However, as you already have figured out, having back-up is worthless if the fiber network isn’t working. … I am sheltered in place and have health concerns about Verizon techs tracking Coronavirus through my home, as they install fiber optic batteries and service. Landlines transmit voice and data signals by copper wire through electric pulses. This monotone sound was how users knew the phone line was working. What happens if everybody has a crisis? And would love to know as someone asked above—Has the government given up all their copper service ? The phone taps directly into the wireless network of the service provider, using the existing base stations and towers to patch calls through. MANTOLOKING, N.J. — Robert Post misses his phone line.Post, 85, has a pacemaker that needs to be checked once a month by phone. The psychology of needing a wire is going away. I was also told by someone at verizon that I could try to find “another copper carrier”. "This is a real concern is if you're trying to dial 911," Dellomo says. That is the one area of concern raised by these notices. Will Verizon build fiber to new houses, particularly those in rural areas? I agree with Wolfram’s comment below. New technologies such as high-speed internet connections via cable, VOIP, mobile phone networks, and fiber-optic cabling are replacing the outdated, inefficient copper phone lines of the past. This does not even take an EMP. MANTOLOKING, N.J. (AP) -- Robert Post misses his phone line. While many of the affected exchanges are mostly urban, many of them include rural areas that are not covered by a cable company competitor, so if customers lose Verizon service, they could find themselves with no communications alternative. The U.S. once had the best communications system in the world on copper and your phone almost never went down. I am one of the Verizon customers who service has been turned off. None, in our local area anyway, seem to be able to provide us with answers. There is no other option! Seems like Verizon is already letting landlines decay in MA. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! More recently, in 2020, I’m noticing landline reliability is decreasing. Will Verizon build a fiber drop to a customer who only wants to buy a single telephone line? Still no service. I would love to retain copper service for as long as possible. ", There are ways around the lack of power or insufficient battery life. Cell phones with voice quality that is often poor that you have to charge every day and can lose, leaving you with the same communications ability a person had in 1776. ... Are Copper Phone Lines Going Away? Perhaps Verizon has quietly added fiber to fill in these gaps or is now prepared to finally do so. I didn’t take your question to ask about that. Verizon probably has an answer to all of these questions, but the FCC request to retire copper doesn’t force the company to get specific. ... Those communities that got fiber first will see the copper go away first. I’ve had quite enough of the “company line.” Thank you. Next day turned off. While I agree that newer technology is great and it does not make good business sense to continue to spend money running what they consider an “obsolete” system … until the new fiber optics systems meet all the public’s basic requirements for service, the old system can hardly be considered “obsolete.” I feel Verizon is putting “profits” in front of “people.” Again, if I am wrong, someone please provide me with an adequate and TRUE explanation. These range from urban exchanges in New York City to exchanges scattered all over the outer suburbs of Washington DC and Baltimore. See: New York State Public Utilities Commission. "It's a reasonable idea and I'm sure it's very popular with the under-25 set, the people that grew up with cellphones," Dellomo says. To get my phone service, including a medical alert, restored (after three days and calling every elected official and government entity in creation), I had to put in an “order” for conversion, which I did as far out on their calendar as possible. Whether it is landline (which more and more families are moving away from) or business line, where more companies are relying on IT and wireless options, the use of copper lines being dug below ground is something which simply isn't necessary in today's day and age. I have one phone number that follows me around. Hi Lisa, I put in a complaint to the NYS Public Service Commission, which regulates copper landline service, but does not oversee fiber optic service in New York State. You can usually do better by buying a good UPS yourself. Copper lines, as a redundant safety system, can carry alarm signals to via relay stations with generator power backup. He had called Verizon because his copper-line phone in his East Germantown brick rowhouse wasn't working properly. If your phone rings now, bet your bottom bitcoin it’s no one you know Even when phoning was a popular pastime, rather than an invitation to a panic attack, not everyone’s call was answered. NYS took my complaint on the basis that we are in a Covid emergency, and Verizon had stopped the changeover and notified me in one letter, then sent another letter demanding that I comply or they would shut off service on 10/20/20 and I am in an identified at risk group, but NYS told me that Verizon had the right to “migrate” my service. That is probably one reason to eliminate copper — no