Spark says not to worry (20 Apr, 2017)

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Spark says not to worry (20 Apr, 2017)

Postby aardvark_admin » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:14 am

This column is archived at: http://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2017/0420.shtml

Do you believe Spark's promises that the transition from the current POTS (plain old telephone system) to a newer IP-based version will be "invisible" and not cause disruption?

Well if any of their other fiasco "upgrades" are an indicator, I am a skeptic.

But do we really need an old-fashioned POTS in these days of wireless and independent VOIP solutions running over the Net?

People are already ditching the POTS in droves so surely any price-hike associated with such an upgrade (and I'm sure there will be an attempt to recover the costs) will simply make the POTS even less popular than it is now -- so why even bother?
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Re: Spark says not to worry (20 Apr, 2017)

Postby RoddyAxn » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:38 am

Sell all the copper for $1

Then see the new owner undercut the pricing structure

When a fault happens just refund the affected customer and move on with the profitable ones

You see customers are expendable

And some
Copper will still
Be functional in 100 years.
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Re: Spark says not to worry (20 Apr, 2017)

Postby hagfish » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:27 am

Is this really an 'upgrade'? Aren't they just going to 'switch off the copper'? I assumed it was already VOIP, basically from the street onwards. Surely the only 'cost' they need to recover is no longer being able to charge $10/month for a mumline.

Our household's landline will disappear once the parents/in-laws become more comfortable with one of the myriad voice-only communications services. They're almost there with FaceTime audio, but there's such a slew of competing standards, it's going to be a while before it's like 'picking up the phone' used to be.

As for powercuts, our copper line is - for all intents and purposes - dead, if/when the power goes out, because we have a cordless landline phone. We have a corded phone in a box in the garage somewhere, but PN's power infrastructure is pretty solid. It's years since we've had any interruption (touch wood).

As long as some people are prepared to pay a fortune for minutes/data, phone companies will continue to milk them. As with Sky, they'd be silly to leave the high-revenue customers' money on the table. Eventually, however, I see mobile following broadband, and becoming combined onto a single all-you-can-eat bill. The telcos are starting to offer crippled/unlimited mobile data plans (no tethering?!) so it's on the way. Eventually we'll get laptops and TVs and toasters with SIM-card slots, and off we'll go.

There was a kerfuffle when analogue TV got turned off, but the world kept turning. VOIP will never be as solid as copper has been, but I expect we'll survive.
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Re: Spark says not to worry (20 Apr, 2017)

Postby goosemoose » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:41 am

This will be interesting for us. We live on a stretch of road in the back of beyond and have POTS. The POTS is then connected to a radio link beamed up to a hill somewhere, from there who knows how it will work. I reckon spark will either keep our little bit of road as POTS and use IP or whatever as the back haul or install a decent cell system so we can all use cell phones or just forget about us and let the whole thing die and we'd be with out cellular and POTS. Luckily we've got a half decent wireless internet solution so that would probably work. Of course with the number of power cuts we get down here we could be with telecoms for considerable stretches at a time.

Thats why I still have POTS. I can phone up and report power outages without having to trek out the back for a cell signal.
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Re: Spark says not to worry (20 Apr, 2017)

Postby phill » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:56 am

far north
we average 1 x 2.5 hour power cut a month
and 1 x 12 hour power cut a year

at the moment the power goes out i wait 5 mins
if its not back by then its going to be a min of 1.5 hours so
its start the generator ... which depressingly is kept easily on hand .. plug in the media area multi point and
woohoo tv is on and the net speeds are twice as fast or at least level at top speed

now they want to stop the net when i get a power cut
ik
for some its not a bother but for us that have them regularly .. its a bother
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Re: Spark says not to worry (20 Apr, 2017)

Postby paulw » Thu Apr 20, 2017 1:29 pm

They are switching off the aging and obsolete NEC NEAX central office switches and replacing them with a IP softswitch. Vodafone will have the same problem with their Nortel analog lines, no spares as Nortel died years ago. It started to happen several years ago on the business line with Geni Voice Connect where ISDN is being replaced with SIP trunking. Those who have changed over it was pretty transparent unless provisioning stuffed up or the installer tech did. When my M-in-law switched from coper to fiber phone last year just plugged the old analog phone into the ONT box .

The duration that you analog phone will last in the event of a power failure will depend upon the batteries in the Chorus cabinet. I can see the writing on the wall for Chorus in the next 5 or so years as coper is replaced with fiber.
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Re: Spark says not to worry (20 Apr, 2017)

Postby Weasel » Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:46 pm

Once upon a time the POTS network provided a lot of revenue, and it made sense to invest in that infrastructure in the exchanges such as the battery rooms full of lead acid batteries that would run the exchanges for hours allowing that revenue to keep flowing during power outages. The race to the bottom for voice calling finished some time ago, and there is nothing to be made from it, and it no longer justifies its existence. The cash cow is IP based services - DSL and cellular data, and thats where the investment will go. IP networks are far simpler to run and manage compared to the proprietary POTS analogue to digital and back again systems - a smart switched network. Make it IP from end to end and you have a cheap dumb network where the switching is done at the IP layer in software, its now upto the end user to power their handsets.

Our cable provider offers an analogue POTS port in the back of the cable modem, from there on into the network is 100% VOIP on its own dedicated bandwidth slice - completely transparent to the analogue phone I have plugged into it, its upto me to keep my cable modem powered not the telco. And with that I have managed to acquire a 19" rack mount UPS with two sets of good batteries otherwise destined for the scrap heap from work - this powers my cable modem, wifi, firewall box, a linux box, and a ethernet switch on my LAN - doesnt even light up a single load light, so I'd expect this to run my basic internet infrastructure for hours and hours, especially if I power off the non essential linux box. Granted a commercial grade 19" rack mount UPS is otherwise not affordable to the average person, a cheap computer UPS will power a DSL router/cable modem for hours if thats the only thing on it - remember to test/replace the battery every couple of years or so. Finally the cable modem it self has an option for an internal battery, but its not included standard, thats an extra cost from the telco.
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