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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:29 AM

 

Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy - horrifying.

After Hurricane Sandy, survivors needed, in addition to safety and power, the ability to communicate. Yet in parts of New York City, mobile communications services were knocked out for days.

The problem? The companies that provide them had successfully resisted Federal Communications Commission calls to make emergency preparations, leaving New Yorkers to rely on the carriers’ voluntary efforts.

We have so far heard few details about why the companies made the particular business choices they did on backup power and what the consequences of those choices were, because the FCC has been blocked from asking -- even though about a third of people rely on mobile service as their only voice-communications connection.

Americans might assume that the U.S. government exercises enough authority over communications networks to ensure that they are responsibly run, reliable and available to all at reasonable rates. In reality, after a decade of steady deregulation, during which communications companies asserted that new wires required new rules, the companies are in charge of themselves.

What’s more, those that sell network connections in the U.S. are trying to claim a constitutional right to operate without any federal oversight. At the moment, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) is attempting to legally bar Congress and the FCC from exerting any authority over its networks, claiming that the First Amendment protects the company’s “editorial discretion.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-15/why-cell-phones-went-dead-after-hurricane-sandy.html


Milton friedman started his career as a paid propagandist, funded by the biggest American companies, spreading the libertarian gospel.

It's creating a Mad Max world.

114 replies, 13937 views

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Reply Why Cell Phones Went Dead After Hurricane Sandy - horrifying. (Original post)
HiPointDem Nov 2012 OP
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #1
PrMaine Nov 2012 #22
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #25
skinnertest Nov 2012 #39
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #42
skinnertest Nov 2012 #45
Fumesucker Nov 2012 #48
PrMaine Nov 2012 #40
treestar Nov 2012 #58
pacalo Nov 2012 #60
deafskeptic Nov 2012 #62
pacalo Nov 2012 #65
WinkyDink Nov 2012 #95
pacalo Nov 2012 #105
8 track mind Nov 2012 #106
pacalo Nov 2012 #111
EverHopeful Nov 2012 #96
marions ghost Nov 2012 #30
2naSalit Nov 2012 #77
Iggy Nov 2012 #2
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #5
treestar Nov 2012 #59
Iggy Nov 2012 #82
NYC Liberal Nov 2012 #97
jmowreader Nov 2012 #8
Dont_Bogart_the_Pretzel Nov 2012 #103
yends21012 Nov 2012 #15
uponit7771 Nov 2012 #28
BainsBane Nov 2012 #3
SmileyRose Nov 2012 #24
malaise Nov 2012 #4
Tribalceltic Nov 2012 #31
annabanana Nov 2012 #84
TahitiNut Nov 2012 #6
madokie Nov 2012 #12
no_hypocrisy Nov 2012 #7
jmowreader Nov 2012 #9
malaise Nov 2012 #23
hootinholler Nov 2012 #61
snagglepuss Nov 2012 #70
malaise Nov 2012 #73
Bohunk68 Nov 2012 #10
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #13
NutmegYankee Nov 2012 #46
ReRe Nov 2012 #11
madokie Nov 2012 #14
ReRe Nov 2012 #63
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2012 #66
ReRe Nov 2012 #69
Throckmorton Nov 2012 #107
yends21012 Nov 2012 #16
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #17
magical thyme Nov 2012 #29
KatyaR Nov 2012 #55
Yavapai Nov 2012 #92
Throckmorton Nov 2012 #108
Ilsa Nov 2012 #19
HockeyMom Nov 2012 #18
reformist2 Nov 2012 #41
Kaleva Nov 2012 #52
HockeyMom Nov 2012 #64
kiva Nov 2012 #93
MadHound Nov 2012 #20
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #21
MadHound Nov 2012 #26
magical thyme Nov 2012 #34
Maynar Nov 2012 #91
Robb Nov 2012 #37
bettyellen Nov 2012 #53
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #68
SheilaT Nov 2012 #75
Igel Nov 2012 #49
tabbycat31 Nov 2012 #72
JustAnotherGen Nov 2012 #81
Igel Nov 2012 #47
Major Nikon Nov 2012 #85
hobbit709 Nov 2012 #27
FarCenter Nov 2012 #32
Eleanors38 Nov 2012 #33
cdsilv Nov 2012 #35
retread Nov 2012 #36
LannyDeVaney Nov 2012 #38
jackbenimble Nov 2012 #43
ChazII Nov 2012 #44
bettyellen Nov 2012 #51
FarCenter Nov 2012 #54
ananda Nov 2012 #50
firehorse Nov 2012 #56
WillyT Nov 2012 #57
ecstatic Nov 2012 #67
bvar22 Nov 2012 #71
Iggo Nov 2012 #74
BlueMan Votes Nov 2012 #76
midnight Nov 2012 #78
DollarBillHines Nov 2012 #79
Major Nikon Nov 2012 #80
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #83
firehorse Nov 2012 #88
Major Nikon Nov 2012 #98
Travis_0004 Nov 2012 #100
firehorse Nov 2012 #109
retread Nov 2012 #112
Major Nikon Nov 2012 #114
Cleita Nov 2012 #86
kmlisle Nov 2012 #87
obxhead Nov 2012 #89
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #90
obxhead Nov 2012 #99
LiberalFighter Nov 2012 #94
HiPointDem Nov 2012 #101
Go Vols Nov 2012 #102
customerserviceguy Nov 2012 #104
socialist_n_TN Nov 2012 #110
retread Nov 2012 #113

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:32 AM

1. Americans might assume all kinds of things

And for the most part they'd be wrong.

Money talks and bullshit walks every bit as much in Washington as it does anywhere else.

Maybe more.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:45 AM

22. Don't Let the America Voter off the Hook

Yes money talks, but not just to politicians. For more than three decades, voters have fallen under the sweet talk of Republicans promising ever more tax cuts and less government. The American voters have, election after election, voted these people in and those elected did what they said they would do.

