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DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2

This Is Why We Need Pay Phones

»www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/201···nes.html

quote:
The events of superstorm Sandy are raising questions about the importance of payphones in emergencies, even as two of Canada's largest telecom companies say they will tear out some public telephones unless they are allowed to sharply raise prices.

New Yorkers were forced to turn to their neighbourhood's coin-operated phones last week as flood waters knocked out power and cellphone reception in areas ravaged by Sandy, the massive storm that swept across the Eastern Seaboard.

But a push from Bell Canada (TSX:BCE) and Bell Aliant Inc. (TSX:BA) could make it harder to find those payphones in Canada during emergencies

This is why cell phones are absolutely useless in a disaster and why hard wired phones are gold.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


neochu

join:2008-12-12
Windsor, ON

100 year old paper insulated copper plant will disintegrate in highly acidic salt water just as fast as wind and other elements bring down cell towers and transmission equipment.

Which is what 60% of the backbone is still because its to expensive to re-string.



hm

@videotron.ca
reply to DKS

said by DKS:

This is why cell phones are absolutely useless in a disaster and why hard wired phones are gold.

I seem to recall we had this conversation a couple of years ago when that earthquake hit the Ottawa Valley and anyone in Gatineau and Ottawa at the time just after the quake could not make a cell call. All we got was a recording saying the service was not available or it was overloaded (or whatever it said).

I seem to recall there was a CRTC order to rectify this (or something like this), no? Maybe you can find that topic.. this it was in Canadian broadband i think.


hm

@videotron.ca

Did a quick check, I see the conversation but nothing about the CRTC (though I seem to recall this).

The earthquake was no major emergency and no one was able to make cell calls.

Even when the Kids at Dawson College were being shot at in Montreal the cells were out. And again this is no major catastrophic emergency on a wide scale.

Something large scale like what's going in in NJ will be another wake-up call (as if the other two minor events are not enough to open eyes).



vitesse

join:2002-12-17
Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC
reply to DKS

another great solution is to use ham radio gear to make communication when nothing else work. Phone can only operate few hour under power outage. emergency battery can't last forever if they are not re-charged.


prairiesky

join:2008-12-08
canada
kudos:2
reply to DKS

circuits usually get overloaded during emergencies. There isn't 1 circuit per phone and during emergencies phone usage is much higher than normal.

That being said, there is still no guarantee that payphones are better than cells. A cell tower could be made to work on fairly short order depending on the damage. That would then open hundreds of circuits as opposed to a single payphone.

As for the power being out, well that comes down to bad judgment for not keeping a phone that works during a power outage.


HoboJ

join:2008-03-27
Cornwall, ON
kudos:1
reply to vitesse

said by vitesse:

another great solution is to use ham radio gear to make communication when nothing else work. Phone can only operate few hour under power outage. emergency battery can't last forever if they are not re-charged.

Unfortunately the public and more importantly emergency services aren't really equipped to interface with ham radio operators. Even with the ARES training done by many ham radio groups they're lucky to get even token support from their local emergency services. It really is a shame that such resources aren't better integrated or even acknowledged.

MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4
reply to neochu

said by neochu:

100 year old paper insulated copper plant will disintegrate in highly acidic salt water .......

I have no recollections the last time I swam in the ocean or the saltwater lap pool that my skin was eaten away in great sheets or to any measurable depth by "highly acidic salt water".

Of course swimming in undiluted hydrochloric acid may provide a different result.

So which did you mean?


vitesse

join:2002-12-17
Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC

1 recommendation

reply to HoboJ

Ham radio emergency system are better implemented than one would think.

In Canada you have CFARS, RAC and RAQI that coordinate Emergency system with public emergency service.



urbanriot
Premium
join:2004-10-18
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Cogeco Cable
reply to DKS

said by DKS:

This is why cell phones are absolutely useless in a disaster and why hard wired phones are gold.