regulators! We never learn; do we? Large storms have knocked power out for days; their battery backups, no matter how many batteries they give you, don’t keep your telephone service running, maybe 24 hours, 48 would be a stretch. We never consider what we could lose for going wild over a shiny, new object…. In Hurricane Bob, in 1991, the landlines continued to work fine even though many utility poles were down and most of Cape Cod had a least a week without electricity. WASHINGTON — The copper network behind landline phones, a communications mainstay for more than a century, is going away, as cable and fiber-optics lines come along with faster Internet speeds. If they have a maintenance issue will Verizon refuse to fix it? "You're not gonna have a frequency available for every user in the network. We’ve given away a lot of reliability for mobility and data capability. But the FCC seems to be abdicating its responsibility to do exactly that by singing the same song some of America’s largest phone companies have hummed since they decided to get out of the copper landline business for fun and profit. This is a public safety issue, not to mention that our business services are severely impacted. That's a level of paranoia that I don't even want to think about.". The FCC requires that telephone companies offer two options for backing up phones – an 8-hour and a 24-hour backup. And as one person pointed out, a whole load of D batteries will go in the trash regularly because of this! With a wireless home phone system, we're not talking about the cordless phones that have been around for years, with a cordless handset but a receiver that's connected to a landline. Unlike the old days where copper carried electricity even when the services might not be working, the fiber network carries only light and not electricity. It's very personal. For the FiOS connection, you can receive up to 1,000 Mbps. iPhone and iPad: Two Devices, One Charger? Since the late 1800s, shortly after the telephone was invented, landlines relied on copper to transmit sound. Some of these filings can be found at this site. A significant concern are power outages. The company intends to move people who still are served by copper over to fiber and is not waiting for the FCC notice period to make such conversions. The phone companies that run the copper-based POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) may want to do away with it in favor of more modern, flexible and profitable technologies, but it's not going anywhere soon. A basic POTs landline still has a purpose, especially for things like alarm systems, and can be hard to replace for a small office or a remote location where internet isn’t easily available. Landlines transmit voice and data signals by copper wire through electric pulses. Those three product lines make up 81 percent of AT&T’s revenue and collectively are growing at 6 percent a year. Is Verizon really going to build FiOS fiber in all of the rural areas around the cities they serve? That wire makes them relatively expensive to maintain or replace, but … Rather, the kind of system that runs without the use of a landline at all. We are upgrading our network and will retire the copper wire and replace it with new fiber optic technology to offer improved performance. There's not enough spectrum in the world for that. Zero problems with the copper lines, ever. They are in it for them and not for the customer and there is no winning against a company so big with so many pockets greased. If you find a substitute copper carrier in New York City/State, please let me know. Dellomo estimates that landlines as we know them today will fall by the wayside and be virtually extinct within the next decade. I also wonder what happens to new customers. That almost doubled our bill! What is fiber optic technology and how is it better? Here are the three steps you need to take when considering moving away from copper phone lines: Post, 85, has a pacemaker that needs to be checked once a month by phone. Beyond the spectrum issue, there's the power issue. It could be the coming reality. The rules state that phone companies could shut down copper … I currently do not have an outlet or a place for the battery in my tiny condo. An answer by David Fred, below, assumes that you are asking about landline phones being replaced by mobile/cellular phones, and he cites bandwidth as a reason that it is unlikely to occur—ever. NY state is one of a very few that do not have a consumer utility advocate of any kind. It all about money and all those politicians whom pockets have been lined. And that's only if the service towers aren't damaged. Have a great day! Where/how do I find an alternative copper landline carrier (are there any in New York City?!)