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Battery backup for phone service

New Poster

Battery backup for phone service

Because we have frequent, long-lasting power failures in our area, we purchased a backup battery for our phone service which is supposed to provide 8 hours of phone service in the event of a power failure.  We get only a half hour of backup phone service, however, and after that, can't get a dial tone until electricity is restored (we have hard wired phones).  We have had three batteries, two modems, and visits from 3 Comcast technicians as well as a supervisor, but they can't seem to pinpoint the problem.  In the meantime, summer with its thunderstorms and power outages is coming closer all the time.  Is this a common problem among Comcast customers, or are we unique?  Any suggestions on how to remedy this situation and obtain the 8 hours of battery backup to which we are entitled?

 

Thanks for any help you can provide. 

Service Expert

Re: Battery backup for phone service


jtmpwm04 wrote:

Because we have frequent, long-lasting power failures in our area, we purchased a backup battery for our phone service which is supposed to provide 8 hours of phone service in the event of a power failure.  We get only a half hour of backup phone service, however, and after that, can't get a dial tone until electricity is restored (we have hard wired phones).  We have had three batteries, two modems, and visits from 3 Comcast technicians as well as a supervisor, but they can't seem to pinpoint the problem.  In the meantime, summer with its thunderstorms and power outages is coming closer all the time.  Is this a common problem among Comcast customers, or are we unique?  Any suggestions on how to remedy this situation and obtain the 8 hours of battery backup to which we are entitled?

 

Thanks for any help you can provide. 


The internal batteries are not the "ideal" choice for true backup/protection....  a stand-alone UPS system would be your best choice for increased battery backup and for surge/spike protection to your electronics.




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New Poster

Re: Battery backup for phone service

Using an UPS system would be better to keep your modem working longer...HOWEVER unless Comcast CATV network is totally different...CATV systems require Line Amps every so many kilo-feet down the line depending on engineering reqmnts. These down stream line amps use commerical AC power...one amp loses power, the whole line is kaput. I don't recommend Comcast phones for emergency use, even if your local modem has backup power...the Comcast line amps are not protected to my knowledge.

 

Cell networks are also vulnerable in long term power outages...the cell sites also have backup batteries, engineered for 8 hours, unless too many people panic and call all their relatives. The major cell networks have backup generators strategically placed around their networks which can be hauled out to a cell site in emergencies, but not if the outage is large scale. They do not provide generators for every cell site (to the best of my knowlege).

 

The best emergency phone setup would be your local phone company with a hard wired (copper twisted pair cable) from your house back to the Telco Central Office which runs on batteries and has a dedicated diesel generator at each central office. Most folks don't have or use these type of 'Ma Bell' old fashioned phones anymore...we all depend on batteries and they all need re-charging when extended power outages occur.

New Poster

Re: Battery backup for phone service - corrected info from Rudym1

I need to correct some info I posted last night...I had said that 'these down stream line amps use commerical power'...should read, the downstream amps are powered from the CATV company 'Head-In', (or eqpt. building) from AC power supplies that furnish 60V AC down the coax to power down stream amps from the Head-In office. If commercial power fails at the Head-In, that eqpt will most likely be backed up by an auto-start generator for the building...this will keep the CATV system/amps up & your phone service running, UNLESS the CATV run is extra long, then supplemental power supplies may be required and they are powered by commercial AC and most likely will fail when there is a power outage in the area.

 

So, IF you have a backup battery for your modem AND your CATV line is not too far from the Head-In, then you will probably have phone service for the duration of your backup modem battery. IF your catv line is far from the Head-In, you may have supplemental power supplies mounted on poles or in ground-mounted cabinets which will have local AC power connections and those will probably not be backed up, so you will probably lose phone service in spite of your modem's back-up battery. Just depends on the design of the local network.


My comments about Cell phones remains the same.