They cut government. Not the military of course, but they cut regulations and regulatory agencies. They both underfunded agencies like the FDA and the FCC but they populated them with officials who did not like government. These officials who did not like government saw to it that their agencies didn't do anything and being underfunded good people just left them. But this is what the voters said they wanted - small government.

They cut taxes. They cut them a little bit for people with small incomes and they cut them enormously for people with big incomes. Didn't the voters say this was what they wanted? Didn't the voters say they wanted to cut government and lower taxes when they voted for Republicans? Even Democrats interpreted the voters' wishes this way and helped the process along. Isn't that what a democratic government is supposed to do? Shouldn't it respond to the voters?

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Response to PrMaine (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:55 AM

25. In 2008 I supported the primary candidate that was against the mandate for private insurance

How did that work out for me?

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:17 AM

39. You should have known that wouldn't work out.

I'm as big an Obama fan as anyone, but the health care reform he proposed during the 2008 campaign would not have worked without the mandate. Hillary was right on that one. Requiring coverage for people with pre-existing conditions cannot work without the mandate -- otherwise people would not buy insurance until they got sick. I think Obama probably knew his proposal wouldn't work.

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Response to skinnertest (Reply #39)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:22 AM

42. I should have known he was lying, right?

Actually I did know.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=show_mesg&forum=389&topic_id=5353866&mesg_id=5355673

Do you think recognizing a lie even as it is told decreases my cynicism about the liar?


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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #42)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:11 AM

45. No. But think the point PrMaine was making is that voters share responsibility here.

And if I understand you correctly, you were arguing that your vote for the candidate who opposed the mandate somehow refutes that point. I would argue that your vote actually makes the point, because you should have known Obama's position on the mandate was untenable at the time. And indeed, you knew at the time that it was likely a lie.

We as voters share responsibility.

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Response to skinnertest (Reply #45)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:18 AM

48. So then I should have not voted out of protest?

Because it's clear that how I voted made no difference in the final outcome.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #25)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:18 AM

40. Guess what - you are not the only voter and 2008 was not the only election

I'm not sure I get your point, but that may be that it does not seem to relate to my own.

If your point is that our electoral process is dysfunctional, I agree; however it seems to have become particularly dysfunctional since the 2000 election and I was talking mostly about the earlier decades since about 1980 when Republicans really took over the country. That was not just a matter of faulty elections - the voters bought in. By that I don't mean that you personally bought in or that I did, but the majority of voters bought into the Republican pipe-dream of smaller government and especially about lower taxes.

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Response to PrMaine (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:02 PM

58. That's true

So many of the voters fall for this idea, but in a disaster then assume the government can do all. Under what they voted for, it would all be privatized. Thus you get the emergency disaster service you can personally afford.

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Response to PrMaine (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:26 PM

60. DUers are very much aware that there are stupid people who vote based on their own hidden

biases & hatred toward others (ala "sweet talk"), but this OP is about cell phone carriers who shirked their responsibilities to prepare for emergency conditions, despite the FCC's warning to do so.

At the same time, the OP is pointing out that cell phone carriers are in the midst of claiming a "constitutional right to operate without any federal oversight". The main reason for regulations & federal oversight is to make sure companies do the right thing. The carriers didn't do the right thing for their customers, yet they have the gall to try to legally bar Congress and the FCC from exerting any authority over its networks, claiming that the First Amendment protects the company’s "editorial discretion."

This OP is a good example of why government oversight is necessary. Companies will put profit above the welfare of their customers & will not do the right thing for citizens unless the law requires them to do so.

Welcome to DU, PrMaine.


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Response to pacalo (Reply #60)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:54 PM

62. Agreed.

Last summer storms knocked out power in much of VA during a record setting heat wave. Power was knocked out for me for 3 days.

I had to charge up my phone in my car. However, I had no services so I was unable to contact family and friends via phone.

It wasn't till power came back on that I was able to contact friends and family via the internet.

For the record, I can not hear on phone so messages are text only by cell phone.

My doctor says he was without power for 11 days as he lives way out in tbe country. It's bad enough to be without power for 3 days - but 11 days during a record breaking heat wave???? Something is screwed up here.

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Response to deafskeptic (Reply #62)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:15 PM

65. Everyone who can do so should have a generator on hand for emergencies.

The more KW's, the better. It's a good investment, especially with the freakish weather conditions of which we're seeing more & more.

But even with power from a generator, there's no assurance that the cell phone carriers are doing their part to make their services available.

Welcome to DU, deafskeptic.



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Response to pacalo (Reply #65)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:57 PM

95. My neighbor's generator made the entire neighborhood sound like a 747. Feh!

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #95)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:55 PM

105. They do have loud motors!



But I'll take the noise over spoiled food from refrigerator/freezer any time.

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Response to pacalo (Reply #65)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 01:16 AM

106. and become a ham radio operator

it never hurts to be prepared, and quite frankly, most hams are better prepared than cell phone companies in terms of emergency communications. We are always happy to relay information to loved ones in times of an emergency, via the airwaves.

www.arrl.org

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Response to 8 track mind (Reply #106)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 04:53 PM

111. Good point!

"Lady in distress! Lady in distress...& you oughta see dis dress!"




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Response to PrMaine (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:01 PM

96. Well said.

Exactly what I've been trying to tell people but I've never managed it so succinctly.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:10 AM

30. Americans think the govt protects consumers

nothing could be further from the truth.

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:08 PM

77. Even so...

"Milton Friedman started his career as a paid propagandist, funded by the biggest American companies, spreading the libertarian gospel.

It's creating a Mad Max world."


And that was the point.


http://www.naomiklein.org/shock-doctrine

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:09 AM

2. This Again Proves...

 

Corporations have to be told what to do via regulations/laws, not politely asked.

why? because obv corporations won't spend one stinking dime extra on things like pollution control, emergency preparedness, etc., unless there are laws making them do so, and financial penalties for not following the law.

welcome to dog-eat-dog capitalism: some coporations just don;t care.

