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Re: Replacing PSTN with VoIP wise? Was Re: Phone networks strugglein Hurricane Katrina's wake

  • From: Mark Foster
  • Date: Wed Aug 31 04:08:26 2005

At the risk of replying to myself,

The below article is about the core, not the edge....
Theres another article on Telecom's site relating to trials for edge IP
equipment. So my take on the NZ situation was a bit warped.

I do see a risk in the move toward IP systems at the edge. At the core is a different story to at least some degree.
Twas also pointed out that British Telecom are heading down the same track as Telecom NZ, and their rollout should be completed earlier. I trust therefore that it has all been thought out in terms of robustness and the like.

As was pointed out to me offlist, when the PSTN falls over,
alternate-network based IP systems do have their merits - but I've always favoured the simple over the complex from a view of resilience. IP stuff has that many more layers to break?

Operationally, natural disasters and the like do reveal our
reliance on increasingly complex systems, with x number of additional
dependencies that can take the service down.

Of course, events like Katrina are fairly extreme, but in general, people should have some sort of fallback position. Its not a bad general rule.


On Wed, 31 Aug 2005, Mark Foster wrote:

Telecom New Zealand announced the other day their intention to do precisely this.

"In relatively short order we will replace the entire PSTN and be delivering all our services for customers over the IP network. That has the potential to reduce costs for customers and put a lot more control and flexibility in customers. hands, wherever they are . at home, at work or on the move.."


I have to say I would usually agree with you - but it looks like I may not have a choice, going forward... The whole country to be migrated by 2012.

The whole idea of not having POTS to fall back on doesn't sit well with me - As part of AREC we prepare for a situation where all other means have failed. Suddenly it seems so much more likely... ?


On Tue, 30 Aug 2005, Fergie (Paul Ferguson) wrote:

Me? I personally never trade my POTS for VoIP...

- ferg

-- Iljitsch van Beijnum <> wrote:

On 30-aug-2005, at 22:08, Fergie (Paul Ferguson) wrote:

"In this age of cheap commoditized consumer electronics and
advanced mobile technology, why can't all the people of a city make
contact during an emergency?
Simple: it's too expensive.

Keep this in mind when trading in your POTS service for VoIP service
over the internet. Discounting the local loop which is often the same
in both cases, POTS is extremely reliable while VoIP over the public
internet, well, isn't. But apparently people that switch to VoIP
don't mind the reduced likelihood of being able to make calls during
the next large scale emergency.

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