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

Re: This Is Why We Need Pay Phones

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:5
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.


nitzguy
Premium
join:2002-07-11
Sudbury, ON
reply to Anav
said by Anav:

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.

...Apparently Atlantic City didn't have an evacuation order....I'm like WTF?....makes no sense...everyone thinks it won't happen to them....but then when it does they cry foul....and the money spent to get people out of the way after the fact....fail on their part...

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
reply to LazMan
said by LazMan:

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.

If you remember the "Ice Storm"... yes that ice storm...Bell...bless their hearts put a lot of effort into making sure each CO had a generator and fuel shipped in.

As the likelihood of a major long lasting power interruption is pretty good, if not guaranteed, in our lifetime it will be interesting to see if they could or would sustain that effort next time.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

1 edit
reply to DKS
While hardly scientific - remember 10 years or so ago, when there were white-label payphones all over the place?

When's the last time you saw one? If there was still money to be made, you'd still see those 3rd party phones...

EDIT for typo


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

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?

Are you channeling elwoodblues See Profile?

How is this political? Who cares what the "ReformaTories" think, or the Liberals, or NDP? There's a reason why the phone companies don't want to maintain a large pay phone network at their (and their customers') expense. People no longer use them and put quarters in them. They have cell phones.

The company cost becomes our cost one way or the other. Even if those costs are altruistic or for a "public service".
--
“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


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
How about emergency call boxes rather than payphones? I'm a younger guy here, but I still remember them along the highway when I was a kid.


Ian
Premium
join:2002-06-18
ON
kudos:3
said by Gone:

How about emergency call boxes rather than payphones? I'm a younger guy here, but I still remember them along the highway when I was a kid.

Do you want them badly enough to pay for them?
--
“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


digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
Premium
join:2000-07-15
BurlingtonON
kudos:2
reply to DKS
Lineups at payphones during a large scale event are not the answer, as user demand will always exceed capacity: the pay phone network, even in its heyday, was not designed for thousands of simultaneous physical users. Installing more payphones or emergency boxes will not change that; since the volume increase is largely due to the move away from the traditional (copper) home land line.

The real issue is the lack of redundancy and scaling in cellular systems. There's no point in investing in technology that almost no one uses, the money is better spent on technology that is being used.

Also, the story does not mention, probably on purpose, how long the cellphone outage lasted and what the impact of it was. That needs to be known before changing public policy.
--
Logic requires one to deal with decisions that one's ego will not permit.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke.


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

Do you want them badly enough to pay for them?

If it's part of an emergency communications network it might be worthwhile to consider. We all pay for e911 and no one would ever think of cutting back on that due to costs, after all.

We're lucky that in Southern Ontario we don't run into a lot in the way of disasters like some places in the US (or even Canada - read: Manitoba) do. Still, it doesn't mean we're completely immune to it. Saying something is too expensive can come back to royally bite you in the ass when that million to one shot happens and you need it.


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

The real issue is the lack of redundancy and scaling in cellular systems. There's no point in investing in technology that almost no one uses, the money is better spent on technology that is being used.

The lineups for people to get to an outlet to charge their cell phones were also quite long. A friend of mine in NJ was trading power bars for food for a while in the few areas that did have power so people could get their phones charged and he could get a bit to eat since the credit network was also shot to shit.

So no, the cell network is not the end-all answer either.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to peterboro
said by peterboro:

If you remember the "Ice Storm"... yes that ice storm...Bell...bless their hearts put a lot of effort into making sure each CO had a generator and fuel shipped in.

As the likelihood of a major long lasting power interruption is pretty good, if not guaranteed, in our lifetime it will be interesting to see if they could or would sustain that effort next time.

I do remember - I made some good money...

There wasn't exactly a generator per CO - what they did, and what the plans still call for - is truck and trailer mounted generators to go site to site, recharge the batteries, and then relocate... Wash, rinse, and repeat. Also, as utility providers, they have priority access to fuel; as well as having contracts in place with providers and local, regional, and national levels.

They also brought in generators from other territories (during the blackout in '03 - my company flew or drove/towed generators from other regions into Ontario) for coverage.

That said - telco power's a funny, and cyclical thing...

