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Topic # 88454 16-Aug-2011 16:00 Send private message

Copper based Telephone services don't rely on power at the customer end to still be usable in the event of a power cut. When Fibre comes into play power is a necessity to provide telephone, & internet services. If you have a power cut with Fibre based service you'll lose both the telephone & internet service unless you have an Uninterrupted Power Supply.

The issue of power cuts & fibre was raised recently at the Ultra Fast Broadband Dialogue Consultation. The current UFB plan is to not provide a Uninterrupted Power Supply with the installation, leaving it to the customer to decide whether or not they require backup in the event of a power outage and to incur any associated costs. The reason behind that decision was ; even if the UFB service was installed with a UPS most modern phones require power to operate, therefore UPS needs will depend on the requirements of the customer.

To put this into perspective with the current Fibre to the Home product, installs are provided with a UPS but it only covers the ONT*. This means the WRP400 or Phone & Internet box is without power and all services fail during a power cut. If you are technically inclined it’s possible to connect a Laptop to the ONT* and connect via PPPoE, giving you internet service. However this still leaves you without a phone and isn’t suitable for most customers.

Hopefully the above gives you some insight on the current situation, given the importance of emergency calling it could very well change at some point - an Uninterrupted Power Supply which covers both the ONT, Phone & Internet services may even become an integral part of the installation.

*ONT stands for Optical Network Terminal, the ONT converts the fibre optic light signals to electric signals which your router can then understand. It’s basically a signal translation unit for all the services (e.g.. internet, voice and video) which may be delivered to your Fibre enabled home.







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  Reply # 507425 16-Aug-2011 16:19 Send private message

I think people may be expected to have mobile phones. not sure.




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  Reply # 507463 16-Aug-2011 17:45 Send private message

@Cameronn, what you have described is the same situation people have right now with naked / voip connections. 

The only solution to combat loss of services (as you say) would be install a UPS device. They are fairly cheap, around $200 for an APC branded UPS, that will power your modem, voip ata device, and cordless phone base station for in excess of 50 minutes. (Should also be the same for an UFB set up)

If you are wanting any longer, then get a bigger UPS, BUT, the bigger the UPS, the bigger and more expensive the battery. And the battery should be changed yearly or bi-yearly.

I am willing to bet that most people with a normal POTS phone line now have portable phones which require power, and also have no old style corded phones, so are unable to communicate anyway in the event of a power cut.

In fact, I can't remember the last house I saw with a standard old corded phone...


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  Reply # 507467 16-Aug-2011 17:50 Send private message



In fact, I can't remember the last house I saw with a standard old corded phone...



Personally, I only have a cordless connected, but there are two back up corded phones sitting in a draw in the office... just in case. Maybe I should add one to my earthquake/survival kit.

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  Reply # 507478 16-Aug-2011 18:13 Send private message

Our phone lines go out within an hour or two of a powercut anyway, I assume there's more power needed at the cabinet these days to power ADSL services? I'd say they used to stay up at least 12-24 hours before we got ADSL in our area.

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  Reply # 507480 16-Aug-2011 18:14 Send private message

jjnz1: I am willing to bet that most people with a normal POTS phone line now have portable phones which require power, and also have no old style corded phones, so are unable to communicate anyway in the event of a power cut.

In fact, I can't remember the last house I saw with a standard old corded phone...



This has been the exact scenario in Chch where the PSTN network stayed up after the earthquakes but many people were unable to make calls due to a lack of power for their cordless phone.

The irony of moving to fibre is that we're inherently deploying a network that's less robust in many ways than what we have right now.

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  Reply # 507497 16-Aug-2011 18:44 Send private message

I was thinking about this the other day and since we're on the topic wonder if anyone else has had similar thoughts...

Using a UPS is fine, but I find them bulky and they must be fairly inefficient (converting 12V DC to 240V AC and then back to 12V DC through your equipments transformer). Since most gear is 12V DC powered, wouldn't it be better to supply the backup power source directly from a 12V DC battery?