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Response to Iggy (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:44 AM

5. The deregulation/libertarian meme is that companies won't do bad things

or things that hurt customers because it would be "bad for business". But we've seen time and time again that just isn't true. This is just one example.

Sometimes there are no other companies to go to.

Sometimes it takes years before a company's malfeasance is discovered (dumping toxic chemicals into rivers and causing cancer 10-20 years down the road, for example -- too late).

Many times people don't have the time or the resources to go after a company. Libertarians also want "tort reform" and caps on damages that allow companies to just budget for their harmful practices. And companies are now including "no class actions" clauses in their contracts.

And if we got rid of all regulations, companies wouldn't hesitate to engage in practices like price fixing and collusion with other companies.

We need a fair market, not a "free" one.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:04 PM

59. Exactly, their business reputations

Worked OK in small town 19th century. Perhaps. Not so much now.

Libertarians have a lot of nerve wanting tort reform. Tort and contract law would be all that was left to regulate business in any way. Proves they are not just for small government, they are for big business.

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Response to NYC Liberal (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:33 PM

82. And Let's Not Assume

 

greedheads are into protecting the commons.. they aren't. look at the gigantic fine/settlement BP just got smacked with. they could have saved Billions by spending what? one-two million extra to do the drilling right?

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Response to Iggy (Reply #82)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:13 PM

97. And that's only because the BP incident was a single, highly visible incident.

There are companies that have done far more damage, but because that damage has been gradual and over the course of years they've faced little to no repercussions.

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Response to Iggy (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:52 AM

8. The corps that do often can't afford to

If corp A decides not to put generators on their towers, they can operate cheaper therefore offer lower rates, which will take customers from other carriers. Race to the bottom, boys and girls.

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:06 PM

103. But Verizon and others are not racing to the bottom. I haven't seen competitive pricing in a while.

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Response to Iggy (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:14 AM

15. Exactly.

Thanks for stating it so succinctly.

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Response to Iggy (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:05 AM

28. +1!

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:16 AM

3. I have been through many hurricanes

And cell phones always went out. I find it amazing that the media has just discovered the effects of hurricanes because one hit New York.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #3)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:54 AM

24. Well Diane Sawyer doesn't broadcast from Louisiana.

It was mighty hard to put on the news since so many of the national news weasles are in and around NYC. So now it matters.

Kinda like in the 1980's blue collar Americans started screaming about outsourcing and were told they were just union moochers who should quit whining and go back to school. Now that it's hit college people suddenly it matters.

It's just the way people with a voice are. Nothing matters until it affects them. Which is why the people with no voice have to take up the pitchforks and storm the Bastille every now and then.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:27 AM

4. Duh! Hurricane Sandy - someone should tell them

Cell phones went dead because their towers came down - that's why we keep our land line and and old instrument which does not need electricity.

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Response to malaise (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:12 AM

31. Wonderful for those that can afford it

A pots line would cost us over $80 per month
We can get a bundled VOIP for $120 with internet and cable, but have to take the whole package.
We have 1 "free" cell phone 250 minutes a month/ 250 texts. to use it we have to lean out a window, or go outside, it does not work inside.
We do maintain one cell phone that costs us $40 per month with unlimited minutes and text. It does work inside with no problem.
During tight times, we just let that one drop, no contract. It's off now.

Now please can someone tell me why they can pack features into cell phones but not into pots lines like ringtones, text, missed calls, completed calls with times and dates etc.?

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Response to malaise (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:45 PM

84. My cell phone was working-ish in 4 days.

My land line is still dead.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:49 AM

6. Gotta love that "invisible hand" of the free market, huh?

Those hands aren't really invisible. They're under the table. It's the best government money can buy.

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:59 AM

12. As Will Rogers said

"America has the best politicians money can buy." will rogers

Its amazing, when I read the many Will Rogers quotes it becomes clear the republiCONs have been this way for years

http://www.willrogerstoday.com/will_rogers_quotes/quotes.cfm?qID=4

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:52 AM

7. For more than four days, my father and I were cut off from the world during and after The Storm.

First, no landline because Dad "bundled" his phone service with his internet and cable television.

Next, no cell service for either of us.

I heard there was significant damage to and/or loss of cell towers.

Would there have been the same situation if our cell phones used satellites like they do in Europe?

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:54 AM

9. Google Iridium.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:45 AM

23. The satellite receivers are taken down before hurricanes

so there would have been no service. They also require electricity.
Now they may be able to resume service quicker than cell towers but hurricanes are about dislocation long after they are gone.

The truth is that utility companies will have to rethink preparation and recovery as more and more powerful storms become the norm rather than the exception.

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Response to malaise (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:51 PM

61. Cell phones are not sattelite phones. n/t

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Response to malaise (Reply #23)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:24 PM

70. Satellite phones up link directly to orbiting satellites so these

phones work anywhere in the world as long as you have a clear view of the sky.

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Response to snagglepuss (Reply #70)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:31 PM

73. Thanks n/t

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:56 AM

10. The statement that cell towers went down

is just not squared with the facts. That was a claim by many providers to cover up the facts that have been presented by the OP.

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Response to Bohunk68 (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:01 AM

13. yeah, i was wondering about that. the article made it sound like there were things

 

we weren't being told.

this story worried me for two reasons; that the corps were in court arguing the gov't had no right to regulate them and that there were no emergency plans when the population is being steered to cell phones (& we are being steered, by several means.)

i know lots of households with only cell, and the problem applies to emergencies other than hurricanes.

personally, i'm kind of a technophobe.

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Response to Bohunk68 (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:16 AM

46. I had a similar problem in Irene.

When the power went down, the cell towers ran on battery for about 8 hours, but after that I had to walk for quite a ways to get just enough signal to send a text.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:59 AM

11. It's quite ironic...

.... I purchased my cell phone for security and emergencies. Now I learn FALSE SECURITY and no availability in emergencies. I have Verizon, too. Why am I getting the urge to throw this thing across the room against the wall?

