TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Time Warner Digital Phone Question

Re: Time Warner Digital Phone Question
8 Jun 2007 02:21:34 -0700

On Jun 4, 5:14 am, Jax <jack.zaldi ...> wrote:

> Again, this is from a former employee ... in San Antonio, at least,
> most of the people I came in contact with HATED working where they
> were because of the horrible business practice, but couldn't walk away
> due to the free cable bill ... sad really ...

> I'm seriously considering DSL, my father has worked for SBC, now AT&T
> for about 30 years now and has always tried to get me to go that
> route ... I think it may be about time ...

We all must remember that service provided by a national companies
VARIES a great deal from location to location.

Most national companies -- cable or telephone -- are conglomerates of
once separate companies. Verizon, for example, consists of various
former Bell companies, GTE (the "independent") companies, and other
pieces. Of all of those, some of them historically were quite good,
some not so good. The same applies to cable companies.

My local cable company started out as a single independent outfit. It
was taken over and resold by numerous players. Frankly, it's not as
responsive as when it was independent, but due to the legacy the
service is generally satisfactory. It is extremely expensive, though.

> The batter back up is a joke, because ... I know this isn't a
> reasonable question but: How many times do you think your power goes
> out and your cable still works? It's a difficult thing to check, since
> your TV won't work without power ... but ... think about it ...

Yes, if my power is out, my TV won't work. But in my area I've found
that once the power is restored, it takes longer for the cable service
to be restored. We have fairly frequent 1-15 minute power outages in
the summer. They are a nuisance since most electronic clocks have to
be reset. Even ones with battery backup lose a minute or two and need
to be reset if exact time is a requirement (like on the VCR).

I have never lost phone service, no matter how bad the storm or power.
(As mentioned, people with cordless phones -- many these days -- are
out of luck).

> I tried to buy into the whole Time-Warner mindset ... thinking that
> this was the company of the future, but it's a little ahead of it's
> time, due to the fact that they don't test their systems, equipment or
> databases nearly enough to make them effective in a live CONSUMER
> environment.

It's not just them. All companies under stockholder pressure to roll
out new products and services to bring in associated revenue as
quickly as possible. The old regulated monopoly services could do
thorough testing. Indeed, the old Bell System was criticized for
being too slow with innovations, but they tested new products and
services extremely thoroughly before national rollout.

That is a big reason I personally am such a Luddite when it comes to
new technology. Way too often the salesman (hungry for a commission)
and the techies (hungry for glory) promote something new long before
it has been thoroughly tested and side issues resolved. (Don't forget
a device may "work" but still cause unexpected problems.)

Side note -- as to power, the telephone central offices have huge
batteries good for some time in case of a blackout, but more
importantly, contain big diesel generators (tested regularly) to
charge the batteries if the blackout is sustained. Do cable company
offices have such generators? Obviously line poles and cell phone
antennas do not, but how long (if any) is their battery backup? IMHO,
any communications related device should have minimum battery backup
for _heavy_ use for at least five hours, preferably eight hours. When
you consider the number of external junctions and cell phone antenna
sites necessary today, 8-hour heavy duty backup everywhere becomes
quite expensive. But it is necessary.

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