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Kimoira  (Level: 210.7 - Posts: 1194)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 8:47 AM


I have cable phone service now along with the internet and I can't seem to find a straight answer as to whether or not a corded phone will work in a power outage. I understand the cordless needs electricity and will not work, but has anyone had any experiences where cable service through a corded phone either worked or didn't work during a power outage?

Lodi  (Level: 104.8 - Posts: 2144)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 9:06 AM

I have cable phone. It does not work and that is one of the warnings they gave me when I signed up for the cable phone. I figured that was fine since I can use my cell phone, if needed. I just have to go stand out by the hay barn, stand on my left foot while leaning over, and I can get half a bar. Still worth the savings of the cable phone.

Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 9:38 AM

Hi, Kim and Lodi,

Your "cable" phone is actually Voice over IP (VoIP) which means your phone service is run over the internet rather than a "nailed down connection" that was run through phone lines (used to be copper wires). That is probably the one advantage of a "nailed down connection" - you still have phone service in a power outage. Unfortunately, with VoIP, in a power outage you internet goes down which means your phone service goes down. Lodi is right about the cell phone. It's always good to have that as a backup - especially to report the power outage to the power company.


Mickeym  (Level: 88.2 - Posts: 1803)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 9:51 AM

Ah, not quite true. We have a UPS which is connected to our cable router and also, as we have wifi in the house, to our wifi gizmo. The cable does not go out during a power outage (unless the center for the cable is also effected LOL). So on a laptop on battery, we still have internet. And if we had a battery powered tv, we'd still have tv. And though we don't have it, our cable company will provide a UPS so the phones still work!
I know this is true because the internet is how I informed my power company during the last power outage! And watched the power being restored on their website!
My friend who has voip and also has his own UPS as well as the one provided by the cable guys called me on it during that outage. And I answered on my wired landline!
We bought the UPS mostly as surge protection but we love being able to watch storms on the laptop, as we lose power mostly in tstorms.
Hope this helps. As I recall the UPS wasnt super expensive, only a bit more because we put our wifi on it for the laptops.
What do people who weren't computer help desk in their day jobs do these days?????

Mickeym  (Level: 88.2 - Posts: 1803)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 10:01 AM

A slight clarification...some cable companies call their Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) a battery/battery pack. Same thing. Also, I refer to cable phone as VOIP, but it is not over the general web, but usually over the cable companies servers. A technicality.

Bigbird  (Level: 247.3 - Posts: 3337)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 10:22 AM

I have a cable phone as well (triple deal - ha! - internet, cable TV & phone service for one exorbitant price). Some of our phones are cordless, and some are wired into the old house wiring. My husband was able to hook up the cable phone so that it works in the regular jacks as well. But no phone service in a power outage. Or,what is more common, in a cable outage.

We had Vonage - VoIP for about a year, and that was awful - dropped signals all the time. The cable phone is far more reliable, and a lot cheaper than my former phone plan. I just make sure the cell phone is always charged so that there'll never be a problem. One blackout, I had to drive my cell phone around town in the car to use the car charger! I guess I could have stayed in the driveway, but this was more interesting.

Mickeym  (Level: 88.2 - Posts: 1803)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 11:54 AM

Do you have a battery backup for your cable and phone boxes? That would keep your phones going during a power blackout. Of course, if the cable goes down, your phone is toast!

Kimoira  (Level: 210.7 - Posts: 1194)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 12:01 PM

Aha- there is indeed a back-up battery available for the type of modem I have and no, the modem will not work in the event of an electrical outage without the back-up. The back-up battery is not foolproof either however. If your cable plant gets hit with an outage, then none of them will work but the good news is cable outages are usually restored quicker than electrical power. At least that's what the Time-Warner guy told me. Yes keeping the cell charged is a must. The deal is good for TV, phone and internet combined but if land lines ever drop back into a reasonable price range I would go back to having one.

F5laur  (Level: 31.1 - Posts: 823)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 5:50 PM

I bought a generator for my computer and my coffee pot! LOL

Mickeym  (Level: 88.2 - Posts: 1803)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 6:23 PM

I'm coming to your house if we lose power during the storm tomorrow (:>> But it'll be all rain, hopefully!

F5laur  (Level: 31.1 - Posts: 823)
Sat, 12th Dec '09 6:31 PM

Sure, come on over! do you prefer tea or coffee? I have plenty of gas for the generator for electric and I use the wood burning stove for heat, so I think we're all set!
Oh, if you like junk food, Tony has tons of that too.

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