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Response to ReRe (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:08 AM

14. As an example

We live in northeast oklahoma where the tornadoes come roaring through often enough that one either needs a basement, cellar, or know where one is nearby. When we changed to the digital age for our televisions so went our on air radar that we've become accustomed to for years to give us some idea as to what kind of weather we're having and or what is coming our way. Now with digital tv when it rains very hard our over air tv goes black. Our satellite does the same. Now when threatening weather approaches I have to keep an eye on it via our computer and thats because I've got wire coming to my house. Heavy rains block our WiFi signals too.

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Response to madokie (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:04 PM

63. Recourses

Back to battery radios, I guess. We have a generator, so if we're at home and can get our hands on gasoline, we could get online. Yeah... OK is definitely tornado alley, huh? We have satelite and all it has to do is cloud over and rain and it goes.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:15 PM

66. Why am I getting the urge to throw this thing across the room against the wall?

Follow your instincts.
get a land line for back up...everyone I know has them down here in hurricane country.

If the computer connection goes out ( happens a few times a year) we use the cell.
If the cell towers go out, we use the land line.
Rarely are both out at the the same time.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #66)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:24 PM

69. I have a land line too...

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Response to ReRe (Reply #69)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:03 AM

107. My landline phone fails within 8 hours of a power failure,

It has happened three times in the last 16 months, Irene, Halloween Blizzard, and Sandy. My phone connects to a switching site buried beside the parking lot of the local business park. Its batteries last about 6 to 8 hours, and then it needs commercial power or a genset. My cell service has never failed during an outage, as the tower I use has both generator and solar backup power.

Hard wire landlines are not what they once were.

I am also a Ham operator, and while useful for emergencies, you still cant order Chinese Food on it.

I just dumped my landline phone a few days ago.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:17 AM

16. Maybe it is time for amateur radio to re-emerge

and be more widely available to communities. Until cell phones became more ubiquitous, I remember amateur radio was always talked about and used to communicate, especially during natural or man made disasters.

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Response to yends21012 (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:27 AM

17. that's another thing -- so many radio stations (non-amateur) are now run with

 

a skeleton staff (or no staff, all on tape or whatever).

i remember when the local radio station used to be very important in emergencies, not just for announcing what to do or alerting people, but also in coordinating aid and supplies, etc.

i really feel like a lot of the social network is being cut, bit by bit, leaving people very vulnerable and dissociated.

are there still ham operators anymore? i remember there used to be clubs and things. i don't know how extensive that is anymore.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:07 AM

29. yes, there are ham operators and clubs now

I don't belong to any or do it (yet), but reading this thread is making me think that should be one of my new hobbies when I have a few dollars to indulge again.

I know they exist via the archdruid; its one of the things he talks about our needing in the peak oil / peak resource age.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #29)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:25 PM

55. Amateur radio's a great hobby--do it!

Find a local club near you and see if they offer radio classes. They're usually inexpensive and are a great way to meet some radio people. Between club members and online, you should be able to find some used equipment at a reasonable price. Your new radio friends will be a wealth of information and will LOVE to talk about radio, so pick their brains and get their opinions. A good 2 meter handheld is a must, and you can get those pretty cheap. These are great for emergencies and also for working events like runs and parades. Many clubs will run nets during storms to help stormchasers and give the public up-to-the-second weather reports.

I got my Technician license in 2000. I had the best club EVER--all ages, men and women alike, kids, and all anyone talked about was radio. It's a great socio-economic leveler. I'm not in a club now and don't really use the radio much anymore, but it's always there if I need it.

Amateur radio is much more than just a fun hobby, many hams help with emergency operations. Being in tornado country, we have lots of people who work with the emergency services and the Salvation Army to provide assistance during the aftermath of tornadoes and such. Many of our hams worked 24-7 after the Murrah Building bombing, passing news and messages along when cell phones were blocked because of the increased demand. If you have the right equipment, you can run an international net and help those in other countries who are recovering from natural disasters.

It's sad that amateur radio has been sorta chucked in the bin, but there are still a lot of dedicated people out there who enjoy it as a hobby but who also step up and help out when they're needed. Hams are great people--I think you'll enjoy the experience.

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Response to KatyaR (Reply #55)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:34 PM

92. I am a ham radio operator,

 

We live just about 30 miles from the nearest land line. We do depend upon cell phones here as that is all that is available. But I have access to repeaters and also hf radio that will work to establish communications in emergencies without repeaters.

For those that want to become a "ham" , the FCC has eliminated the requirement to learn Moris Code, so that removes a stumbling block for many people. It is a great hobby and filled with many wonderful people. You can install transceivers in your home, in your car or even carry a "walkie-talkie", but keep in mind that if cell sites go down many repeaters (2 meter) will also for the same reasons.

Cellular sites can go down for many reasons such as lack of power, loss of microwave communications to or from the next site, heavy congestion or electronic failure.

It is a great comfort to know there is an emergency back up in place.

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Response to Yavapai (Reply #92)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 02:05 AM

108. Me two.

10 meter SSB works great in place of 2 meter FM repeaters.

73,

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Response to yends21012 (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:31 AM

19. Preppers are big on amateur radio. nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:30 AM

18. My daughter's old fashioned LAND LINE worked

She got it free with her cable service. I know from other storms that cell phones go out, and have dead zones, that old land line is great to have, if for no other reason that you will still be able to cal the POWER COMPANY. lol

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:18 AM

41. +1. I'm afraid to give up my land line... now more than ever!

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:56 AM

52. Just make sure it isn't a cordless phone lest the power go out

Land line phone companies usually have batteries and generators to keep those batteries charged to keep the system powered in case of loss of electricity.

