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Standard User alwall
(member) Tue 29-May-18 14:06:52
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Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency services


[link to this post]
 
From news item on TBB Homepage Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency services

If you are concerned about the proposed requirement for only 1 hour battery backup for non exchange-powered voice services please consider responding to the Ofcom Consultation (PDF)

Some interesting recent history on a major power failure and also the excellent report by the Royal Academy of Engineering (pdf)

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Standard User alwall
(member) Tue 29-May-18 14:09:48
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
It should be pointed out that many mobile phone cellular base sites have little resilience in the event of a major mains outage

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Standard User bowdon
(committed) Tue 29-May-18 14:58:43
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
So far on the power cuts I've had in the last year, which as been many compared to the previous decade, my mobile phone as always worked.

I've noticed on the FTTP setup they already have a 1 hour battery backup. I wonder in future if they could introduce longer lasting batteries, which would be easy to upgrade.

Demon => Freeserve => Pipex => Be => Sky => BT Infinity 2


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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 29-May-18 15:05:11
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: bowdon] [link to this post]
 
Current rules allow for the 1 hour in full fibre areas where no copper fixed line solution.

The consultation is about making sure those used to phones working during power cuts are catered for when things move to voice over broadband for millions

One presumes Ofcom has talked to other EU regulators to see what they do e.g. Spain has masses more full fibre only

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User alwall
(member) Tue 29-May-18 15:18:53
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: bowdon] [link to this post]
 
Well indeed. A sealed lead acid battery as an option perhaps?
The Lancaster experience concerns me

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Standard User JohnR
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 29-May-18 15:27:15
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
How many people have old style phones that work when power fails? Compared to the modern all in one answer phone etc, that cease to work when power fails.

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Standard User alwall
(member) Tue 29-May-18 15:31:57
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: JohnR] [link to this post]
 
I keep one for just such an emergency, but I used to engineer resilient radio comms systems smile

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Standard User BranH
(newbie) Tue 29-May-18 16:53:34
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
Although we primarily have DECT phones, we have a wired one we can plug in when there's no power. The last few months scottish power doing maintenance have taken the power off for 8 hours roughly one day per month, so 1 hour would have been little use. I've already responded to that effect.
Standard User Ignitionnet
(knowledge is power) Tue 29-May-18 19:58:19
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, I'll reach out to them with my approval and the hope they'll expedite the process and allow the PSTN to be switched off and the copper replaced with full fibre ASAP.
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 29-May-18 20:10:06
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Current rules allow for the 1 hour in full fibre areas where no copper fixed line solution.

At the moment I have an unused copper landline as I have a Gigaclear fibre connection which I use for VOIP calls. If BT discontinue this line would either BT or Gigaclear be forced to provide an alternative?

(or will I just be like the 65% of the population who don't have a landline at home.)

Michael Chare
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 29-May-18 21:03:21
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
65% without a landline?

If you pay for a voice line, then if its WLR3 when WLR3 ends it will become a voice over broadband service, and at that point you may or may not get a battery backup to run the broadband modem and ATA. The consultation is about whether this is a FORCED TO SUPPLY or only for those identified as vulnerable, e.g. no access to mobile and/or other factors

An unused copper line has no obligations on it.

If you take voice via Vonage and Gigaclear is promoting it as the voice service then under the consultation there is the question should providers in that scenario be made to offer battery backup for ONT and any active hardware they have.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 29-May-18 22:06:02
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
65% without a landline?

... was the bit I questioned too . 65% donít use a landline for voice service, that I could believe.

Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 29-May-18 23:40:27
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Zarjaz] [link to this post]
 
Only 65% of people have landlines at home is what I should have said.

Michael Chare
Standard User alwall
(member) Wed 30-May-18 08:31:07
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Michael_Chare:
Only 65% of people have landlines at home is what I should have said.

In 2017 the figure was 89% of households

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Standard User PhilipD
(experienced) Wed 30-May-18 09:12:09
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: JohnR] [link to this post]
 
Hi

Exactly, all my family for one have DECT phones and I know for a fact they have no backup hard wire phone, or if they did, finding it quickly in an emergency would be next to impossible.

DECT phones should have had a mandatory power backup device. I do remember getting one of the first Philips DECT phones and that came with a battery power pack that could be fitted in line with the DC cord for backup. There are some DECT phones that will back power from the handset in the event of a power cut, this means speaker phone only as the handset needs to be on the base station, or using another handset if you have more than one, but a good solution. Of course these solutions don't help on the move to VoIP.