I agree with this entirely. I posted about this a few years back concerning the difficulty I had in locating a pay phone when my cell phone was dead and I needed to call someone.

I thought it was brilliant the first time I saw emergency phones on the side of highways in Europe every KM or so.


neochu

join:2008-12-12
Windsor, ON
reply to MaynardKrebs

WRT to hurricane prone areas. Salt water floods tunnels and conduit where paper insulated phone cable is.

Salt water can corrode metal with prolonged exposure, imagine what it does to oil paper. Take a look at what it did to the NY intercity rail system linked in another thread.

WRT to earthquakes and tornadoes; damage to phone poles and breakage of trunk lines due to deformation (up to 15 feet either way)



Wolfie00
My dog is an elitist
Premium
join:2005-03-12
kudos:8

1 recommendation

reply to DKS

I see this as more of an argument for landline service than for the dubious benefit of having a payphone for every few thousand or ten thousand population, 99.9% of whom would never use it. What good is that? If cell service goes out, people have landline and Internet service. If landlines go out, payphones aren't much help.

The payphone seems to be in the same archaic realm as the old street-corner fire alarm boxes. You could argue for them, too -- what if your house was on fire and your phone didn't work? It's a question of practical economics vs. the progress of technology.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to DKS

There's an argument either way...

COWs can be deployed very quickly, using microwave back-haul, so cell service can be restored in hours; albeit in a limited manner... (COW = Cell-site on wheels, either trailer or truck mounted cell sites, with collapsible towers, antenna segments, and microwave or satellite based uplinks).

Hardwired phones (ala pay-phones or hard-wired POTS to your house) are generally more resilient then over-the-air connections, so may survive incidents that knock out cell service; and are powered from the CO or remote, which will have batteries, and may or may not have a generator. As long as the CO has power, and the cable plant is intact, you'll have dialtone.

Cell's are 'easier' to knock out of service, but are also much quicker to restore; whereas an event that knocks out wired phones will require more labour-intensive recovery efforts.

With regards to salt water and OSP - salt-water is very corrosive to copper and other reactive metals... It can cause surface corrosion within hours. It's got to do with ionic activity more then ph - just because it won't eat your skin, doesn't mean it doesn't have very negative impacts on wiring.

Payphones are handy, no doubt - when you need one, you need one... But they are also expensive to maintain and operate, have a high rate of fraud and vandalism, and are generally money losers... I completely get why ILEC's want out of the business, or at least want to raise the rates to a break-even level.



DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to vitesse

said by vitesse:

another great solution is to use ham radio gear to make communication when nothing else work. Phone can only operate few hour under power outage. emergency battery can't last forever if they are not re-charged.

Not true. The central offices of Bell Canada have large batteries and generators to recharge them. They can go for days.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to HoboJ

said by HoboJ:

said by vitesse:

another great solution is to use ham radio gear to make communication when nothing else work. Phone can only operate few hour under power outage. emergency battery can't last forever if they are not re-charged.

Unfortunately the public and more importantly emergency services aren't really equipped to interface with ham radio operators. Even with the ARES training done by many ham radio groups they're lucky to get even token support from their local emergency services. It really is a shame that such resources aren't better integrated or even acknowledged.

In fact, they are. Our local ham radio operators have a mobile trailer which is a co-ordinated part of the County disaster plan.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


J E F F
Whatta Ya Think About Dat?
Premium
join:2004-04-01
Kitchener, ON
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Rogers Portable ..
reply to DKS

said by DKS:

said by vitesse:

another great solution is to use ham radio gear to make communication when nothing else work. Phone can only operate few hour under power outage. emergency battery can't last forever if they are not re-charged.

Not true. The central offices of Bell Canada have large batteries and generators to recharge them. They can go for days.

He might be referring to Rogers Home Phone, which do not have an infinite lifespan during power failure.