I have a land line but use a cordless phone. In even of a power outage, I do have a corded phone on a shelf in the basement I could use in place of the cordless phone.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #52)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:11 PM

64. Old Fashioned on the Wall

with a cord. A bit MODERN in that it is push bottons and not rotary dial. lol

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #18)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:36 PM

93. Yup, there's a reason why I keep my landline.

Got a deal with my internet, in essence it's free.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:41 AM

20. Umm, doesn't cell phone service always go out during major natural disasters?

 

Hurricanes, tornadoes, all of that and more takes out cell phones. In fact during such natural disasters, cell phones are probably the least reliable form of communication, which is why we still need land lines.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:43 AM

21. but a hell of a lot of people don't have them anymore. and i'm not sure it's a given

 

that cell phones *have to* go out in (all) emergencies.

and the population is being pressured toward cell phones through various channels, and away from land lines.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:00 AM

26. I don't think that the population is being "pressured" towards anything,

 

They're just fixated on the next bright, shiny object that is being sold in the store, be it an iPhone, Android, Galaxy, what have you. People in this country on average get a new cell phone every eighteen months, ooo, pretty, shiny. Truly is sad, the naked consumerism surrounding this product.

Meanwhile, out here in tornado country, and I do mean the country, virtually everybody has a land line. In part because cell phone service sucks out here, but also because we realize that it is good to have a land line when a major storm rips through. The land line system is pretty redundant, if the wire gets knocked down in one place, calls can be rerouted around it. And a simple land line for emergencies is pretty cheap, most people could afford to put one in(of course that means they couldn't get the latest, greatest phone gizmo, the horror).

Given the nature of cell phones, it is almost inevitable that the service goes out in major disasters. A tall tower, held in place by three cables, gets hit by a big wind and goes down, it's almost as reliable as trailer parks getting eaten by tornadoes. And on the off chance that the tower isn't knocked over, the big microwave dishes get knocked out of alignment, or the power supplying the tower gets knocked out, all of which leaves the tower useless.

The sad thing is, cell phone infrastructure is far more vulnerable to natural disasters, not to mention cell phones themselves. Say you have your power knocked out for a week or more, how are you going to charge your cell phone? While if you have a landline and the power goes out, the landline phone still works.

There are still advantages to old tech, and frankly cell phones aren't all that they're cracked up to be. Perhaps you should adjust your life to that fact

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Response to MadHound (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:17 AM

34. ^^^^ this.

Peer pressure does not equal a conspiracy. It starts when you're very young and some people never seem to outgrow it.

The latest, greatest shiny object is mostly just a way to separate you from your wallet. City people like to laugh at rural folks and old folks who are "set in their ways," "behind the times," whatever. Maybe the reality is more like we can't afford to fall for every snake oil salesman out there. Living rural, your life can be at stake. We tend to stick to the "tried and true," wait to see how the "early adopters" fare with the latest and greatest, and then decide.

Personally, I watch people zooming through their lives (and running down anybody who happens to be in their path moving at less than light speed) with a cell phone stuck to their ears and wonder They'll be in the middle of a f2f conversation with me and suddenly I cease to exist...

Addiction to distraction, if you ask me.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #34)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:31 PM

91. yeah

"We tend to stick to the "tried and true," wait to see how the "early adopters" fare with the latest and greatest, and then decide."

Heard that. I live in a major city but I stick to the philosophy of "Never buy version 1.0 of anything." I like being on the back side of the curve, bugs have mostly been dealt with, price is more reasonable.

Just makes sense to me.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:30 AM

37. "Old tech" isn't more robust because it is old. It is more robust because it is more robust.

Bell Telephone, and later AT&T, designed and maintained the national telephone grid to withstand nuclear war. And this was not done with a particularly clever design, but rather hundreds of microwave transmitter/receivers beneath which were buried hardened concrete bunkers manned with actual people -- most of which were staffed as late as the 1980s.

A "simple land line for emergencies" is only cheap if you ignore the Cold War taxpayer dollars funneled into that grid. Were the cellular companies afforded the funding Bell had at its disposal, cell phones today could probably tie your shoes and make you a sandwich -- while never going down.

Yearning wistfully for the "simpler times" of a land line is an ignorance of historical reality, and has the same appeal to the ill-informed as most nostalgia.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:07 PM

53. if you don't get around much, or are unable to work on the fly, landlines are great.

but that doesn't begin to describe modern city life. Most of us depend on phones so we're not tethered to a desk, but can do a bit of "urgent" work, or make new plans on the fly instead, giving us more flexibility and freedom. I work at least 1/3 of my job o the phone, usually in gaps of time that would be wasted, and have a lot more free time these days because of it. I don't need to be home to catch news or even something on HBO anymore. I can do it during lunch or on the bus.

I originally got my phone because my Mom was in intensive care, and the hospital would not make out of state calls even to the patients ONLY contact, me. And my job wasn't going to allow me to sit around for days on end waiting on a call. I rememebr taking a call from the doctor in ICU and talking about whether my Mom was still critical. I was speaking in a normal voice, obviously addressing a doctor. A Luddite on the bus glared at me in judgement, and I've not felt a shred a guilt for using the phone in public since then.

It was a necessity then, and over the years it's made my life so much easier, I wouldn't give it up for anything. No peer pressure or anything shiny about it. When it works, 95% of the time, it's a great time saver.

I remember someone here saying that cell phones made no sense because you have a landline at home, you drive to work where you have a phone and go straight home to your phone. My jaw dropped because I that's never described my life, and I hope, never will. I remember times back when you'd have to go home for a call, or be calling remotely from pay phones for an important message, and it sucked. I'm not judging people for living different lives, but in these conversations I hear them judge mine all the time. Some modern things do work well.

My landline was out a week and a half longer than my cell. That wasn't my biggest concern, regaining power and heat at home was.

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Response to MadHound (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:24 PM

68. i don't have a cell phone, & yes, they're being pressured.

 

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Response to MadHound (Reply #26)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:00 PM

75. Thank you.

Some people I know treat me as if I'm mentally deficient to have both a land line and a cell phone. As far as I'm concerned, each one has its place.

