Losing Cable Service During A Power Outage

Over at www.broadbandreports.com a VOIP forum member has noted an interesting problem. When he suffered a power outage he also lost his cable modem service. This despite the fact that he dutifully provided a UPS solution to keep his network gear running. We can infer that the CableCo doesn’t provide similar UPS capability in the local cabinets serving his area.

This is in stark contrast to Telco’s, who historically provide continuous service through power outages. They have put huge effort into achieving 99.999% uptime, and continuous power is a major consideration.

Let us consider if our friend had been subscribed to said CableCo’s Digital Phone service. It was probably down, too. So, no 911 access during a power outage. Doesn’t that sound just swell?

In past conversation with CSRs are our local Cable Giant here in Houston I was told that repair calls for Digital Phone are handled very differently than normal cable service. If your phone service goes out they promise a same day service call within x hours. If cable tv service goes out it may be several days before they tend to your trouble, depending upon the circumstances of the time.

Around le maison d’Espinosa-Graves we rely upon Covad DSL as our primary IP connectivity, with Comcast cable as the backup. It’s a little counter-intuitive to use the faster service as the backup, but it’s better that way. Any long, high-bandwidth up/downloads I do over the subnet that connects to the cable modem. That leaves the DSL less trafficked, giving me a best of both worlds solution.

Lastly, the GSM gateway is my tertiary backup. If all IP is lost I can still make & receive calls via T-Mobile from any phone in the house. It ensures continuous access to 911.