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Old 07-07-2014, 08:55 AM   #31
tarheelblue32
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Does 911 service work the same on on a Comcast/VOIP line as a POTS line? On a cell phone?

Specifically, if you dial 911 and for some reason can not or do not talk to the dispatcher -- they know your exact location and will dispatch help.

I'm pretty sure this would not work with a cell phone and may or may not work with a VOIP line. Anyone know?
Modern cell phones use GPS to estimate your location and that information is sent to the 911 dispatcher. It can usually get them pretty close to your location, but it's not always perfect.

If your VoIP line includes 911 service, and many of them now do, then you usually enter the address you want them to use for your location when you sign up, and if you ever dial 911 that is the information they send along with your call. Comcast just sends along the service address associated with your account.
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Old 07-07-2014, 09:39 AM   #32
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Modern cell phones use GPS to estimate your location and that information is sent to the 911 dispatcher. It can usually get them pretty close to your location, but it's not always perfect.

If your VoIP line includes 911 service, and many of them now do, then you usually enter the address you want them to use for your location when you sign up, and if you ever dial 911 that is the information they send along with your call. Comcast just sends along the service address associated with your account.
Then I would never want to use a cell phone to call 911 for emergency help.

If they've improved VOIP/911 integration, that's a good thing.
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Old 07-07-2014, 10:40 AM   #33
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Then I would never want to use a cell phone to call 911 for emergency help.
That may be true if the only method of determining the location was by GPS. You do understand the first thing they ask is the location. GPS location is just for backup in the rare occasion where you aren't communicating. According to fcc.gov as of 1/17/13 70% of all 911 calls were on cell phones and that number is rapidly increasing.
A quote from the conservative Consumer Reports: "Overall, we think that dropping your home landline and making all calls—including 911 calls—on a cell phone is generally a safe bet, based on our analysis and data from our survey."

VOIP, no problem. My home address is registered to my number.

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Old 07-07-2014, 10:47 AM   #34
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That may be true if the only method of determining the location was by GPS. You do understand the first thing they ask is the location. GPS location is just for backup in the rare occasion where you aren't communicating. According to fcc.gov as of 1/17/13 70% of all 911 calls were on cell phones and that number is rapidly increasing.
A quote from the conservative Consumer Reports: "Overall, we think that dropping your home landline and making all calls—including 911 calls—on a cell phone is generally a safe bet, based on our analysis and data from our survey."

VOIP, no problem. My home address is registered to my number.
What if a medical condition causes a severe problem after dialing and you're not able to give the dispatcher your location? Or some other problem where you have to dial but then can't talk?
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:04 AM   #35
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What if a medical condition causes a severe problem after dialing and you're not able to give the dispatcher your location? Or some other problem where you have to dial but then can't talk?
It is a very rare circumstance where you are able to dial 911 but not able to tell them your location. But in that event, the GPS should give them your location within a few dozen feet. This is usually good enough for single-family housing. If you live in an apartment complex, it becomes a little trickier. They may have to knock on some doors to find you or contact your cell phone company and ask for your billing address.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:07 AM   #36
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What if a medical condition causes a severe problem after dialing and you're not able to give the dispatcher your location? Or some other problem where you have to dial but then can't talk?
A home invasion and you are hiding in a closet and don't want to talk to give your position away by the bad guys hearing your voice.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:07 AM   #37
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A home invasion and you are hiding in a closet and don't want to talk to give your position away by the bad guys hearing your voice.
Smart criminals cut the phone line before entering.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:09 AM   #38
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It is a very rare circumstance where you are able to dial 911 but not able to tell them your location.
True, but it can happen. So, for me, a dumbed-down Verizon POTS line at $20 a month is great piece of mind.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:11 AM   #39
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True, but it can happen. So, for me, a dumbed-down Verizon POTS line at $20 a month is great piece of mind.
At $250/year a very expensive peace of mind, given the cheaper alternatives available. POTS will be eliminated in a few years anyway, so you better figure out where your "piece of mind" will come from then.
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Old 07-07-2014, 11:18 AM   #40
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Smart criminals cut the phone line before entering.
I have a phone line but it not used, (so cut away) and the cable is in ground and can't be easily cut.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:40 PM   #41
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You can do better than that. A Comcast line is just a VoIP line. Ooma will get you the exact same thing for around $5/month in taxes and fees. Personally, we use Google Voice with an Obihai box for our landline and it's completely free, though we do pay 80 cents/month to another VoIP provider for E911 service, since that isn't included in Google Voice. If you are paying more than 10/month for a home phone line, then you are doing something wrong.
I currently use Ooma and have used Comcast in the past and Comcast is better (much less latency, includes text messaging, caller ID sent to phone app, etc), it's just not $30 a month better.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:23 PM   #42
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Does 911 service work the same on on a Comcast/VOIP line as a POTS line?
911 works just fine with Comcast VoIP service. When you set up the account, they go to extra effort to make sure that the address of the service is set up for the phone line for 911 reporting. The main problem I have with the Comcast VoIP service is that they seem to have NO backup in the case of power outages. When the power goes out, the VoIP (and the rest of my Internet and TV service) instantly goes out, even though the modem has a battery for the explicit purpose of keeping the VoIP up, and besides that, I have it on a UPS. So I have to contact my power company about on the outage with my cell phone.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:40 PM   #43
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911 works just fine with Comcast VoIP service. When you set up the account, they go to extra effort to make sure that the address of the service is set up for the phone line for 911 reporting. The main problem I have with the Comcast VoIP service is that they seem to have NO backup in the case of power outages. When the power goes out, the VoIP (and the rest of my Internet and TV service) instantly goes out, even though the modem has a battery for the explicit purpose of keeping the VoIP up, and besides that, I have it on a UPS. So I have to contact my power company about on the outage with my cell phone.
Blame the regulators at the FCC for not requiring that of the cable companies' telephone service the way they require it of the traditional POTS.
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Old 07-07-2014, 02:58 PM   #44
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The main problem I have with the Comcast VoIP service is that they seem to have NO backup in the case of power outages. When the power goes out, the VoIP (and the rest of my Internet and TV service) instantly goes out, even though the modem has a battery for the explicit purpose of keeping the VoIP up, and besides that, I have it on a UPS.
One Comcast agent almost talked me into adding phone service to my TV and Internet service with a low monthly rate. But it was a teaser rate and would have expired in 12 or 24 months. After that it would have been more expensive than my metered POTS line from Verizon.