The best thing they can do is standardise on the DC voltage for routers, modems and VoIP adaptors or phones, which seems to be already 12 volts for most equipment, but ensure they work from 14 volts down to 10 volts, which should be easy given they all have internal DC-DC converters to power the electronics on something a lot less.

This would then make it very easy to have a UPS but without the unnecessary up conversion to 240volts to just be converted back down again. It would make them much cheaper and smaller, so a sealed lead acid battery and a switch mode power supply supplying 14 volts and enough amps as required which charges the battery and powers the devices, on a power cut the battery just picks up. This does away with separate power bricks so neater for the consumer, and it would cost nothing to add a couple of USB ports for charging a mobile or tablet for access to the internet. In a real extended emergency or power outage, the consumer could plug in their car battery, or recharge the battery from their electric car, whilst it still had power of course, or top up the battery using a solar panel.

Regards

Phil
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 30-May-18 12:08:42
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
The 65% comes from the Ofcom consultation supporting documents. and I perhaps should have included 'for making calls'. It is also a survey of people rather than households.

Michael Chare
Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 30-May-18 12:34:32
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
I never use my landline phone to make calls, but receive legitimate ones every month. How do I fit wrt the 65%/35%?

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Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 30-May-18 12:34:53
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
Which actual document and table/page/figure

In a survey a lot hinges on the question, so 65% of those surveyed (probably 2000 to 4000 people) did say about making calls, but likely many more have a phone plugged in, maybe to receive calls or just for that rare once in a lifetime emergency.

Ofcom should know how many WLR3 and MPF lines exist, plus numbers of full fibre lines with some voice service.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 30-May-18 15:02:53
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Which actual document and table/page/figure

First supporting document on this page.

Column 1 on 2nd page called Page 1

Michael Chare
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 30-May-18 15:08:35
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
I never use my landline phone to make calls, but receive legitimate ones every month. How do I fit wrt the 65%/35%?
Presumable has you have a landline which you could use you fall into the 65% It appears that the older you are the more liklely you are to have a line to do this. smile

Michael Chare
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 30-May-18 15:40:24
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
Ok so a public survey with 4,205 responses, if the usual rules followed it should hopefully scale to the population.

65% on the make/receive calls, but 29% say they don't have a landline.

If the 29% is correct for residential and the figures don't skew when moved to households we get

8.3 million households without a landline and 20 million households with a landline.

Based on the market data Ofcom report they say 26.6 million residential lines, which is more like 93%.

The difference may be people who have a landline but do not have a telephone at all. Unfortunately survey does not appear to make that distinction.

The suggest if the 93% and 65% are correct then is that lots of people already are happy relying on mobiles for emergency calls. So maybe targeting the emergency power support at a much smaller group i.e. vulnerable groups may be the way forward.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User alwall
(member) Wed 30-May-18 17:15:35
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
There seems to be a huge variation in figures re the number of installed landlines.
Ofcom's own 2017 Technology Tracker (p2) suggests a figure of 82% !

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/multi-sec...

However, whatever the accurate figure, my concern is about resilience during widespread power outages where cellular base stations stop working after an hour or so.

Have we learnt the lessons of Lancaster? I doubt it.

If and when my landline ceases to be exchange powered, I'll be installing a back up that ensures continuity

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Standard User MCM
(knowledge is power) Wed 30-May-18 17:36:06
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
What appears to be needed is more resilient backup arrangements for cellular base stations including swapping out batteries where necessary in much the same way as Openreach does with its FTTC cabs when there are local power failures.
Standard User JohnR
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 30-May-18 21:12:05
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: PhilipD] [link to this post]
 
I have never understood why the DECT phones do not have some form of way of maintaining a connection when power drops. As the power block should only be required to charge the battery in the phone. But I guess the manufactures think otherwise.
Personally as to power cuts, and I used to look after a vulnerable person. I always found mobiles to be better as you got far more updates via twitter or such social media. Where they can mass feed updates. Rather than attempting to keep phoning every so often.

Do we need the provision to power modems etc in the event of power cuts?
Again mobile works well, can be easily charged. So as long as there is access to the internet via mobile it's OK.

If Ofcom want these new regulations in place. Then they need to make sure that not just BT (for want of another name) but every other provider Virgin & mobile etc also have to provide exactly the same lever of backup.