I recall when we had the 2003 Blackout, I still had internet (I had the USB-powered Stingray DSL) and was able to make hotel plans for Quebec...and of course, phone still worked. Actually never recall a phone outage ever with Bell.
--
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. - Albert Einstein


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to neochu

said by neochu:

100 year old paper insulated copper plant will disintegrate in highly acidic salt water just as fast as wind and other elements bring down cell towers and transmission equipment.

Which is what 60% of the backbone is still because its to expensive to re-string.

Most copper is much newer than that, having been rebuilt in the 1950's and 60's as part of national defense response capability. And it is plastic-encased, not paper.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to neochu

said by neochu:

WRT to hurricane prone areas. Salt water floods tunnels and conduit where paper insulated phone cable is.

Um.. phone cables are not so poorly insulated.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to DKS

said by DKS:

Most copper is much newer than that, having been rebuilt in the 1950's and 60's as part of national defense response capability. And it is plastic-encased, not paper.

There are 10's, if not 100's of thousands of miles of paper-cable still in use... My cable repair guys work on paper probably once a week, if not more... Daily, in some more remote areas. I can guarantee there's paper-cable still in place in Owen Sound.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to J E F F

said by J E F F:

said by DKS:

said by vitesse:

another great solution is to use ham radio gear to make communication when nothing else work. Phone can only operate few hour under power outage. emergency battery can't last forever if they are not re-charged.

Not true. The central offices of Bell Canada have large batteries and generators to recharge them. They can go for days.

He might be referring to Rogers Home Phone, which do not have an infinite lifespan during power failure.

Rogers Home Phone is not a copper-wire system.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
reply to HoboJ

said by HoboJ:

emergency services aren't really equipped to interface with ham radio operators. Even with the ARES training done by many ham radio groups they're lucky to get even token support from their local emergency services. It really is a shame that such resources aren't better integrated or even acknowledged.

That totally depends on where you live and is by no means universally true. The ARES guys and the local emergency responders have a half-decent relationship in Niagara, and they've relied on each other in the past during major storms.

I would imagine that in a storm the magnitude of Sandy the ham guys in New Jersey and Downstate New York are busy busy busy.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2
reply to LazMan

said by LazMan:

said by DKS:

Most copper is much newer than that, having been rebuilt in the 1950's and 60's as part of national defense response capability. And it is plastic-encased, not paper.

There are 10's, if not 100's of thousands of miles of paper-cable still in use... My cable repair guys work on paper probably once a week, if not more... Daily, in some more remote areas. I can guarantee there's paper-cable still in place in Owen Sound.

There may well be. But in areas exposed to moisture? Not likely. In buildings, perhaps.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

said by DKS:

said by LazMan:

said by DKS:

Most copper is much newer than that, having been rebuilt in the 1950's and 60's as part of national defense response capability. And it is plastic-encased, not paper.

There are 10's, if not 100's of thousands of miles of paper-cable still in use... My cable repair guys work on paper probably once a week, if not more... Daily, in some more remote areas. I can guarantee there's paper-cable still in place in Owen Sound.

There may well be. But in areas exposed to moisture? Not likely. In buildings, perhaps.

In the air, on the site of the road, underground in duct structure. You're right, it's not likely - it's a fact. It still out there.

As for the water-proof-ness (is that a word?) - many cables still rely on air-dryers - air is pumped into the cable from the CO, and remotes, to keep positive pressure in the cable, and prevent water infiltration. If the power to the air compressor fails, the cable will go wet, sometimes in very short order, depending on the region.


DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2

said by LazMan:

In the air, on the site of the road, underground in duct structure. You're right, it's not likely - it's a fact. It still out there.

As for the water-proof-ness (is that a word?) - many cables still rely on air-dryers - air is pumped into the cable from the CO, and remotes, to keep positive pressure in the cable, and prevent water infiltration. If the power to the air compressor fails, the cable will go wet, sometimes in very short order, depending on the region.

