North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Converged Networks Threat (Was: Level3 Outage)

  • From: Dave Stewart
  • Date: Wed Feb 25 13:13:56 2004

At 10:52 AM 2/25/2004, you wrote:

recommendation come out regarding VoIP calls.  How long until a simple
power failure results in the inability to place calls?
We're already at that point. If the power goes out at home, I'd have to grab a flashlight and go hunting for a regular ol' POTS-powered phone. Or use the cell phone (as I did when Bubba had a few too many to drink one night recently and took out a power transformer). But I do have a few old regular phones. How many people don't?

Interactive Intelligence, Artisoft and many others are selling businesses phone systems that run entirely on a "server" that may or may not be connected to a UPS of sufficient capacity to keep the server running during an extended outage. These systems are frequently handling a PRI instead of POTS lines, so there's no backup when the UPS dies. One the "phone server" goes down, no phone service.

VOIP services have the same problem. Lights go out, that whiz-bang handy-dandy VOIP phone doesn't work, either.

Sure, we talking about the end user, not the core/backbone. But the answer to the question, strictly speaking, is that a simple power outage can result in many people being unable to make a simple phone call (or at best, relying on their cell phones... assuming the generator fired at their nearest cell when the lights went out).