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North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Battery Maint in LEC equipment

  • From: Jerry Pasker
  • Date: Tue Jun 07 16:39:47 2005


Even though it is fed with N+1 UPS power, Qwest put N+1 rectifiers & batteries for their fiber cabinet they installed for me a few years ago. At the time, batteries were required no matter what, and they say they will replace them every 5 years. A little-town independent telco however, refused to even install a data center fiber shelf unless I provided them with DC power. It just seems to depend on the whim of the telco.

As prices fall, so does level of service. NANOGers all know providing uninterruptible power in the current evolving networks is hard as the communications infrastructure continues to decentralize. Providing non stop power for long term power failures with generators scattered all over the place is insanely hard. Keeping them running during a widespread 'event' is even harder. Everyone wants (expects) "always on" dial tone. And everyone wants cheap calling and cheep bandwidth. Batteries, generators, and their maintenance/operation are expensive. A resilient built network is much more expensive than a non resilient one. Eventually the public will start to realize this, and start to demand laws to maintain certain minimum levels of service. It won't happen until some large disaster, or touching news story about some preventable tragedy brings it in front of the public. People will have to die for this trend to change.

The non-reliable VOIP as a lifeline, even if it's not intended as one, is the tip of this iceberg.

(by the way, like many other forms of regulation, the same goes for internet regulation.... if some shady network somewhere ever turns out to be the root cause of some incident where a number of deaths occur, regulation will soon follow)

Aside from human error, right now the weakest link in the net is the grid, and that is a link that isn't apparently getting any stronger.




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