Surely there must be a "box" out there that can switch between 240V AC mains and a 12V DC backup battery, plus charge the battery without overcharging it and output 12V DC for your ONT/Router/ATA/whatever?

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  Reply # 507504 16-Aug-2011 18:59 Send private message

Kraven: I was thinking about this the other day and since we're on the topic wonder if anyone else has had similar thoughts...

Using a UPS is fine, but I find them bulky and they must be fairly inefficient (converting 12V DC to 240V AC and then back to 12V DC through your equipments transformer). Since most gear is 12V DC powered, wouldn't it be better to supply the backup power source directly from a 12V DC battery?

Surely there must be a "box" out there that can switch between 240V AC mains and a 12V DC backup battery, plus charge the battery without overcharging it and output 12V DC for your ONT/Router/ATA/whatever?


Who says most of the gear is 12V , one of the issues we face was the customer RGW being 5volts (residential gateway) 




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  Reply # 507512 16-Aug-2011 19:14 Send private message

jjnz1:
In fact, I can't remember the last house I saw with a standard old corded phone...



I have a std corded phone, as well as a cordless phone that was on the UPS I have. The UPS had on it a modem, voip router and cordless phone. The UPS died 3 days ago (batteries need to be changed). Last night, for the first time in a very long time, we had a power cut....

Typical.




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  Reply # 507521 16-Aug-2011 19:45 Send private message

sbiddle:

The irony of moving to fibre is that we're inherently deploying a network that's less robust in many ways than what we have right now.


No.

That's not irony, and it's not acceptable.

For those of you that are'nt old enough, once upon a time the copper telephone network used to require every house to have 2x6V DC batteries, normally stored in the loft, for the telephone to work. I can still remember the Post Office technicians coming around once a year, checking they worked, replacing the duds. On occasions, mum would ask for a new telephone to keep up with the neighbours.

In the 70's, being a destructive 7-year old, I dismantled many of those old telephones trying to understand by staring at them how they worked.

Fast forward, and the system was eventually replaced with centrally powered phones. Note this wasn't anywhere rural - it was central wellington, and my folks place was (and still is) connected to Courtney Place exchange.

The rollout of fibre is to take us forward, apparently, into a world where the Internet becomes the base network. My parents wouldn't understand, my kids can't comprehend anything else.

And here we are again as an industry... with a not-really-suitable answer.

See my blog, conveniently written the day before this forum topic http://www.geekzone.co.nz/antoniosk/7769




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  Reply # 507578 16-Aug-2011 21:32 Send private message

It would not be difficult to mandate that either devices (or their power supplies) were fitted with some kind of backup battery... but of course that would add cost and folk who didn't care or understand would cry foul on local pricing.

My Voice and data services are all via 3G, the mains wall adapter (DC output) for my device goes directly to a cigarette packet sized box which contains some DC charging smarts and a small battery pack. If power fails the device doesn't, although it does fall back to 2G and has a claimed 3hr battery life (talk time). It was an option, and I opted to take it because I understood why.

With fibre we'd simply have to decide what the fall-back options were in event of power failures. If the ONT has an inbuild backup supply then are we really that far away??? Or is this equivalent to yesterdays POTS?

Based on historical POTS the requirement was to be able to connect to the service to make a call. A wired handset lets you do that.... even today. Soo is the power supported ONT really any different from that service, (if you can connect directly to it, via cable, with your laptop)? Or should a voice output be default supported?

If the idea is to make it a fool-proof fall back then whats stopping us fools all tossing away our fixed phones now and replacing them with cordless?? Not a damn thing, which is why most of us have.....
Or does it take an 'event' like a long power cut to make us step back and say
'Why doesn't my service work?'
'Whose responsibility is that?'


