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reply to meeeeeeeeee

Re: Verizon not going to replace copper damaged by Sandy

Well, here's the latest word.

Verizon is discontinuing service to copper customers in my area in RI in about two weeks.

All of these customers, as far as I know, now have working service. "My area" is a small community where I have various cousins sprinkled around and people my family has known for generations, so I take our experiences - copper phones back working when power came back - as a good sample. I am not sure how much bigger the service discontinuation area is than my community.

The local PUC has been no help. I have been emailing with a low level guy who parrots that stuff about fiber being the "wave of the future" and apparently has no conception of phone reliability in natural disaster issues, which is only going to get more serious as natural disasters increase.

I postal mailed the one PUC commissioner who seems, from his online resume, to be smart; I don't expect this to accomplish anything, but I'm going to make a commotion just on general principles.

It's that email PUC guy who told me Verizon had pulled the backup generators for copper from the central office, which is why our phones were down in the blizzard-related power failure. There was never any notice to customers about that. I am now regretting that I originally told Verizon 2-3 years ago when they tried to change me to FIOS then that I wanted to stay with copper because of the power failure reliability, because they have treated us so badly (including lying) that I think they probably removed the generators exactly because customers were telling them that. Yes, paranoia, but sometimes they really are out to get you and I think they are in this case.

I called the FCC and a very nice lady went off to talk to someone and came back to say that "since it involved landlines" I should talk to my local PUC. I wrote the head of the FCC anyway.

So I have an appointment with Cox to take over my phone service in about a week.

Some questions -

Cox's battery backup at my house will last eight hours, they say, which "seems" to be wall clock time I am not sure how actually using the phone during that time affects how long the battery lasts, or if using the Cox Internet connection affects it. Does anyone know about the battery backup? (Cox customer service told me varying things.)

Also, someone mentioned to me that a relatively cheap ($80-$100) UPS possibly could provide additional backup. If the modem (there is apparently one that handles both the phone and Internet connection, according to Cox customer service) draws a low enough amount of power, I'll look into that.

What about the actual phones in a power failure? I am guessing that only the one that doesn't run off a brick will be working? Or is it the brick ones that I have plugged into the UPS that will work?

Thanks very much anyone for any info.

Looking at the bigger picture

1 edit
It is a shame they are being allowed to get away with this. Where are our consumer advocates? If yours was an isolated case I could understand but there are still thousands of people and small businesses in lower Manhattan that have been without phone service since the storm! They don't have any other options, they are simply waiting for Verizon to roll-out FIOS. I also know they are simply pulling-the-plug on working customers in the Rockaways and blaming it on the storm. Phone service has gone from a regulated utility to a commodity and no one seems to care. Maybe (since they don't care about copper anymore) I will pull the plug on some of the local police stations, lawyers, and politicians' offices and let Verizon tell them they have to wait for FIOS.

I am sorry, I don't have an answer for your battery-backup questions; if you don't get an answer in this thread, try the Cox HSI forum, they will probably know:
»Cox HSI

From a Verizon employee that actually cares about the customers, please accept my apologies.


Newburgh, NY

1 edit
reply to trudy
A normal (wired phone with no external power) that is plugged into the modem will continue to work for as long as the battery backup for the modem works. A wireless phone will cease working immediately because the base station (which is the interface to the phone network) will no longer have power. Any decent (computer type) UPS should power the modem and a base station for a day or two as they don't draw a lot of current (even combined, compared to a computer). You can lengthen that time by unplugging the base station when you are not making a call, but you won't be able to receive calls. You can get a good idea of how long your setup will last by unplugging the UPS when you have power OR, you can find out the capacity of the UPS and the combined draw of the base station and modem and do the math (this might help »www.csgnetwork.com/upssizecalc.html) to get a rough idea. Of course from there, you can get a small generator or power inverter (NOT the cheap, cigarette lighter kind!) for your car to keep the UPS going, the possibilities are endless.
"when the people have suffered many abuses under the control of a totalitarian leader, they not only have the right but the duty to overthrow that government." - The U.S. Declaration of Independence