Skippman wrote:Gregoriev wrote:On my island, there are only two different prefixes (the three digit number before the four digit number in a telephone number), and I noticed a rather large...well, box in a neighbors yard on the main road. When I asked about it one day he said that its something the phone company uses, and not to mess with it.
Professional Phone Man chiming in.
That "Box" you're refering to, if it's about the size of say a large cabinet or wardrobe is called a Crossbox. It's where we connect your local phone wire to the main trunks that run back to the CO. Don't mess with it. There's quite a bit of voltage running through there. Some of the Hi-Caps like T-1's and T-3's can carry as much as 220V.
If Zombies or whatever overran the country phone service would stop in a matter of days. Period.
Despite what you may thing, todays telephone network is an extremely complicated piece of engineering mastery. Why there's never been a "Modern Marvels" special on it on the Discovery Channel I'll never figure out.
Basically all switching today is done electronically using advanced computer networks. People have a tendency to think VoIP is new technology. The phone companys been using basically the same thing for the last 20 years. The entire phone backbone network is comprised of digital switching technology. Much of which I'm forbidden to talk about due to various NDA's I've signed with my employer (AT&T/SBC Communications). But the gist of it is the backbone network is a spider web of Hi-Cap (High Capacity) fiber optic cable routed by digital/optical switching technology.
Even you LOCAL phone service is pure digital once it reaches the CO (central office). All the old Stroger Switch (think the click, click type CO's) were replaced with digital gear by companies like Lucent, Nortel Networks, and Juniper Networks. This was done to both decrease the amount of electricity needed to power them and to improve service by enabling remote maintenance of most of the equipment.
The phone company provides it's own electricity. Every phone line in the country that has dialtone is getting a constant 48v DC from the central office. When your phone rings, we up the voltate to what's called "ringing voltage". Our power is grid based unless an emergency arises. When an emergency arises each CO typically has enough battery power to last 24 hours, at which point our Backup-Backup power kicks in. Deisel generators. The generators fire long enough to recharge the batteries. This enables one generator to power a CO for about 3 days without being refueled. This is, of course, depending on facility size. A CO in downtown Chicago is going to require attention a lot faster than say a rural CO.
Needless to say, there's a lot of highly skilled labor and constant dedication to making your phone ring and to provide that reassuring dialtone when you pick up. I routinely work holidays and I work every weekend. We're there 24 hours, 365 days whether you realize it or not.
Bottom line. PAW = NO PHONE.
Pretty much what he said
He sounds like a phone man!
Local interlata comms will work...stuff long distance or thru another co might not work
Almost ALL central offices have HUGE battery banks and generators that will keep them up for a few hours/days...the RT's only have a few hours
EMP wont affect land lines that much[they have lightening protection both at the central office and at the dmarc in the sni on the back of your house]..(EMP affects microcircuits the worst) so your high speed cordless phone goes to crap when the EMP fries its microcircuits..the plane jane 10lb black mechanical phone will work however
I know that even a smallish upset can immediately clog the ever loving crap out of the cell phone networks..the run from Rita here in Houston was a nightmare with all the bored teeny boppers staying on their cellphones for hours tying up the entire network!
Data lines will probably immediately suffer as the line repeaters/doublers will be fried (microcircuits remember) however the plane old telephone (POTS) lines should remain active...but who ya gonna call? All emergency services will be swamp almost INSTANTLY when the SHTF...if your call does make it thru don't expect anyone to come to your rescue for hours/days
If a Nuke/EMP ever goes off close enough to knock out electronics...the phone will be the LAST of your worries