Tuesday, November 5, 2019

The Big One and the phones

UCLA is gradually converting its telephone service from traditional landline to some kind of internet-based service. Yours truly made some inquiries about this plan in the context of major emergencies such as a big earthquake, the Big One. He did so remembering that even though the power was out in LA after the 1994 Northridge quake, the landline phone service worked. He did so remembering that after the 1971 quake in LA, the landline phone service worked. He did so remembering that as a graduate student at MIT during the great northeast coast power failure in the mid-1960s (Google it!), he was able to call from the Boston area to New York City despite the lack of power.

Of course, he was assured that, not-to-worry, the abandonment of traditional copper wire landlines at UCLA would have no effect on emergency phone service in a major emergency.

How odd, therefore, that on the LA Times' website today, he found the article below:
Maybe not so odd, however, were these sentences in the article:

"The problems weren’t limited to cellphones. Some customers who get their landline phone service through their broadband internet service provider saw their phone lines go out, despite having their phones charged and equipped with battery backups." ...

"Traditional copper-based landline phones in at least some areas were said to have continued to operate during the power outage."

Full story at

But, as I said, not-to-worry. After all, our experience with UCPath and UCRAYS surely tells us that new technology will work without a glitch, even in extreme circumstances.

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