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No phone service with power outages

My area had many power outages (6+) over the past few months. My mother is 94 years old and depends on the phone as a lifeline. We have a backup UPS on all phone equipment and the phone never works. The same thing for our neighbors with whole house standby generators. I have contacted Spectrum support who were of no help. I understand the possibility of tree limb or other event may also cut the cable line but that is not the issue. When the power fails the Spectrum equipment isn't being protected by a standby UPS or backup generators. The village of Treadwell NY does not have cell service available. We are totally dependent on the phone for fire and other emergency services. What can be done to resolve this issue?
Thanks,
Woody W
5 REPLIES 5
Proven Sharer

Re: No phone service with power outages

The problem is that Spectrum Voice service (and any other voice service that makes use of the Internet) goes down once the power to one part of the network loses power.  While the network may be intact, there could be one pice of equipment on the network in your neighborhood which makes use of the same power that everyone else does.  Most UPS's are not designed to keep equipment up for long periods of time - just enough so that computer user's can save their work and power down their computers.

 

POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service), which runs on pairs of copper wire,  actually ran on large battery banks so that phone service would work independent of utility power.  Home phones still work on this "Talk Battery" principle, and your cable modem / VOIP device will provide the talk battery and the current required to "ring" the phone, but not at the levels Ma Bell did.

 

If you want old-school land-line reliability, you may need to contact your local phone company and have them connect you.  Expect to pay through the nose for this service, if available, compared to VOIP pricing.  In addition, if the copper wire has been abandoned by the phone company (they've replaced it with fiber - like FIOS), you won't have the power-outage reliability that you had 30 years ago.

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Re: No phone service with power outages

Spectrum on the back side of their bills push adding a battery backup to maintain 911 service. They need to follow their own advice. I managed a mid size computer department and it would have been totally unexceptionable not to have UPS and standby generators to maintain battery power. I suspect that Spectrum has equipment failure on the node that services by mother's area. My home in Syracuse doesn't seem to have this problem. If it is necessary to go back to the old phone service then Spectrum should pay for it. I feel spectrum should lose the right to sell phone service if they cannot provide 911 coverage. I have posted the issue with the FCC who requires that Spectrum address the problem. I will.keep.you posted.
Thanks,
Woody
Proven Sharer

Re: No phone service with power outages

Maybe your complaint needs to be aimed at the local power company who cannot deliver electric service that meets your personal expectation for reliability.  Spectrum is regulated by the NYS Public Utilities Commission.  I don't know of any state regulatory authority that requires the cable or telephone companies to provide electric power for their residential customers when the electric utility itself is not able to do so. 

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Re: No phone service with power outages

Regardless, Spectrum needs to make sure equipment on their end is protected against power disruptions or surges. Part of the problem is the NYSEG is owned by a foreign country who are lacking in the maintenance if their lines. It would be Spectrum responsibility to go after the utility if they are providing substandard service. Just like I'm doing with Spectrum. Thankfully, I had a quick response back from the FCC and a Spectrum representative is now working on the case.
Thanks for the feedback.
Woody
Helper

Re: No phone service with power outages


@Wweerheim wrote:
...Part of the problem is the NYSEG is owned by a foreign country ...

What does this have to do with anything?