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  Reply # 507588 16-Aug-2011 21:43 Send private message

IMHO I dont really see this as a real issue. Generally (which means mostly, not always) power outages are resolved relatively quickly. Here in ChCh we have had outages with earthquakes, and apart from Sept it is back on in an hour or two. Yes, it can be worse, but we have laptops which we keep charged, have cellphones, so we are not cut off as may have been the case in the past. Businesses, and those with critical needs will have their own UPS solution, me, we are at constant risk, but we have options as above.

It comes down to need and desire and cost and risk. We are far better off than those in the past where outages may have been lengthy. I dont have a need to buy a box that rarely gets used, as I have a laptop with 3 hours life and a mobile with days on careful use.

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  Reply # 507599 16-Aug-2011 21:57 Send private message

tdgeek: IMHO I dont really see this as a real issue. Generally (which means mostly, not always) power outages are resolved relatively quickly. Here in ChCh we have had outages with earthquakes, and apart from Sept it is back on in an hour or two. Yes, it can be worse, but we have laptops which we keep charged, have cellphones, so we are not cut off as may have been the case in the past. Businesses, and those with critical needs will have their own UPS solution, me, we are at constant risk, but we have options as above.

It comes down to need and desire and cost and risk. We are far better off than those in the past where outages may have been lengthy. I dont have a need to buy a box that rarely gets used, as I have a laptop with 3 hours life and a mobile with days on careful use.


But not everyone has those options.   The reliability of the Plain Old Telephone System is that (provided you have a wired handset) you can call for help or assistance in the event of loss of power, whether this be for emergency or simply comfort.

If you don't have a mobile, and not everyone does  (many by choice), or if the mobile services fail as a result of the 'event' (this is a known issue) then it's useful range is only as far as you can throw it.



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  Reply # 507602 16-Aug-2011 22:01 Send private message

On one hand we have the government extremely unhappy with mobile providers when the briefest of outages has the potential to impact on 111 availability, while there are already fibre installs with no backup option for phones... It really doesn't make sence.

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  Reply # 507604 16-Aug-2011 22:04 Send private message

oxnsox:
tdgeek: IMHO I dont really see this as a real issue. Generally (which means mostly, not always) power outages are resolved relatively quickly. Here in ChCh we have had outages with earthquakes, and apart from Sept it is back on in an hour or two. Yes, it can be worse, but we have laptops which we keep charged, have cellphones, so we are not cut off as may have been the case in the past. Businesses, and those with critical needs will have their own UPS solution, me, we are at constant risk, but we have options as above.

It comes down to need and desire and cost and risk. We are far better off than those in the past where outages may have been lengthy. I dont have a need to buy a box that rarely gets used, as I have a laptop with 3 hours life and a mobile with days on careful use.


But not everyone has those options.   The reliability of the Plain Old Telephone System is that (provided you have a wired handset) you can call for help or assistance in the event of loss of power, whether this be for emergency or simply comfort.

If you don't have a mobile, and not everyone does  (many by choice), or if the mobile services fail as a result of the 'event' (this is a known issue) then it's useful range is only as far as you can throw it.


I appreciate those points, all correct.  To cover those, does copper POTS cabling need to be retained for all NZ telephone connections? And those who want protection to be told to buy a corded phone? I just feel that the last generation had the way they dealt with power outages, and this generation has their way. Things are better now, albeit more risk with more complexity, but the population generally has better offline options.


How long and at what cost will we choose to retain old hardware for little reward? 

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  Reply # 507614 16-Aug-2011 22:27 Send private message

tdgeek:How long and at what cost will we choose to retain old hardware for little reward? 

So it's a question of Backward compatibility.  With the term 'backward' referring to our expectations rather than the technology.

We can accept that 'Freeview' is not backwardly compatible, but we don't use a television to call for assistance.
3G isn't Backward compatible with 2G, just as GSM wasn't backward compatible with AMPS... but the user experience and expectations of all four as calling services are essentially the same.
How long and at what cost will we choose to retain old hardware for little reward? 

The hardware and technology has changed rather dramatically, but what we use it for (with regards voice calls), and how we actually use it hasn't really changed at all.
Surely that is the reward.

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