Surprising to hear that, given that in this area, moisture is a serious issue. The water table in sections of the city is about two feet below grade. Many houses in the centre of town can't have basements of any depth.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to DKS

said by DKS:

Not true. The central offices of Bell Canada have large batteries and generators to recharge them. They can go for days.

Every CO and remote will have a minimum of 3 hours reserve of battery; and often more. Typically 3-4 hours if there's a fixed generator on site, 8 hours for sites protected by portable generators, and as much as 24 hours of battery for very remote sites.

If there's a generator onsite, it will have between 24 and 72 hours of fuel at a minimum, depending on the classification of the site; and sometimes much more.

Some of my offices maintain as much as 14 days of fuel; although most are 48-72 hours.

As for Roger's - they got smacked a few years ago for the reliability of their phone service, and have added batteries and remote generators to much of their outside plant, to keep amp's and nodes up and running; to ensure phone service remains active.

That's why Vonage and a few other VoIP companies have fought hard to keep from being classed as Telco's, and instead refer to themselves as "Voice application providers" - to end-run the life-safety and availability requirements placed on telco's...


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to DKS

said by DKS:

Surprising to hear that, given that in this area, moisture is a serious issue. The water table in sections of the city is about two feet below grade. Many houses in the centre of town can't have basements of any depth.

I didn't do OSP construction for long - as great as it was being up a pole in May or June was, February sucked - I moved into inside maintenance quickly... But I was very surprised about what was considered 'normal' - manholes that routinely have 4-6' of water in them, how old some cable-plant was, and the amount of repairs or damage that was required before planning would actually replace cable with modern stuff...


lugnut

@look.ca
reply to vitesse

said by vitesse:

Ham radio emergency system are better implemented than one would think.

In Canada you have CFARS, RAC and RAQI that coordinate Emergency system with public emergency service.

This is why I keep a hand held Cobra CB Radio in my emergency kit. It runs on standard AA Batteries and I know it won't fail me in a real emergency.

»www.thesource.ca/estore/product.···=2111507

Cheap insurance at twice the price.

Cellphones and landlines can only get you so far in an emergency and the CB radio, belittled by most these days, is still a strong contender for the first line of emergency communication when the sh*t hits the fan


Anav
Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Premium
join:2001-07-16
Dartmouth, NS
kudos:4
reply to DKS

The first precaution to take is to get out of dodge. I cannot comprehend why people stayed in coastal beach areas surrounded by ocean and rivers etc with a Hurricane and high tide and storm surge coming. I would be have tempted to charge them all with stupidity or at least for the emergency services they used. Of course there are some that could not leave (no transport, too old, unable to drive, no family support etc), but those people were lost in the weeds of all the selfish ones that did not go. The number of 911 calls were staggering.
--
Ain't nuthin but the blues! "Albert Collins".
Leave your troubles at the door! "Pepe Peregil" De Sevilla. Just Don't Wifi without WPA, "Yul Brenner"

LlamaWorks Equipment



Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
reply to DKS

The idea of having Pay phones for when cell networks go down, is fine, in theory. But at what cost, and who pays?

If it's mandated, you want to pay a surcharge on a cell-phone bill for that eventuality? I might, but would depend on how much that is. $0.11 month? Sure. $5.99? No.
--
“Any claim that the root of a problem is simple should be treated the same as a claim that the root of a problem is Bigfoot. Simplicity and Bigfoot are found in the real world with about the same frequency.” – David Wong



DKS
Damn Kidney Stones
Premium,ExMod 2002
join:2001-03-22
Owen Sound, ON
kudos:2

said by Ian:

The idea of having Pay phones for when cell networks go down, is fine, in theory. But at what cost, and who pays?

Ah. The "economic" argument. According to the telcos, they are "expensive", but we all know how they skew their proposals to benefit their own agenda.

How about an independent financial review which will tell us the "real" cost as opposed to the "company" cost? And forget about "public service". Make it 100% cost recoverey. Where are the ReformaTories when you need a coherent (though not logical) free market agreement?
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.