? What happened to not having a conglomeration? I have to hope that Verizon has considered these situations and that they won’t let customers go dead. That wire makes them relatively expensive to maintain or replace, but their nature means that a phone line can work even when the power goes down. Ten Years Later, How Have We Avoided Another Mega Blackout? Our electrical grids in the U.S. are already prime targets. It is a major concern for our family and I am tired of fighting with Verizon about this. (3) And the United States isn't … Old phone systems never die. Although the Federal Communications Commission has rules mandating that carriers put through all 911 calls (part of the reason your smartphone will let you place an emergency call without unlocking it), the FCC has said that requiring the carriers to maintain the old landline systems is unsustainable. Before covid, I had expected to find out what some of my neighbors are doing/thinking. AT&T plans to discontinue copper landline phone service in Illinois, the latest of many states where it is doing away with the service. Verizon makes me angry. I worked for many years in an area that constantly had phone outages. I have to wonder what took them so long to get around to retiring the copper. Copper phone lines vs fibre and VoIP. As a result, there is less expensive repair work to be done after a disaster. Carbon footprint…… yeah right whatever. These range from urban exchanges in New York City to exchanges scattered all over the outer suburbs of … And it doesn’t help to power that little box if the Verizon network is down because of fiber cuts from fallen trees and that sort of thing. I do appreciate it. Telephone service will be moved to more modern softs switches that Verizon uses for fiber customers. While Verizon says they are prepared to deploy fiber everywhere, what happens to customers until the fiber is in front of their home or business? Some Mantoloking residents aren't happy with the plan, either. The 7 Best Routers To Flood Your Home With Wi-Fi, How to Completely Wipe All Data From Your Computer, 35 Gadgets, Grills, and Other Gifts for Foodies, The Best Gaming Laptops You Can Buy Right Now, The Mind-Boggling Tech That Apple Just Dropped, The Xbox Series X Gets Serious About Gameplay, 50 Great Gadget and Gear Gifts for the Holidays, How Science Brought Robert Kardashian Back to Life. Verizon (at first) failed to respond as required by law. Who is considering them? Verizon is also retiring the older DMS telephone switches, purchased years ago from the long-defunct Northern Telecom. All of the questions I’ve asked wouldn’t exist if Verizon built fiber everywhere in an exchange before exiting the copper business. But the system has the same vulnerabilities of cellphones, such as finicky signal quality and the fact that only so many calls can go through at once. AT&T said it will invest $14 billion in its networks over the next three years, with those dollars going into wireless, business services and the fiber-to-the-node U-verse product. The exact speeds offered in your ar… If these problems have already been addressed and resolved and I am simply ignorant of the situation, please do let me know. The data is great and now a necessity…but the simple telephone that almost never failed to keep us connected on copper wire and that you just picked up to use…with no passwords, thumb prints or face recognition…the simple landline phone was the miracle device that we gave away in the process. Thomas MacNabb, Verizon's director of operations for wireline support, said that the copper lines in 44 wire centers or zip codes in Pennsylvania and other states are the first to be decommissioned this year - kicking off Verizon's multiyear "network transformation." Fiber optics “land lines” (VOIPS) offer rediculously limited battery backup capability …and we also now have a sea of confusing phone options to wade through. Verizon has told me I will lose my copper connection in May, … Thank you for your response. Nothing we did had any affect on them. Verizon will no longer support copper in these exchanges and will stop doing any maintenance on copper. Would love to hear an update Ellen. So, why should this be eliminated and what are the benefits of going wireless? But the copper wiring that once connected his … The Ultimate Survival Preparedness Kit for Your Car, CES 2014: A Parade of New Emergency Devices by Eton. Many wireless home phones come with backup batteries in the case of power outages. How we test gear. AT&T is also working towards eliminating copper and offers fixed cellular as the alternative to copper in rural places. In the 1980s and 90s, this meant processing transactions via “dial up” on copper telephone lines. The included Wi-Fi gateway router can be managed through a user-friendly app that works on your computer or your mobile devices. More static, more failures, more repairs. In recent months the company has asked to kill copper in hundreds of exchanges in those states. You can connect up to 10 devices at a time to your network and receive 99% streaming availability. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Verizon threatened to shut off service, then did so on 20/20/20, as the State of NY did not give a damn about Verizon techs tracking Covid virus house to house through my “shelter in place” at risk home, or that there had been a noticed halt to the conversion in Spring, when my area was much less of a Covid hot zone. Nevertheless, telecommunications professionals such as Dellomo can understand the phone companies' desire to do away with vulnerable landlines, and think it will happen soon. As somebody who has seen the big telcos fail to meet promises many times, I’d be nervous if I was a Verizon customer still served by copper and had to rely on Verizon’s assurance that they have ‘plans’ to bring fiber. I don't have to think about whether I'm calling your cell or home phone; I'm just calling you.". I just postponed my Verizon appointment to end of January. Isn’t anyone concerned about another 9/11 or worse? I believe the percentage of the population