for telephone

I presume cell phone towers and relay stations have some battery
backup, at least I hope they did. But is it enough?

Likewise with "concentrators" or whatever is used for amplifiers
between the home and distant Central Offices if direct copper isn't
supplied. I think years ago they were supplied by CO power but I
don't know about today.

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