Great amounts of money are spent on backup power, and there's never a problem... So the bean counters cut the funding, saying "Why are we wasting all this money on generators and batteries, when our power never has a problem?" - about 3 years after the funding cuts, there starts to be issues - generators don't start when they are supposed to, batteries don't have the life they should, etc... Another year or two after that, funding is restored, because "Our power is sh_t! We need to fix it!" Wait about 3-4 years, and funding is cut again... And the wheel just goes round and round... LOL


dirtyjeffer
Anons on ignore, but not due to fear.
Premium
join:2002-02-21
London, ON
said by LazMan:

There wasn't exactly a generator per CO - what they did, and what the plans still call for - is truck and trailer mounted generators to go site to site, recharge the batteries, and then relocate... Wash, rinse, and repeat. Also, as utility providers, they have priority access to fuel; as well as having contracts in place with providers and local, regional, and national levels.

They also brought in generators from other territories (during the blackout in '03 - my company flew or drove/towed generators from other regions into Ontario) for coverage.

reminds me of CAT Rental Power (one of our clients)...handy units...you can set up a small "field" of these units (the fixed ones can even run on NG or possibly Methane too) to create a quick "power station" often to supply areas off the beaten path where running permanent fixed line systems are either not possible or prohibitively expensive.
--
People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

- George Orwell


vitesse

join:2002-12-17
Saint-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, QC
Reviews:
·ELECTRONICBOX
·voip.ms
·Bell Sympatico
·Videotron
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.

Has everyone said, your are wrong. they have battery for only few hours and not all C/O has generator. In the ice storm the only thing that permit to operate hospital in the black triangle was ham radio link. Bell worked hard in my city to maintain battery charged but they have been down for most of the time, and not at all in city downtown. Not only because the lack of power but their pole was down too.

The last thing that will remain operation in a real life situation is ham radio gears
--
Connection: ElectronicBox 60mbps / 3mbps
Bilingual DSLR ElectronicBox Forum: »ELECTRONICBOX


Gone
Premium
join:2011-01-24
Fort Erie, ON
kudos:4
said by vitesse:

The last thing that will remain operation in a real life situation is ham radio gears

Yup. That pretty much sums it up.

I've even heard stories of the police pulling over people with ham plates because the radio in their car was screwed and they needed to call in. This is years ago mind you, but the point remains. Hams are an important part of the safety system.


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

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.

Has everyone said, your are wrong. they have battery for only few hours and not all C/O has generator. In the ice storm the only thing that permit to operate hospital in the black triangle was ham radio link. Bell worked hard in my city to maintain battery charged but they have been down for most of the time, and not at all in city downtown. Not only because the lack of power but their pole was down too.

The last thing that will remain operation in a real life situation is ham radio gears

Even small exchanges have connection plugs and batteries so that a generator can be attached. My own CO in this city has a large generator in the back and batteries in the basement. Without the generator, the batteries can last only 3 hours. That was the problem in the Toronto exchange fire in 1999. »writer-tech.com/pages/articles/telecom.htm

BTW, the ILEC in our area, Bruce Telecom, has a remote CO with a honking big generator plug coming out of the wall.
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.

peterboro
Avatars are for posers
Premium
join:2006-11-03
Peterborough, ON
said by DKS:

My own CO in this city has a large generator in the back and batteries in the basement.

All CO's have batteries.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to DKS
Uh, generators had nothing to do with the 99 outage at the Simcoe st CO... The dead short in the switchgear, caused be electricians working unsafely; and the water from the firefighters caused the issue.

And yes, I was there. I was with Nortel at the time, and we went in to assist with recovery work.


CanadianRip

join:2009-07-15
Oakville, ON
reply to DKS
said by DKS:

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

Incorrect, this is why we need more HAM operators.

The phone networks are useless in a catastrophic situation.


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

Uh, generators had nothing to do with the 99 outage at the Simcoe st CO... The dead short in the switchgear, caused be electricians working unsafely; and the water from the firefighters caused the issue.

And yes, I was there. I was with Nortel at the time, and we went in to assist with recovery work.

Generators didn't cause the outage, but as they could not be run, I understand, they could not recharge the batteries.
--
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 CanadianRip
said by CanadianRip:

said by DKS:

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

Incorrect, this is why we need more HAM operators.

The phone networks are useless in a catastrophic situation.

And when will you get your ticket?
--
Need-based health care not greed-based health care.


CanadianRip

join:2009-07-15
Oakville, ON
said by DKS:

And when will you get your ticket?

I was a radio geek long before I touched my first TRS-80. My first major fight with my wife was when I erected my first outdoor multi-band antenna.

Wire-line failed just as miserably in many areas as did wireless with all the flooding. We'd be far better off and safer setting up an emergency radio system, or upgrading the existing cellular system to better manage with catastrophe then we would be investing money on a wire-line system given how expansive our geography is.

Stick a Ballard Power fuel stack on the towers. Allow them to prioritize emergency traffic. There - we're good to go.