[oclug] Disintermediate the telephone company
lists at L8R.net
Mon Jun 14 23:59:24 EDT 2004
On Mon, 14 Jun 2004 18:05:35 -0400
Olaf Baumann <olaf.baumann at pobox.com> wrote:
> On Mon, 2004-06-14 at 12:27, Rod Giffin wrote:
> > THe problem during a power failure is not that the cell phones can not
> > work, the problem during a power failure is the cell towers do not
> > work. That problem was evident during last year's power blackout.
> > Cell phones were dead, land lines were not. In areas (such as
> > Barrhaven) where the I was under the impression that the cell phone
> > services were
> operational after the blackout (if memory serves). The problem was that
> once the power went, everybody grabbed their cell phones to make
> arrangements/plans ("Hi Honey, I'm in gridlock, I won't be home for a
> while" and "Hey buddy, I bet'cha this is a terrorist plot"). The result
> is that the capacity of the cellular system was maxed and most people
> didn't get served.
I wasn't in the Ottawa region at the time, but another part of Ontario.
This was a rural area, and the problem most definitely wasn't a lack of
service. The towers did die. However, most of them died after hours had
passed, and some even lasted until the next day. Obviously a generator
was present on site.
If cell phone companies want to utilize our (the Canadian citizen's)
airwaves in order to make a profit, they should be legislated to provide
such stability. It really isn't that expensive, over all. Most sites
already have generators, so all that's required is an expansion of fuel
> I don't believe that telephone systems are not designed to handle the
> situation where every subscriber goes off-hook simultaneously. In the
> past, radio contests with big prizes tended to expose this. The
> cellular market, I imagine, is even more thinly spread, and would be
> more suseptable to load.
Every subscriber is a bit much, but I've had many occasions over the years
where "lines are busy" or the classic double busy. Often this happens to
me on Mother's Day, or Christmas.
>  I can't find any references on the web to this, does anyone remember
> this happening? Maybe I've fallen prey to urban legends
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