I got my first cell phone almost twenty years ago when twice in less than two weeks my younger son was sick at school and needed to go home. I was a stay at home mom, which is a misnomer if there ever was one. At least the women, moms, who work can be reliably found at their place of work. Both of those times I was out doing something or another. Fortunately, my back-up mom was reachable both times and took son in.

What I mostly used the cell phone for in the early years was various kinds of non-routine things, or if I was on the road. Over time, I've gotten so I use it more and more, like most people. But I still keep the land line, and tell people to call me on that, because I can always hear much better on it.

Someone once pointed out that it's not since about the 1930's have people been on the phone saying, "Can you hear me now?"

And I think you have really nailed it about the naked consumerism and the urge to acquire the latest shiny thing.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:23 AM

49. What do you mean by "pressure"?

Government pressure? Not a bit.

Peer pressure? Absolutely, there's a lot. It takes character to say "no" to peer pressure.

Advertising pressure? Sure, it drives (to a large extent) peer pressure. Most advertising pressure ultimately relies on covetousness and the need to conform. "Ooh, shiny new toy ... must have. Covetousness is good."

But the pressure is also internally driven. It's convenient to have the phone without having to look for a payphone or walking 10 feet to fetch a handset for your land line.

Then again, texting also provides reassuring, social interaction 24/7; you don't have to remember to do something if you have your external brain in your hand. It allows us to carry our security music with us everywhere we go, so we can always hear the Song. Heck, it's making us all into Ood.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:32 PM

72. I have not had a landline in 10 years

And I have a very good reason not to have one. I am on the road for months at a time and it makes zero sense for me to pay for a phone that I will never use.

I live in one of Sandy's hardest hit counties. The town south of me's iconic boardwalk is wiped out and Ocean Avenue was closed.

I am also of the generation that does not use landlines either. Even at work, I would use my work cell phone a lot more than the office phone because I am much more familiar with cell technology and it's just easier for me to use.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:33 PM

81. You are correct on the

"pressure" - the advertising used borders on brain washing.

I know - I launched 57 phones in just under two years for a major wireless carrier. People dumped phones just because of the color - same device different color - launched with 6 months.

Yep - I don't get electronics because I work in it - still work for the same carrier but no longer in Marketing . . . I finally upgraded
my tv two years ago . . . When it died after 16 years.

I love when someone can see "the story of stuff". Look up Conflict Minerals resolution - that might actually start to slow this insanity down . . .

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Response to MadHound (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:18 AM

47. No.

It depends.

Generators that are flooded don't work. If they can't be reached to be refueled they go dead.

Towers that are down don't work. Receivers that are skewed are pointless. And if they're damaged, they don't work.

If the landline link to the communication hub is out of order, there's no communication possible.

After Ike in Houston, it was dry so generators didn't flood in most of the city and refueling them was easy. Most of the towers were still up. They were built to withstand hurricanes and the like so the towers were built to heftier codes and the receivers mounted more firmly. That kind of line tends to be buried, so when all the power lines fell they weren't affected. The problem after Ike was finding places to recharge your cell phone.

After Sandy, there was a lot of flooding. Refueling others was hard because the area's more congested. Towers weren't built to withstand the same winds. While lines were buried, the flooding was more likely to disable the buried lines to underground or on-ground switches.

Land lines are good in a lot of disasters because while they need power they have their own power. After the Northridge quake in '94 the only light source in my apt. was the dial on my old-fashioned land-line phone (no wireless handsets for my emergency phone). It helped me find my shoes so I could get through the broken glass; it helped me make out what had fallen over and what I needed to look out for. Then I used the phone to dial out to let my relatives know I was okay.

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Response to Igel (Reply #47)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:47 PM

85. There's lots of problems with land lines also

They are very much prone to flooding when installed underground and above ground systems on telephone poles are also quite vulnerable.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:03 AM

27. Even a generator equipped cell tower doesn't work when the generator's underwater.

and the towers aren't independent. Somewhere there is switching/routing equipment that controls the towers-if the central facility goes down, you are SOL.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:13 AM

32. Verizon worked through the storm and afterwards

The local cell tower stayed up through Sandy. Verizon has a generator on site, which continued operating until power was restored.

According to my neighbor, AT&T went out, but was later restored. Because of the timing, I think that it was probably due to a loss of the landline connecting the cell tower to AT&T's network. AT&T also moved in a portable generator for the duration.

Sprint and T-Mobile? don't know, but they would have been out unless they share the on-site generator with Verizon.

Most of the towers are owned by Crown Castle, American Tower and SBA Communications. Only a small percentage are owned by the wireless carriers. This is due to the difficulty of the tower siting process. The carrier hand off the problem of paying off local politicians to the cell tower companies.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:16 AM

33. You may need a portable "HAM" in the future.

The ham community always stays "up."

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Response to Eleanors38 (Reply #33)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:36 AM

35. this is not uncommon during major windstorms - (former resident of p'cola here)

cell phone towers communicate with each other on a 'line of sight basis with microwaves. If a tower gets 'twisted' by wind, the alignment suffers and voila, no cell service...

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:17 AM

36. Even a fully powered cell site is functionally dead without backhaul. Communication

to the switch is vital.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:36 AM

38. I am by no means an expert on any of this policy or the technology...

but living in north Alabama, and basically at ground zero of tornadoes, I can say we after the April '11 tornadoes we had no power for about a week and absolutely no cell phone service for the same time. I would wake up early each morning and drive about 1 hour west to get the maximum ration of ice (delivered to my family members) and I would get a signal there.

I have T-Mobile, but noticed at the time all I saw around the area was AT&T trucks. I asked a friend who worked for a local cell phone company about that and he said AT&T owned almost all the infrastructure in our area and it was leased by other carriers. This wasn't at the tower level, but just upstream of that - the big switches.

The biggest issue for us was above-ground utilities are easy targets for tornadoes. I believe just the opposite is true for flooding.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:44 AM

43. Wireless is only wireless...

between your handset and the tower. After that it is wired through the same central offices as your regular landline service. If the power goes out, if there is flooding, if water gets into the cabling, etc. there are going to be outages, just like with a landline. When you hear a tower 'went down' does not mean is was knocked over, it means it ceased to function normally.

