Networking

Backup power mandated for 210K cell towers

There is an article at Data Center Knowledge that explores the ramifications from the FCC's decision a couple of months back to require backup power for cell sites and other parts of the telecom infrastructure.

There is an article at Data Center Knowledge that explores the ramifications from the FCC's decision a couple of months back to require backup power for cell sites and other parts of the telecom infrastructure.

According to the article:

The new measures, prompted by an FCC review of telecom outages in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, are likely to increase demand for generators, batteries and other power protection equipment.

Also,

The FCC says central offices should be able to operate for 24 hours without grid power, while eight hours of backup power is required for cell sites, remote switches and remote terminals.

With more than 210,000 cell towers in the United States, as well as 20,000 telecom central offices, it is certainly no small feat. Municipalities are already bracing for disputes as carriers try to add generators or batteries to cell sites on rooftops or water towers.

The other concern is that the rules will further boost demand for generators, where there are already lengthy delivery backlogs for some models.

I admit my initial response was, "Huh, no backup battery?" What is your opinion on the ruling?

About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

7 comments
CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

In a Katrina-level infrastructure disruption, how much difference is an additional eight hours of cell service going to make? It takes the emergency services longer than that to assess the situation, much less begin effectively responding to it. Didn't NYC cell service overload on Sept. 11th? An extra eight federally mandated hours of overloaded service; big whoop.

paulmah
paulmah

Personally, I admit my initial response was: ?Huh, no backup battery?? What is your opinion on the ruling?

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

The 8 hour limit came from the number-crunching statisticians. Upper management picks an acceptable percentage of situations and time required to provide backup. It appears that 8 hours provides an acceptable amount of backup time to meet their needs, QoS and CSLA agreements.

JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

...then it's also likely that the data infastructure that connects the cell towers to the CO is also equally trashed. I wonder how much consideration is given to that issue. And how much power does it take to run a cell tower for 8 hours? My guess is that it's far more than could be handled by batteries.

bstockha
bstockha

In a Katrina-like situation, emergency services usually have their own means of communication via radio. For the rest of us, under MOST other emergencies, that 8-hours could give us services until local power companies get power restored. Duh.

wayoutinva
wayoutinva

Have battery backup..Including cell sites. Either battery backup, or for the central offices battery and generator backups..When I worked for an engineering firm, we did one site that had 2 cat generators plus batteries + a outside hookup for another generator...They lose to much money per minute if the power goes down...I would have honestly thought that they all did it simply as good business sense..Guess not

DadsPad
DadsPad

Then backing up your revenue source so it does not go down is good business sense. Most businesses are now planning for disasters, there have been enough lately to draw information from. Maybe licenses should come up for revue, with possible revocation, on Cell companies not protecting their profit centers and customers.