How to prepare for when the power goes out:
Adverse weather conditions lead to power outages from time to time, and when they are sustained for significant amounts of time, they can lead to loss of Internet and telephone service. MCFiber understands that the loss of critical connectivity and telephone service, particularly during hazardous weather conditions, can be very disturbing and is a situation that requires adequate advance preparation.
Note: even conventional phone service is imperfect
FairPoint customers in rural areas can and do lose service for a number of reasons including the effect of weather on old and/or corroded copper facilities, power outages to service cabinets, faults in the network equipment etc.
How can I ensure continuing telephone service during a power outage?
- Cell Phones. The most common back-up for loss of wireline telephone service is temporary reliance on cellphones. However, many locations in MCFiber territory do not have good cellphone reception. Assuming that cellphone service is not sufficiently reliable to provide back-up to MCFiber wired service, there are a number of other options available to our subscribers:
- Subscribers can plug the battery into a back-up generator. The cost of this varies enormously:
1.) If you already have a generator, the extra cost is virtually zero.
2.) If you buy one for this purpose only, the smallest and cheapest will do fine. The advantage is that such generators can be used for many other things.
- You can buy a standard “emergency battery” pack of the kind used for emergency jump-starting a car. These normally have a standard 110 outlet into which the MCFiber network battery can be plugged. Depending on the size of the battery pack and its condition this could extend the life of the network battery by up to 8 – 24 hours. Alternatively, you can buy a cheap inverter and attach it to a car battery and plug the MCFiber battery into that. This will have similar effectiveness as the emergency pack.
- You can subscribe to the bare minimum “dial-tone only” service from FairPoint as an emergency back-up for MCFiber service. The lowest such service is around $18/month. On the rare occasions when you would use it, FairPoint charges by the minute for actual usage, so this should only be used for emergencies when MCFiber service is out. MCFiber’s free unlimited service plus FairPoint’s “dial-tone only” would still be cheaper than FairPoint’s price for service comparable in scope and services to MCFiber. Such a solution would, of course, be more secure than either MCFiber or FairPoint by themselves.
Prior to installation, MCFiber recommends that you obtain a battery back-up such as a UPS device available from any electronics supplier (Best Buy, Staples), etc. to be connected to your phone and Internet service so you will continue to be able to make calls in the event of a power outage.
Note: To prolong the life of the back-up you should power off your computer or set it to “sleep” mode.