Fiber and VoIP Systems Without Phone

A lot of companies boast about the sophisticated voice and data systems they have installed on their landlines. There is one disadvantage they aren’t mentioning: when there is a power outage, you may lose phone service.

VoIP and fiber landline telephone systems generally do not have the same ability as copper landlines to maintain phone service when the power goes out, as multiple Eastern U.S. residents likely learned during last August’s Hurricane Irene and two months later during October’s freak snowstorm. Get emergency contact information.

In today’s VoIP and Fibra senza telefono systems, standby service is generally limited to 8 hours, unless there is a battery backup in the house. The phone goes out otherwise.

During disasters, when telephone access is most needed, this makes the lines useless for dialing 911, loved ones, friends, and others. The problem is exacerbated if you don’t have a backup cell phone, if your cellular network fails, as it did during hurricanes Irene and Storm Hermine, or if you can’t recharge the batteries on your mobile phones because of low energy.

Copper’s pros and cons

For television, Internet, and VoIP telephone service, cable television companies rely on coaxial cable, while phone companies use copper lines. Today, both industries use fiber, fiber-copper hybrids, or fiber-coaxial hybrids to enhance communication.

Contrary to fiber and hybrid-fiber services, old copper lines carry both voice and data signals, as well as the power needed to operate a standard, cordless telephone. In some cases, a power outage at the power company doesn’t affect phones because the phone company provides power.

Television and high-speed Internet services require large amounts of data, especially over long distances, which traditional copper telephone lines are unable to handle. Verizon, AT&T, and most other companies have begun installing fiber or hybrid fiber lines, sometimes along with copper. It is usually stated in the terms and conditions of telephone companies and cable companies that their systems cannot maintain telephone service indefinitely during a power failure.

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The agreement for Cablevision’s service (Optimum Voice) says that should the network or facilities be disrupted, the service will not function. In such cases, the subscriber explicitly acknowledges that no calls will be possible, including those for emergency 911 services.

Backup battery

It has become the primary method of maintaining service during a power outage that is used by both telephone companies and cable companies. This involves installing a battery-backed backup system that can power customers’ corded phones for up to eight hours or less if they make or receive phone calls.

A number of carriers, including AT&T, Brighthouse, Comcast, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon, offer this backup service at no additional cost. Charter Communications in Missouri and Cablevision in Illinois offer it for residential customers for $30 to $40. Customers of their commercial divisions are automatically covered.

About 99 percent of its subscribers do not have backup units, so their phones are shut off when the power goes out. Cablevision won’t disclose how many of its customers choose to have backups. Cablevision and Comcast say the strategy lowers their rates. The most common replacement for backup batteries in most companies is the customer’s responsibility, which typically lasts for two to a decade, depending on the type of system.