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Basic, newbie questions about Voice service

Regular Contributor

Basic, newbie questions about Voice service

We've still got a landline for our local phone service. I'd love to switch to something like Comcast Voice, but have been fighting a losing battle with my better half--who insists on keeping a landline in case of power outages. Our cell service isn't great in this area, which is another roadblock. I need some good talking points to sway the argument my way. A few questions: during a power outage, do we lose Comcast Voice service? Is there an LTE-like backup? How would Voice integrate with our current wireless home network(which uses a costly Airport router)? I've more questions, but will start with those few. Thanks in advance for your advice.
Cable Expert

Re: Basic, newbie questions about Voice service

Comcast Digital Voice depends on both AC power in the home to power the phone modem, and outside power on the poles to power the outside plant.

 

In your home, Comcast used to supply batteries in the phone modem, as of Febuary they no longer do.  Any off the shelf UPS battery backup power supply can power the phone modem if you wish.

 

On the outside plant, the power has 8 hours or so of battery backup.  Once these go down, both TV, internet and phone will be lost.

 

There is no other wirelesss backup like alarm companies do for alarm panels.

 

If your area has a history of power outages, then you should think twice about depending on these battery backups.

 

On the Airport question, the newest voice or internet modems (gateways) have a built in wireless router.  For you to keep the AirPort going, the routing function would need to be disabled in the Comcast gateway device.  The installer would not do that, but you can call in and get it put in "bridge mode".




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Regular Contributor

Re: Basic, newbie questions about Voice service

JayInAl, : just to clarify: there are power backups that can maintain Comcast Voice service during a power outage that lasts as long as 8 hours? I;ve never heard of that. If so, that is a huge factor. We get a few outages here(Cape Cod) each year, but rarely do they last as long as 8 hours. If I can be assured that battery backups will cover a "routine" 2-3 hour outage, that's a good arguing chip.  On the Airport question, the reason I asked is that I just bought the thing 14 months ago...but maybe I could sell it. I also replaced our modem 3 months ago--but not a Gateway, a Motorola Surfboard. I just don't want to buy equipment that's going to screw up a wireless network that I can't remember how I set up! Thanks again, and I await your reply.

Cable Expert

Re: Basic, newbie questions about Voice service

The Comcast supplied gateways have a bad reputation and us on the forum can only hope future software updates fix the issues with configuration issues and poor wireless coverage.

 

You have a investment on your existing equipment, and you might be better off keeping it that way.

 

The Comcast digital voice is as reliable as your TV service, if you have noticed outages with the TV, the phone outages would be similar.  There is certainly no guarantees of any planned or unplanned outages.  Most outages would normally be storm related.  Old POTS lines from the local telco seem to always be more reliable.

 

If you do switch to Digital Voice, then there are ways to keep the AirPort going depending on what Comcast gives you for a voice modem, either a eMTA telephony modem that does internet and voice, but without a built in router, or the newer gateways that are phone plus internet & wireless router combo.  With the gateway, you can get it put in bridge mode to continue to use the AirPort.  The eMTA would need a wireless router, which your AirPort would be used for.




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Regular Contributor

Re: Basic, newbie questions about Voice service

Hate to throw another question at you, but here goes: if I choose to keep my existing equipment(Surfboard modem, AirPort router)and use an eMTA phone modem, does the eMTA have a battery backup that keeps phone service going during outages? That's the main issue here--losing phone service during power outages. Our cell service is not great in our area. I need assurances that we would retain Comcast Voice during an outage. Thanks for your patience and answers--greatly appreciated.
Gold Problem Solver

Re: Basic, newbie questions about Voice service


stevetefft wrote: ... does the eMTA have a battery backup that keeps phone service going ...

Comcast stopped providing batteries with its rental eMTAs and gateways a few months ago. Now, if you want a backup battery, you have to buy one, about $41. See http://customer.comcast.com/help-and-support/phone/getting-a-new-battery/

Regular Contributor

Re: Basic, newbie questions about Voice service

Buying a battery is no problem. I'd gladly purchase one. I wonder if I could, or should, buy my own eMTA modem too? Is that advisable or possible?