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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Wed 30-May-18 22:12:40
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: JohnR] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by JohnR:
I have never understood why the DECT phones do not have some form of way of maintaining a connection when power drops. As the power block should only be required to charge the battery in the phone. But I guess the manufactures think otherwise.
That would require a battery in the base station, which raises several questions.

Bearing in mind that making the connection to the line itself is not the issue, off the top of my head:

- its capacity bearing in mind the need for always-on wireless contact with a variable number of sleeping slaves;
- handling a call that could go on for well over an hour;
- similarly wrt multiple slaves on the call;
- again similarly, handling intercom calls of varying length and frequency.

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Edited by RobertoS (Wed 30-May-18 22:15:36)

Standard User alwall
(member) Wed 30-May-18 22:33:52
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: JohnR] [link to this post]
 
The real life situation in the Lancaster power cut in 2015 was that all mobile phone coverage ceased. There is no requirement for cellular base stations to continue working during a prolonged mains failure.

Landlines continued to work but with no mains power there was no internet access as modem/routers were off.

Our infrastructure is increasingly mains-power dependent.

BTBroadband
Standard User billford
(elder) Wed 30-May-18 22:41:31
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: RobertoS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by RobertoS:
That would require a battery in the base station, which raises several questions.
My DECT phone runs from the same UPS as the computer, router and modem tongue

In the event of a power cut I shut down the computer (and use the laptop if I need the internet), the UPS will keep everything else running for at least an hour (I haven't checked the maximum time).

If it runs out of time and there's no mobile signal I'll rummage around for the corded phone... all it takes is a bit of forward planning tongue

Bill
A level playing field is level in both directions.

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Edited by billford (Wed 30-May-18 23:04:19)

Standard User dsergeant
(member) Thu 31-May-18 07:15:10
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: billford] [link to this post]
 
Adding a backup battery to the base would surely be the easiest option,. In my case when there is a power cut all the handsets soon run down their batteries as they are sitting there constantly searching for the missing base with the backlight turned on (I have tried to find a setting to disable the backlight but failed). But as said I can easily plug in my traditional corded phone (which of course will no longer work when everything is VOIP!).
Standard User Icaras
(experienced) Thu 31-May-18 08:36:50
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MrSaffron:
Ok so a public survey with 4,205 responses, if the usual rules followed it should hopefully scale to the population.

65% on the make/receive calls, but 29% say they don't have a landline.

If the 29% is correct for residential and the figures don't skew when moved to households we get

8.3 million households without a landline and 20 million households with a landline.

Based on the market data Ofcom report they say 26.6 million residential lines, which is more like 93%.

The difference may be people who have a landline but do not have a telephone at all. Unfortunately survey does not appear to make that distinction.

The suggest if the 93% and 65% are correct then is that lots of people already are happy relying on mobiles for emergency calls. So maybe targeting the emergency power support at a much smaller group i.e. vulnerable groups may be the way forward.


I wouldnít trust any kind of survey about landlines. Go on the Ofcom figures. Virgin Media still usually install a landline for new customers (correct me if Iím wrong) and obviously Openreach do.

If you ask a lot of people if they have a landline theyíll say no. Even though they absolutely do. As they donít associate their broadband with a landline. You wouldnít believe the amount of people that donít know their broadband comes down a landline (people on the Openreach network I mean).

What they mean is that they donít have a phone plugged in, so to them they have no landline.

The amount of installed lines figure is the one to go off, is that the 82% figure? That feels much more accurate to me. In fact I would have thought even higher than that but clearly not.

Icaras

Edited by Icaras (Thu 31-May-18 08:39:27)

Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Thu 31-May-18 09:13:57
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Icaras] [link to this post]
 
Around here many people on VM, (ex-NTL and originally Nynex), say they donít have a landline because their phone is through Virgin Cable. They automatically assume landline=BT, sometimes not even Openreach.

As you say, these surveys are often highly suspect.

The increasingly high number of none-installed could very well be down to bed-sitters and short-term flat-dwellers, particularly in London and to some extent other major cities.

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Standard User jabuzzard
(regular) Thu 31-May-18 12:53:27
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: MCM] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by MCM:
What appears to be needed is more resilient backup arrangements for cellular base stations including swapping out batteries where necessary in much the same way as Openreach does with its FTTC cabs when there are local power failures.


This is right on the money in my view. We need to asses the reality that the moment most people can easily drop their landline they will. Consequently if we wish to make emergency calls more resilient in light of extended power cuts the solution is to make cellular base stations more resilient. The phone itself is easy, get a solar and/or handcrank charger.