People really need to get out of the mindset that everything should still work during a major weather event. Perhaps communications and power companies could build networks to withstand major weather events. But unless we ALL want to see our monthly bills quadruple (or more) to pay for it then we will just have to realize that when adverse weather hits there are going to be outages. And afterward the technicians and linemen will be out in force putting themselves at risk and their personal losses aside to help get your power and your phone service turned up.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:58 AM

44. Did the land lines work?

I live in an area where there are no natural disasters like hurricanes. Scanning the posts I saw land lines mentioned but not if they continued to work. My guess is no, since no one mentioned that they were able to call out. Sorry for my ignorance on this issue.

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Response to ChazII (Reply #44)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:42 AM

51. no one I knew in Hoboken had their land line working, but Verizon worked for most and

and after a few days if you went to the edge of the Hudson River and tried, you'd get reception.
The funny thing was, our local govt was sending messages via internet and robocalls. Foolish.
I know they have trucks with loudspeakers, only heard them once in two weeks. When the National Guard was looking for evacuees.
That said, people saw how bad the infrastructure was and really stepped up to watch out for each other, share help and information.

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Response to ChazII (Reply #44)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:23 PM

54. Land lines may or may not work in a disaster

In the old days, land lines were a twisted copper pair of wires between the customer and the central office. It was powered from the central office by -48 volts DC on one conductor and ground on the other, and it could deliver up to 200 milliamps to the telephone set although the actual current depended on distance and the resistance of the wires.

Thus, an old fashioned telephone connected directly to the phone jack would operate so long as:
- the central office continued to provide DC power (they had batteries and diesel backup, but they could flood, be blown away, run out of fuel, etc.)
- the central office continued to operate (the switch continued to function, everyone didn't go off-hook at once, outgoing trunk circuits to other central offices were available, etc.)
- the cables between the central office and the customer were still intact (they could be ripped down by tree limbs, dug up by backhoes, flooded and insulation impaired, etc.)

Later, to reduce the expense of providing a pair per customer, the carriers introduced electronic systems into the connection between the central office and the customer. These would generally serve 25 or 48 customers over 2 pairs of wire. The electronics could be pole mounted or in controlled environment vaults (manholes). The electronics would be powered locally and backed up by batteries and sometimes generators. These introduced new vulnerabilities that affected service availability.

The latest "wired" systems use fiber to the neighborhood, fiber to the curb, or fiber to the home architectures. These also require local power, with or without backup.

Wireless is even more complicated.

Locally, the best information was available by walking over to the police station or to city hall and reading the bulletins.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:24 AM

50. Land lines go down too.

During Alicia my landline was down for several days.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:59 PM

56. AT&T was out for 5 days after Sandy where I live, and I don't have a land line because

my cell phone bill is already $80 a month. $30 of that goes to taxes. Taxes for what? I can't afford a land line in addition to my cell phone.

And I like many New Yorkers are free-lancers. We use a device called a square that we attach to our fancy phones so we can get paid. I'd rather get a walky talky than pay for another phone.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 01:00 PM

57. HUGE K & R !!!




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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:20 PM

67. I wish they had named the companies

Regardless, I'm going to have to reinstate my landline. I've experienced a few alarming incidents with tmobile during power outages. I've had landlines put in at least three times over the past 8 years, but for some reason, I always get rid of them. I do recall thinking that att is extremely incompetent, and maybe the price kept changing. I need to keep a journal next time.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 04:31 PM

71. Hey! I've got a GREAT idea!

Lets get all these regulations that our fathers & grandfathers fought and died for OFF-the-Backs of the Corporations so that they can make more money!

What could possibly go wrong?

DeRegulation has been a Bi-Partisan SCAM.
It is time to demand Accountability from those who are supposed to represent us.


"There are forces within the Democratic Party who want us to sound like kinder, gentler Republicans.
I want a party that will STAND UP for Working Americans."
---Paul Wellstone


photo by bvar22
Shortly before Sen Wellstone was killed



You will know them by their WORKS,
not by their rhetoric, promises, or excuses.
Solidarity99!
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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:00 PM

74. That ain't horrifying. It's infuriating. (n/t)

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:04 PM

76. large-scale freemarket fuck-ups may eventually swing the pendulum back to the left...

 

what a drag it has been to be living in the new dark age of civilization.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:17 PM

78. That pesky oversight always getting in the way of profits...

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:25 PM

79. Anyone remember Michael Powell?

I wonder how many companies' boards he sits on today.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:29 PM

80. I'm pretty much on the cell phone companies' side on this one

This may not be the most popular viewpoint, but it comes from someone who has a bit of experience in this arena.

There are basically two ways you can provide backup power to a remote communications site. You can install batteries which will typically hold the site up for 2-24 hours, which are a much cheaper solution than a generator. While this gets you past the vast majority of power outages, it won't do much good for extended outages that last for days.

Generators are a much more expensive proposition. For one thing, they require fuel tanks which must have leak monitoring systems. Just this alone is not a cheap proposition. Generators for this type of application are also expensive to buy, install, and maintain. They also don't really get you past many big natural disasters because the cell sites also rely on fixed networks to operate. A cell site with a generator humming along isn't much good if the networks that feed it are down.

From a cost/benefit perspective a system of battery backup with the capability of installing a portable engine/generator system is the best way to go, but even this system will get overwhelmed when a major natural disaster is going to use up all your available portables pretty quickly.

Certainly the cell phone companies could install backup generators at all their sites, but this still isn't going to get you past many natural disasters. It will also greatly increase the costs which will be reflected on your cell phone bill.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #80)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:37 PM

83. the most critical period during a disaster is the first few days. are you also on board

 

with their claim that the government has no right to regulate them & no one has a right to look at their documentation?

i.e. no one even has the right to know what the hell they're doing?

