TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Will 911 Difficulties Derail VoIP?

Re: Will 911 Difficulties Derail VoIP?
11 May 2005 19:36:55 -0700

TELECOM Digest Editor noted in response to Lisa Hancock:

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Well Lisa, since we are chatting about
> 'service reliability' and how important it is, what about when a place
> like California has an earthquake now and then, or now and then in New
> York City when an airplane crashes into a tall building and all the
> people get excited and stirred up and all everyone jumps on the phone
> at one time bringing the phone system to a screaming halt with all
> the dialtone missing and the switching capacity totally used up? Or,
> about every 14-15 years on average when a telco central office burns
> down, and there is no phone service at all for a few weeks or months,

I think you're making an "apples vs. oranges" comparison that isn't

First off, major diasters like you describe are very rare. And if
they do occur, I suspect VOIP lines will be just as jammed as
conventional phone lines. There are switching buildings housing
nothing but servers and data lines that are vulnerable to fires and
disaster just like phoneco offices.

Second and more importantly, service problems with the Internet are
much more common. Every so often some glitch causes havoc and makes
the newspapers. More frequently are localized problems and response
time troubles. Frequently I don't get an answer from an email and
then I learn my correspondent's company had server problems and
nothing went in and out.

Many people use cable TV lines for broadband service, and they
complain during certain times service gets slow, such as when kids
come home from school and bang away. How does VOIP fare in such

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