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Thread: Uninterrupted service on a landline

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    Uninterrupted service on a landline

    We have an AT&T copper wire landline which they charge us a fortune for. But we've kept it for two reasons:

    1. We are under the shadow of a mountain and cell service in our neighborhood is really poor. Even setting up an antenna in our home wouldn't fix the problem.

    2. We want to have one phone that works regardless of power outages, which we have several times a year. That's where an old copper wire landline shines. Lights are out but the phone works.

    We have one line through our cable service (Spectrum) and it works well. Except when the power goes out. I understand you can get a backup battery that *may* allow it to continue working. But if power is out for a day or more, you're stuck.

    So any suggestions? I'd like to stop paying AT&T a lot of money for a landline that doesn't even include long distance.

    Thanks!

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    When the power goes out, your landline telephone won't work ? That doesn't sound right. I lost power for almost 2 weeks after a hurricane came through my neighborhood, but my landline phone worked the entire time. My cell phone couldn't charge until I either plugged it in to my car or visited a friend nearby with power on at their home. Please clarify if I misunderstood you.
    Just another day in paradise.....

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    "Lights are out but the phone works"

    The landline works when the power goes out, but is expensive (and no long distance)

    I was going to suggest a professionally installed cell booster with a directional antenna, but that is useless w/o power as well. . . . . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Rules View Post
    "Lights are out but the phone works"

    The landline works when the power goes out, but is expensive (and no long distance)

    I was going to suggest a professionally installed cell booster with a directional antenna, but that is useless w/o power as well. . . . . . .
    In the many years that I did have a landline phone, I never paid any additional fee when the power went out or had trouble making LD calls.

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    Yikes, that's not what I meant. The landline & long distance ALWAYS work, but the monthly cost is high compared to what you can get with a cable company or cell provider.

    i.e. Unlimited talk & text can be as low as $5.00 a month with a cell phone.

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    I guess I wasn't clear. The copper wire landline always works in power outage but is expensive. A phone from AT&T U-verse, Spectrum cable etc. is a landline that is much cheaper and has unlimited long distance and all that good stuff. But they don't work in a power failure. They need external power to work. You can get expensive batteries for them, but if power is out long enough those fail too.

    Was hoping someone had a clever plan C.

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    For readers who may not be aware, in many areas served by legacy wireline "landline" providers (my experience being with AT&T in southwest Michigan), the copper wires no longer utilize plain old telephone service (POTS) but have been converted to VoIP methods of digital transmission, which is an offshoot of their ability to provide DSL service. So no more lines powered by the phone company, and when the power goes out, if you don't have some sort of BBS (battery backup system), you're hosed.

    I don't know if this is universal with all legacy wireline providers, but they want to do digital, and not have to maintain the circuit switching type equipment in the Central Office that used to be the norm. Which makes it easier when they're also a DSL provider; instead of having more than one type of signal on the wires it's just IP in those cases - no analog voice.

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    Even the VoIP type of systems, if they are provided by a telecomm company as voice lines, have to be backed up by batteries and generators at their site. That's why those are expensive ($20 per month).

    Verizon in my area does have backup for their FIOS lines. Now, true that you need also batteries or UPS at your house and eventually a generator to keep them running, but that's on you. You can rent battery backup from them, and that raises back the cost.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoNic67 View Post
    Even the VoIP type of systems, if they are provided by a telecomm company as voice lines, have to be backed up by batteries and generators at their site. That's why those are expensive ($20 per month).

    Verizon in my area does have backup for their FIOS lines. Now, true that you need also batteries or UPS at your house and eventually a generator to keep them running, but that's on you. You can rent battery backup from them, and that raises back the cost.
    As a former Telco maintenance manager, retired 23 years, I give my experience. Even back in the 90s we were running out of copper pairs or they were becoming economically unfeasible to maintain. In stead we installed subscriber carrier systems from the central office out to remote hub locations and from there used copper pairs to the subscriber. The remote hubs have battery back up system engineered to last 4 hours. There was no permanent generator but instead a hookup for a trailer mounted gen-set. This worked for single or a few site failures but if multiple sites are down there were not enough portables to keep them all up. Also even in my day battery maintenance was sketchy and doubtful if the batteries would last the intended 4 hours. I am sure with the pressure on wire line Telcos and reduction in subscribers for that service, the maintenance issues have gotten better. I still see these remote hub sites as I travel around and they are still in use.
    I had landline service up untill about 5 years ago. Power went out due to a hurricane, my landline died in 20 minutes and stayed down for a week.

    Sent from my Lenovo TB-X606F using Tapatalk

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    I'm curious also-We also live in a 'dead zone' for cell service,and with our power outages, my phone gets barely a bar to talk within the house. I feel cut off from the world when that happens,but I don't know what to do other get in the car and drive till I can get a signal....

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    Unless you set up some sort of cellular booster for that available cell signal, it'll never be better than that. The only alternative is some sort of hardline from a provider - either from the local telco or cable TV company, or in some areas there are enterprising new providers using newly laid fiber optic cable. Or perhaps you're in an area that's taking trial sign-ups for Elon Musk's Starlink service. From any internet provider you'd then establish phone service of some sort.

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    hsmama, do you have a decent cell signal outside your house? if so, a booster, properly installed can increase the quality of your service in your house. Another question is, what is the quality that people near you are seeing on other providers? Changing providers can be a pain, but sometimes it's the best solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by donald_s View Post
    hsmama, do you have a decent cell signal outside your house? if so, a booster, properly installed can increase the quality of your service in your house. Another question is, what is the quality that people near you are seeing on other providers? Changing providers can be a pain, but sometimes it's the best solution.
    You may be right, we live on a dead end street with spotty service even outdoors, on one of the bigger roads leading out the service goes dead completely- I may canvas the neighbors to ask them what service they use....

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    Quote Originally Posted by hsmama View Post
    You may be right, we live on a dead end street with spotty service even outdoors, on one of the bigger roads leading out the service goes dead completely- I may canvas the neighbors to ask them what service they use....
    That is a good idea. I'm a cellular geek so I have tried all three over the years and know what works for me. Verizon is the only one that works for me inside the house.

    At one time I was able to get out of being on-call for work with a work supplied cellphone. I'm out on the rural fringe of suburbia. I told them that no cell service worked in my home. I had not tried Verizon at that point so I wasn't completely lying. Haha.

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