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BT (or now EE) Digital Voice.
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Brian Considine
 


Member Since: 05 Dec 2022
Location: Nr Margate
Posts: 281

United Kingdom 
BT (or now EE) Digital Voice.

Digital Voice is supposed to be a great step foward in communications with full fibre operating speeds, clearer voice communication at so on.

However, during a five hour power cut this morning I realised that the ordinary phone system (well, the parts that have been converted to digital voice) do not work at all.

So how (if we have really bad mobile signal, especially EE in my area) are we supposed to call the emergency services ?

IMHO a serious issue so please not flippant comments or comments for the sake of saying something.

Any BT/EE people on here ?
  
Post #235694627th Dec 2023 2:50 pm
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Oxford-boy
 


Member Since: 07 Sep 2015
Location: Oxford
Posts: 1085

United Kingdom 2014 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 XXV LE Auto Causeway GreyDiscovery 4

Big piece on the Jeremy Vine show about this before Christmas.

Not just your work but all the elderly with their emergency call buttons and not to mention all the burglar alarms connected to monitoring stations.

The 'old' copper line system will/would apparently keep on working for a good few hours without power.

Chap from BT (or similar) came on and said that much of the infrastructure supporting the old copper line network is 40 plus years old and the switches and more are now obsolete, if obtainable at all.

Pace of change seems a little fast for those less able to adapt as quickly to me..
 Jim

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Post #235695227th Dec 2023 3:06 pm
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kajtzu
 


Member Since: 11 Aug 2017
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 6608

Finland 2005 Discovery 3 4.4 V8 HSE Auto Cairns BlueDiscovery 3

Well, the difference between “old” and “new” in terms of technology stack is… quite large.

PSTN/POTS (“old”) - will work as long as the central office (CO) switching facility feeds 48 VDC power to the line normally and if it rings adds 90 VAC to that. CO is responsible for power in terms of batteries or gensets for a certain amount of time (as imposed by regulations in your jurisdiction). Calls work locally as long as there is power, further up/down the switching hierarchy as long as backhaul to higher order switching centers exists for signaling and call trunking.

“New” is much more complex, in order of operation:
- all data: you must have light in the fiber at both ends, no light - no data
- all data: the fiber ONT/aggregation device in CO must have power and connectivity for backhaul
- all data: the IP (Layer 3) termination [most likely] much further away must be reachable
- all data: routing must work and VAS infrastructure (DHCP, DNS, SIP, ….) must be reachable
- all data: you must be able to obtain IP addressing (provider supplied DHCP server)
- all data: DNS must work
- telephony: SIP proxies must be reachable by the handsets/ STB (depending on type), this is “signaling”
- telephony: media gateways towards “PSTN” must be reachable by the handsets/STB, this is “media”

In practice, the consumer never installs an UPS for their ONU (fiber termination unit). Similarly, any STB and WiFi access points in the residence also tend to be without. This is not something anyone really realizes until there really is a power outage.
  
Post #235695427th Dec 2023 3:39 pm
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NJSS
 


Member Since: 06 May 2009
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I can't respond in detail at this time but I am very happy with VoIP which I have been using for about 4 years; to cope with power outages I have:-

Two APC ES-700 back up power supplies to run a PC, router, wifi etc.. during the time that it takes to fire up and connect my Honda EU7000iS 7,000 watt generator which is converted to run off either bottled or mains gas.

I also have a TP-Link M7650 MiFi router which supports 4G LTE-Advanced CAT11 networks. I have two additional SIM cards for this router giving my a choice of 3 networks, although to date Vodafone my normal provider have been 100% throughout local power outages.

If one felt 100% reliability is necessary one could also add Starlink - I have considered it & may do so at some time. Starlink speeds (from ISP Review):-




Cost of Starlink £75 p.m. for unlimited data plus hardware at a cost of £449. I understand that for a limited time, refurbished hardware kits are available in the UK for £199.

In practice the generator can power the whole household, as long as I don't have any two high power consumption devices on at the same time - i.e. washing machine, tumble dryer etc..

NJSS
  
Post #235696327th Dec 2023 4:07 pm
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al cope
 


Member Since: 08 Nov 2005
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Posts: 10328

England 

But why should the average person with no techy knowledge have to have all that gear in order to make an emergency call.

Al
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Post #235697127th Dec 2023 4:55 pm
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kajtzu
 


Member Since: 11 Aug 2017
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 6608

Finland 2005 Discovery 3 4.4 V8 HSE Auto Cairns BlueDiscovery 3

They should not. I agree that things “should just work”.

But newer technologies increase, not decrease, complexity. Also, testing corner cases is usually impossible.
  
Post #235697527th Dec 2023 5:08 pm
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LaserTam
 


Member Since: 31 Aug 2015
Location: Essex
Posts: 831

England 2012 Discovery 4 3.0 SDV6 HSE Auto Nara BronzeDiscovery 4

BT Openreach exchanges are small power stations, sending the low voltage (as mentioned above) down the copper wire. Demands for faster speeds, that can't be achieved using copper, mean it has to be fibre. Which doesn't conduct electricity.