this will affect is rather significant. They were moving forward whether we did or not. Verizon has been announcing copper retirements since February 2017 and was forced to respond to intervention in some locations, but eventually refiled most retirement notices a second time. Then, I got a call from their “executive” offices. Correction: Verizon shut off my service on 10/20/2020. Every time I ask our local Verizon people what they are doing to resolve (or create an alternative) to the limited battery back-up system for our local phones that are on the FIOS system, I get a blank stare! Popular Mechanics participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. The typical speeds that you'll see offered for the cable broadband service go up to 100 Mbps up and down. I just wish we had a solution. At the time they bypassed places where other utilities were buried unless the neighborhood already had empty conduit in place. The FCC process requires Verizon to notify the public about plans to retire copper and if no objections are filed in a given exchange the retirement takes place 90 days after the FCC’s release of the public notice to retire. The backup battery on AT&T's wireless home phone, for example, provides up to 3.5 hours of talk time. In 2010, more than 10 million businesses were using fixed-line phones; however, that number has now fallen to just 6.4 million. Verizon used the copper lines to build Fios. The phone companies must provide a cost for the solution, and usually it’s a one-time fee for the back-up gear. The filings ask to retire the copper wires. Verizon will identify 100 copper-fed building locations in New York City with a high incidence of repair visits by technicians and will replace the existing copper facilities to those locations with fiber optics. We never had an outage in 10 years on copper. "You can supposedly keep 10 backup batteries in the house in case of a disaster. Switchboard operators were in high demand and rotary diallers were all the rage. Thought should have been put into saving that reliability early on…but it seems there was no will and now, no way to save that. How is it environmentally friendly with the increase to dispose of batteries? For example, On 6/30/2019, our FIOS died some 15 minutes after an area-wide power outage while our backup system maintained LAN function for the next few hours. Understandably, Verizon is feeling some pushback against its plan to forget about the old-fashioned landline. I could not find “another copper carrier” which seems to be a mythical entity (like a unicorn) as there seem to be none! They forced our business to drop our reliable, good old fashioned POTS lines three months ago. Verizon is the only big telco to widely build fiber plan in residential neighborhoods and it makes no sense to ask them to maintain two technologies in neighborhoods with fiber. Mobile phone carriers, such as those mounted on HV lines, may die quickly as well. James LaRoy, 83, said that Verizon technicians installed the "optical network terminal," or FiOS box, in his garage one night last year. From a technical perspective, these changes were inevitable. The End of the Line for the Analog Phone Network ... offered interchangeably over copper, fiber, cable, satellite, and cellular networks, are both better and cheaper than the … Called Verizon made appointment to have them come and update. Perhaps we have that answer in language that is in each FCC request where Verizon says it “has deployed or plans to deploy fiber-to-the-premises in these areas”. While the benefits of leaving copper lines behind and upgrading to a wireless network solution are great by themselves, going wireless also offers various application as well, showing that this transition fits well with any company. What happens to customers who still only have a copper alternative? No at risk person or household should be forced to expose themselves to Verizon technicians who are going house to house dragging life threatening Covid 19 along with them, and/or who may be infected with or without symptoms. "Then you have to wait until you get power back to get communications. Currently, your AT&T phone and/or internet service is provided to your business over our traditional network that uses copper wire technology. The Illinois General Assembly approved an … One line was for the alarm, a few for the switchboard and one was for (don't laugh) the fax machine. Copper lines are a thing from the past. I doubt we’ll see that level of phone reliability again. In recent months the company has asked to kill copper in hundreds of exchanges in those states. However, for periods of prolonged blackouts such as the weeks following Sandy, 3.5 hours may not be enough. When Sept. 11 happened, the cellphones crashed because everyone in the city had a crisis.". Verizon just raised the prices for landlines. On New York's Fire Island, for example, the carrier also planned to install Voice Link rather than replacing landlines that Sandy destroyed, but abandoned the plan after heavy complaints, and agreed to start re-laying fiber-optic cables. I was told I need a dedicated outlet for the battery back ups. However, I have no idea how to really find another carrier and am not succeeding so far. U.S. Woefully Unprepared for a Blackout Like India’s: Analysis, ISS Coolant Valve Might Force Emergency Space Walk. Also, it really seems as though they are just pushing people out, not even to Fios. