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A corded phone as a standby unit

February 08, 2012

I wish to take a slight exception to one point raised in Diane Isaacs’ reasonable rant about recent power outages [“Time to speak up about power losses,” Our Readers Write, Jan. 26] — that being the use of land-line phones during same.

Cordless phones that require power are useless when the power goes out. Our household has a set of cordless telephones that become fancy paperweights when Edison's equipment fails. (We lost power at 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 31 and it stayed out for 15 hours.) We also have three old fashioned telephones with cords that plug right into the wall. Those telephones continue to function fully and completely when the power goes out, since AT&T has a back-up power source.

My suggestion to Isaacs, and anyone else with cordless phones, is to purchase a corded phone that can be plugged into the telephone network when power fails. (A more expensive alternative would be to purchase an uninterruptable power supply (UPS) normally used for computers and other sensitive equipment, and plug into it the cordless telephone's base station. This would provide at least one working land-line phone.)

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A similar arrangement may be assembled if your telephone service is provided by your cable television provider, with the caveat that intermediate cable signal amplifiers get their power from Edison, and thus are more susceptible to outages than old-fashioned AT&T wired service.

Barry Koeb

La Cañada Flintridge

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