The other option to avoid a Lancaster type situation is don't situate your main/only substation for the city next to a fricking river.
Standard User Michael_Chare
(fountain of knowledge) Thu 31-May-18 15:16:39
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: jabuzzard] [link to this post]
 
I responded to the survey accordingly!

Michael Chare
Standard User JohnR
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 01-Jun-18 21:41:05
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by alwall:
The real life situation in the Lancaster power cut in 2015 was that all mobile phone coverage ceased. There is no requirement for cellular base stations to continue working during a prolonged mains failure.

Landlines continued to work but with no mains power there was no internet access as modem/routers were off.

Our infrastructure is increasingly mains-power dependent.


OK, But if you have a dect phone. Which, from personal experience the vast majority of people do. It make no odds if landlines still work, as you can't use it.

I guess cost is a driving force here. Ofcom keep driving down charges to consumer, yet expect the suppliers to spend more on something that happens once a blue moon. End of the day it is a balancing act.
The Lancaster case was a extraordinary event.
Would you expect back up to cover any eventuality? In which case a back up diesel generator would be a good option at all points. But I'm sure the eco mob would not be happy...

I can't remember the last time we had a power cut, as I guess a lot of people can't.

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Standard User JohnR
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 01-Jun-18 21:43:47
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by alwall:
The real life situation i


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Standard User Chrysalis
(legend) Sat 02-Jun-18 05:30:09
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: alwall] [link to this post]
 
should also be pointed out I have had way more landline outages in the past 10 years than mobile voice outages, in fact I dont think I have ever ever ever lost voice service on my contract mobile phone at home including in power cuts.

Enforcing working fixed line's during power outages for emergencies seems dated. Especially that now many landline phones stop working when power is cut as well.

With that said I think a 1 hour battery backup is a bit of a joke regardless of the reason, surely BT can improve on that, I just dont think it should be a regulatory requirement in this manner.

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Standard User Chrysalis
(legend) Sat 02-Jun-18 05:33:18
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: JohnR] [link to this post]
 
ofcom are doing nothing on consumer prices, but they are forcing wholesale pricing down (which hits openreach who are the ones that supply the inafrstructure).

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Standard User MCM
(knowledge is power) Sat 02-Jun-18 19:24:14
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
With that said I think a 1 hour battery backup is a bit of a joke regardless of the reason
I was under the impression that for many BT exchanges back up was via a generator rather than battery.

What is needed is for a sensible backup power plan to be implemented for all mobile base stations and if battery rather than generator there needs to be a workable plan to ensure that they are replaced as necessary during prolonged outages in much the same way as BT replace the batteries in their FTTC cabs.
Standard User witchunt
(experienced) Sat 02-Jun-18 20:00:20
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
The openreach ONT BBU is already rated to provide 2 hours backup time.
Standard User Zarjaz
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 02-Jun-18 21:36:12
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: MCM] [link to this post]
 
He was on about FTTP ONTís, yep, the exchanges have their own diesel generators.

Standard User MCM
(knowledge is power) Sat 02-Jun-18 23:47:28
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Zarjaz] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, I realised that I had crossed wires after I'd posted.

Nevertheless I feel that OFCOM should be looking closer at the mobile operators and their base stations rather than continually pressuring Openreach to do more whilst not permitting them to charge more but rather limiting their income wherever they can.
Standard User Banger
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 02-Jun-18 23:57:40
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: MCM] [link to this post]
 
More money flying about in the Mobile companies and there is only one openreach.

Tim
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Standard User JohnR
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 03-Jun-18 21:50:55
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: Chrysalis] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Chrysalis:
ofcom are doing nothing on consumer prices, but they are forcing wholesale pricing down (which hits openreach who are the ones that supply the inafrstructure).


Here Seems to be consumer related.

Even so, forcing wholesale prices down. Means that openreach, have less capital available to invest.

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Standard User Chrysalis
(legend) Thu 07-Jun-18 21:03:32
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Re: Ofcom consults on changes for access to emergency servic


[re: JohnR] [link to this post]
 
yes the point I was making, expecting openreach to have high standards whilst forcing their revenue down is stupid.

There is "occasional" intervention at consumer level (usually after pressure from media), like you posted but the vast majority of what they doing is aimed at wholesale.

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Edited by Chrysalis (Thu 07-Jun-18 21:05:20)

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