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #80)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:01 PM

88. Do you know how much companies like AT&T profited last year?

If their profits are big then they should invest in a Plan B system. We couldn't call 911. There were huge lines for people waiting to use the very few pay phones.

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Response to firehorse (Reply #88)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:17 PM

98. I know that AT&T Mobility is currently hemorrhaging money

They are also laying off people. So I'm not really sure how spending millions on a power backup systems for a hurricane that happens maybe once every hundred years helps much, especially when you consider the net effect from that is inevitably higher costs and/or more employees out of work.

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Response to firehorse (Reply #88)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:39 PM

100. Why not try a landline?

I'm assuming 99% of houses have a landline connection, even if you are not a subscriber. Why not keep a landline phone in a closet somewhere, and if the cell phone goes down, you can hook it up, and use it to call 911. Cell phones have only been common for 20 years or so. We got by just fine without them 20 years ago. And if damage is so bad to knock out landline connections, then it would be almost impossible to keep cell phone towers up and running.

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Response to Travis_0004 (Reply #100)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:53 PM

109. are you saying its free to plug it in and 911 will work? if you don't have an account?

Because I don't want to pay another $35 a month on top of my phone bill. It's expensive enough to live in NYC.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #80)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:36 PM

112. The first sentence is poorly worded. The OP really has little or nothing to do with

why sites failed in this disaster. I'm sure you are aware backhaul is critical. If the all land lines are down there is a good chance the telco CO's are in trouble or at least major fiber hubs.

Backup generators bring their own sets of problems, foremost is environmental. Not to mention living in an area where one of these monsters fires off and runs for a while and test runs are required on a regular basis. I wouldn't call one it "humming", the noise is tremendous.

However to say ". I'm pretty much on the cell phone companies' side on this one" is something I would NEVER say!!

Verizon and ATT have devoured smaller cell companies, replacing the equipment with their own favorite brand, ripped out local switches, and backhauled networks to giant switches remote from the networks they switch, laying off tons of skilled workers in the process. Not to even mention their huge contributions to tea bag candidates. All of this costs big bucks and is also reflected on your bill. For these reasons alone I would NEVER say I am on their side.

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Response to retread (Reply #112)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 06:24 PM

114. I'm not providing a wholesale endorsement of cell phone companies

What I'm saying is that in this narrow instance, I'm not convinced that the cell phone providers' response is to blame, at least based on the information provided.

The author of the OP's posted article is trying to make the claim that the reason cell phones went down was because the cell phone companies' backup systems aren't regulated by the FCC. As evidence they are citing a report made in regards to Katrina. I'm not even entirely sure the cited report supports that author's position all that well even in regards to Katrina which is a very different circumstance. If you look at what the report actually says, many of the things were beyond the control of the cell phone companies. However, even if this weren't the case, the connection to this latest hurricane is even more remote. There will be other hurricanes which hit the gulf coast in the next few years. This is not so certain for New York. As such any emergency preparedness plan should reflect those differences. Each area of the country has it's own set of unique circumstances which shouldn't be conflated when one is considering public policy.

As far as backup generators go, I've seen some that you could hardly tell were running unless you were inside the building so it's certainly possible to address noise concerns. Environmental concerns are even less applicable because you're talking about engines that run just a few hours per year under normal circumstances. Your own car is a much bigger environmental impact.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:53 PM

86. I'm afraid this might happen where I live.

I had to give up my land line for economic and other reasons, but I know it's a risk. I live in earthquake country and the last time we had a sizable quake that knocked out a lot of the services, the cell phone towers came down and the land lines were the only things still working so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I do know where the land line box is and I hope I can connect a phone to it in case of emergency and dial 911.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:59 PM

87. Florida Hurricane plans don't include cell phones

I taught weather in middle school in Florida and one of the thing we included was a plan on how to contact family members without relying on cell phones, land lines or electricity. This usually consisted of having a prearranged meeting place for family members after the storm had passed or a shelter where you would meet. YOu cannot necessarily depend on a cell phone during or after a storm and you need another plan.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:03 PM

89. Apparently, in this post 9/11 world, we didn't learn one damn thing.

This was supposed to all change after 9/11.

The more things don't change, the more they stay the same.

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Response to obxhead (Reply #89)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:20 PM

90. the only thing that changed was americans got more surveillance, more prisons,

 

& more destruction of civil liberties, supposedly to protect us from terrorists.

actually emergencies -- who needs protection, it's every man for himself.

the american ruling class is traitorous. they're turning the us into a giant prison camp.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #90)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:25 PM

99. All we received

was corporate handouts.

EVERYTHING that has been done, from war, tax cuts and "security" laws has been done to benefit the huge corporations.

Fuck us, let the money flood upward while they proclaim our safety and tell us money trickles down.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:44 PM

94. The companies forget that the government controls the air waves.

If they don't want to provide the emergency plans then they should lose access to air rights.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #94)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:48 PM

101. did you read the whole thing? they're in court as we speak claiming the government

 

doesnt own shit and has no right to regulate them or know anything about their business -- and neither does the public.

these people are criminals and traitors, and i'm very serious.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:55 PM

102. In a real emergency

fuck cell phones,and other forms of communication.Never a guarantee it will work.

I remember as a kid in the '60's,I was told that if "something bad" happened, to make my way to a certain location/a relatives farm over 100 miles away.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:34 PM

104. I noticed awfully spotty service

after Sandy, I figured that everybody was overutilizing the networks because their regular power was out, and Vonnage, etc. computer phones wouldn't work.

Now, I know I sound like a Luddite, but I'm going to keep traditional landline service until they just don't offer it anymore. Mine never skipped a beat, worked reliably to tell all the family/friends that I had indeed survived the storm.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:31 PM

110. Capitalism. That's the way it works.......

You didn't think it was supposed to work for you did you?

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Response to socialist_n_TN (Reply #110)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 05:37 PM

113. Bullseye!!

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