So it's a combination of factors, including the power saving/cost to Openreach, which drives the change. Alternatives should be offered to the elderly etc, if mobile signal is poor though.
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Post #235697727th Dec 2023 5:16 pm
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waterbuoy
 


Member Since: 26 Oct 2013
Location: Argyll
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As with a lot of 'tech' it is often the rural communities that suffer as technology moves forward.

Our power supplies and 'phone lines are very susceptible to drop-outs - we have a powercut at least half a dozen times a year, and the 'phone line (copper) is crackly whenever it rains (ie water getting in somewhere into the system). Needless to say the power cuts usually occur when the emergency services are most likely to be needed, ie bad weater such as that which we had ten weeks ago and which was only cleared the week before Christmas.

Our concern over the transition to digital is that if we have a power cut that also takes out the mobile mast which serves the village. At present, if we have a powercut then we still have the use of the analogue 'phone lines for emergency use etc. In the future - powercut means no 'phone signal or ability for the whole peninsula. 'Only' 300-500 people, depending on the season, so not exactly headline news or a vote winner. Generators etc are fine for the household, but do not help with the communication side of things in our case (unless mobile operators make further investment)
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Post #235697927th Dec 2023 5:47 pm
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icestationzebra
 


Member Since: 05 Nov 2008
Location: Cheshire
Posts: 593

United Kingdom 2006 Discovery 3 TDV6 S Manual Bonatti GreyDiscovery 3
Re: BT (or now EE) Digital Voice.

Brian Considine wrote:
Digital Voice is supposed to be a great step foward in communications with full fibre operating speeds, clearer voice communication at so on.

However, during a five hour power cut this morning I realised that the ordinary phone system (well, the parts that have been converted to digital voice) do not work at all.

So how (if we have really bad mobile signal, especially EE in my area) are we supposed to call the emergency services ?

IMHO a serious issue so please not flippant comments or comments for the sake of saying something.

Any BT/EE people on here ?


We were switched to Digital Voice about 6 weeks ago. Have the same problem-in fact we have just had power restored whilst I was trying to find Scottish Powers fault line.

However how you find this a surprise when BT peppered us with pamphlets and emails giving us all the info you have just quoted before switching on the specified date.
  
Post #235698027th Dec 2023 6:03 pm
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highlands
 


Member Since: 11 Jan 2010
Location: NW Highlands
Posts: 5098

Ukraine 2005 Discovery 3 TDV6 HSE Auto Java BlackDiscovery 3
Re: BT (or now EE) Digital Voice.

For vulnerable people BT/Openreach was providing a battery backed up ONT/Router so the internet wouldn't go down during a powercut.

The ONT & Router are both (well BT and most other routers are, but can't speak for all ISPs) 12V so instead of getting a full on UPS you can power both of them for c.5hrs with a £10-15 12V 7Ah battery and a couple of leads.

For about £20 you could buy this:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/SOARAISE-26800mAh...B091TW1JKC

and get a USB-C to barrel connector for the router. Again, it'll give maybe as much as 5hrs runtime.

Our telephone exchange only covers c.80 houses but it has never gone fully down due to a power outage in my time living here....we did have the time when the tinks cut the optic cabling thinking it was copper and disabled the entirety of our part of the Highlands and Skye from being able to communicate with the wider world.

I had an old Nokia E61 running over SIP (to SIPgate) for my landline until recently which worked pretty simply and flawlessly. Quite a few phones of that era had SIP client functions built in to the operating system.
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Post #235700427th Dec 2023 9:16 pm
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kajtzu
 


Member Since: 11 Aug 2017
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 6608

Finland 2005 Discovery 3 4.4 V8 HSE Auto Cairns BlueDiscovery 3

Slightly off topic but all modern phones have SIP stacks, too. All the VoLTE, VoWiFi, RCS/IMS stuff is built on top of it.

The difference back then was that Nokia made the (faulty) assumption about openness rather than controlled, walled gardens.
  
Post #235700727th Dec 2023 9:41 pm
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RRSTDV8
 


Member Since: 07 Apr 2014
Location: Here
Posts: 13279

United Kingdom 
Re: BT (or now EE) Digital Voice.

Brian Considine wrote:


So how (if we have really bad mobile signal, especially EE in my area) are we supposed to call the emergency services ?



Is it not the case that the mobile system will allow an emergency call through no matter what network one subscribes to and / or is available? If there is a connection of some sort, you will get through.

Of course, in a 0% mobile black spot you're screwed, but then that was the case if a tree took down your copper line back in the day.
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Post #235701427th Dec 2023 10:40 pm
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highlands
 


Member Since: 11 Jan 2010
Location: NW Highlands
Posts: 5098

Ukraine 2005 Discovery 3 TDV6 HSE Auto Java BlackDiscovery 3

It is the case, but unlike the FB rubbish it won't suddenly become a satellite phone! Very Happy
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Post #235701627th Dec 2023 10:53 pm
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