This Is our Village

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Hi all,
This is in response to the Lanny Howe Post about Telephony.

Plain old telephone service (POTS) is the voice-grade telephone service that is based on analog signal transmission that was common before the advent of advanced forms of telephony such as Integrated Signals Digital Network (ISDN), cellular telephone systems, and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). It remains the basic form of residential and small business service connection to the telephone network in many parts of the world. The term reflects the technology that has been available since the introduction of the public telephone system in the late 19th century, in a form mostly unchanged despite the introduction of Touch-Tone dialing, electronic telephone exchanges and fiber-optic communication into the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

While POTS provides limited features, low bandwidth, and no mobile capabilities, it provides greater reliability than any other telephony system. Many telephone service providers attempt to achieve dial-tone availability more than 99.999% of the time the telephone is taken off-hook. This is an often cited benchmark in marketing and systems-engineering comparisons, called the "five nines" reliability standard. It is equivalent to having a dial-tone available for all but about five minutes each year.

Please think about it!
Dave Israel


  1. In the short time I've lived in CV, I've grown to look forward to David's postings - using pseudo science to address what is essentially an emotional problem.

    The near perfect available of the old style telephones was based as much on statistical manipulation as actual fact. In return for monopoly status, the provider, usually AT&T or friends, committed to very high availability and used the "all AT&T" excuse to bar competitive attachments to the phone lines.

    One of the methods they used was to power the actual telephone instruments __rented from AT&T__ from the telephone lines themselves - thus, the phones worked even when the electricity failed.

    This is no longer the case. Our telephone signal is carried by fiber optic cables to distribution boxes on CV that are powered by essentially the same power as your lights - with some battery for short outages.

    Once the signal enters your home, it is typically sent to a user provided (that is you) telephone instrument that is, more often than not, wireless. The handset has a battery and works during a short power outage, but the base unit fails the instant the electricity fails.

    But -- everyone, or nearly everyone, has a cellphone. While the availability of the cell phone network is no where 0.99999 that Dave mentions, in my household, there are two cell phones, one by Verizon and one by TMobile.

    Both could fail in the event of a serious long term outage sufficient to cause the provides to run out of backup fuel.

    In that case, if you need help, walk (or have a friend walk) the the Fire Station on the boarder of our community. They have backup radios.

  2. Did you check with the Fire Dept that they would welcome 100 villagers who think their phone calls are important. Our power (my corner of CV) was out 7 days during Wilma.


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