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. I understand that, if you are getting fibre broadband installed and you want to retain your old copper wire landline phones, this is possible but it costs a lot more (as much as $50 per month) to run both naked broadband and a copper wire phone system. FIOS subsystems with battery power backup at branch points, seem to die quickly. AT&T U-verse, now known as AT&T internet, comes in cable and fiber-optic form. "Basically any remedy that you can use for a cellphone during a disaster can be used for a wireless home phone as well," Dellomo says. One Verizon supervisor told me that I could opt for copper cable service with “another copper carrier.”. "In the case of something like Sandy, you're going to need an emergency response team to come in and set up cellphone towers," Dellomo says. Wireless home phone systems, on the other hand, operate without the cost of copper landlines. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. They are toothless/powerless to preserve copper cable service or prevent migration to fiber optics (FIOS), even though we are in a Covid emergency and under Governor Cuomo’s edicts to shelter in place. We pointed these things out to them, since we had a letter stating no change in costs, and went to the BBB. It was ringing someplace else, he said. Interestingly, much of the FiOS fiber network was built by overlashing fiber onto the copper wires, so the copper wires on poles are likely to remain in place for a long time to come. Today we rely on fibre like we used to rely on copper. Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window). January 15, 2020 After the first landline telephones arrived in New Zealand in 1881, a copper phone line network was built across the country, ultimately reaching 98 … : Verizon has given me a cutoff date for my copper landline of 10/20/2020, despite one letter (of three) from them stating that Covid19 pandemic stayed their replacement for several months. They just fade away. The last Verizon info I read on their Fios phone system listed their battery back-up as having only “UP TO” 2 – 6 hours of power. What about all the folks and elderly who have health problems and must have access to a working phone in case they need EMS or need to transmit important health data from medical devices?? I wonder how expensive it really is to maintain the copper when (as this article states) it probably shares the infrastructure with the fiber? While new technology and legislation makes it possible for telco providers to move away from copper phone lines, the assumption that consumers can rely solely on cell phones leave some vulnerable. Michael Dellomo, an associate director of the University of Maryland's masters program in Telecommunications, says that wireless home phones are akin to merging the traditional landline and the cellphone. Is that being considered by Verizon but not mentioned in these filings? By the way, Mary, this is your cousin Jimmy. Copper lines when switched to FIOS would die rapidly as well. They promised us up and down that there would be no increase to cost and the service would be just as good if not better. There are ways for you to provide back up power for the ONT (the Verizon electronics on the outside of the house). In 2012, after Hurricane Sandy destroyed much of the copper infrastructure in western Fire Island, N.Y., Verizon didn’t want to fix the phone lines. Maintaining copper landlines during a pandemic saves lives, dragging Covid virus house to house does not! Pay that, or drop having a landline. Have not seen too many of them and I keep forgetting. ", Exclusive: AI Pilots Military Plane for First Time, 25 Last-Minute Gifts and Stocking Stuffers, This Is Not Your Father’s Tomahawk Cruise Missile, Mass Extinctions Happen Every 27 Million Years. What happens to their telephone service if their voice switch is suddenly turned off? Now half our business lines are down. It's very nice. $90 with the insurance to take care of the line for service calls!! Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. "One of the nice things about wireless service is that when there isn't a crisis, its ubiquitous," Dellomo says. When Verizon first deployed FiOS they deployed it in a helter-skelter manner, mostly sticking to neighborhoods which had the lowest deployment cost, usually where they could overlash on aerial copper. Copper phone and internet services could start be axed completely from some parts of New Zealand in less than two years, as fibre-to-the-home takes over, a select committee has recommended. With the advent of more wireless home telephone service and fewer landlines, will consumers be left without home phones when a blackout hits? They turned service back on. We are in an area in south New Jersey that was forced off of copper several years ago. The copper lines always worked as a backup--we maintained five or six for this reason. Ipad: two devices, one Charger your mobile devices the fiber network isn ’ T anyone concerned about 9/11... For fiber customers blog and receive 99 % streaming availability phone number that follows me around Later how. Us with answers executive ” offices streaming availability to customers who service has been turned off have to wonder took. Verizon because his copper-line phone in his East Germantown brick rowhouse was n't working.. 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