You bring up a good point though -- the 100% uptime for POTS is a great feature.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:00 PM   #45
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the 100% uptime for POTS is a great feature.
Enjoy it while it lasts. That feature will be gone in a few more years.
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Old 07-07-2014, 03:13 PM   #46
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911 works just fine with Comcast VoIP service. When you set up the account, they go to extra effort to make sure that the address of the service is set up for the phone line for 911 reporting. The main problem I have with the Comcast VoIP service is that they seem to have NO backup in the case of power outages. When the power goes out, the VoIP (and the rest of my Internet and TV service) instantly goes out, even though the modem has a battery for the explicit purpose of keeping the VoIP up, and besides that, I have it on a UPS. So I have to contact my power company about on the outage with my cell phone.
My Comcast unit has a battery phone backup built in, don't how long it would last because I have a home generator that goes on in about 20 seconds after a power loss, never had a call interrupted by a power loss. We did have a big Oct 2011 storm that took power out for a week, all tel service was also down as both cables and POTS were taken out by falling trees, my cell still worked. My cable (and Comcast tel) was back in about 4 days but friends with POTS were out almost the full week.
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Old 07-07-2014, 05:11 PM   #47
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My Comcast unit has a battery phone backup built in, don't how long it would last because I have a home generator that goes on in about 20 seconds after a power loss, never had a call interrupted by a power loss. We did have a big Oct 2011 storm that took power out for a week, all tel service was also down as both cables and POTS were taken out by falling trees, my cell still worked. My cable (and Comcast tel) was back in about 4 days but friends with POTS were out almost the full week.
We had the same storm with the same outages. Generator kept most things going but still no cable. What was nice about having my landline with Teleblend VOIP was the ability to log on from the cell phone and forward all my calls to the cell.
I look at Comcast phone service everytime I get one of those super triple play offers but always find their phone service coming up short on features. I always hear complaints with their low limit on selective call blocking when most carriers are unlimited or at least higher than most need.
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Old 07-07-2014, 06:49 PM   #48
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911 works just fine with Comcast VoIP service. When you set up the account, they go to extra effort to make sure that the address of the service is set up for the phone line for 911 reporting. The main problem I have with the Comcast VoIP service is that they seem to have NO backup in the case of power outages. When the power goes out, the VoIP (and the rest of my Internet and TV service) instantly goes out, even though the modem has a battery for the explicit purpose of keeping the VoIP up, and besides that, I have it on a UPS. So I have to contact my power company about on the outage with my cell phone.
Comcast is supposed to have battery backups to keep the phone service up on their end. In my experience, they let those batteries die and never replace them. You can try calling them to have them replace their equipment's batteries or filing a complaint with the FCC.
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Old 07-08-2014, 12:38 AM   #49
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Comcast is supposed to have battery backups to keep the phone service up on their end. In my experience, they let those batteries die and never replace them. You can try calling them to have them replace their equipment's batteries or filing a complaint with the FCC.
There is a battery light on the panel that light up when the battery is fully charged, if it does not charge Comcast should replace the battery in your home.
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Old 07-08-2014, 01:42 AM   #50
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There is a battery light on the panel that light up when the battery is fully charged, if it does not charge Comcast should replace the battery in your home.
I talking about the battery back on in Comcast's own equipment (outside your home) such as the nodes and the like.

Having a battery back up on the modem is useless if all the equipment the modem is supposed to talk to isn't on battery backup.

By the way, I have the same problem in my area. My modem is on a UPS, but if there's a power outage all the lights start blinking as if there's a cable outage.
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Old 07-08-2014, 03:46 PM   #51
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I talking about the battery back on in Comcast's own equipment (outside your home) such as the nodes and the like.

Having a battery back up on the modem is useless if all the equipment the modem is supposed to talk to isn't on battery backup.

By the way, I have the same problem in my area. My modem is on a UPS, but if there's a power outage all the lights start blinking as if there's a cable outage.
That was also my point. When there is a power outage, my home network is up and happy due to my UPS, but there is no Internet connectivity (or TV or VoIP). And it's not like batteries have been exhausted after some number of hours; it is instantaneous with the power outage. My backup phone line with the real phone company still works just fine.
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Old 07-09-2014, 03:44 PM   #52
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That was also my point. When there is a power outage, my home network is up and happy due to my UPS, but there is no Internet connectivity (or TV or VoIP). And it's not like batteries have been exhausted after some number of hours; it is instantaneous with the power outage. My backup phone line with the real phone company still works just fine.
This problem is not true in Hartford CT with Comcast, as I had cable and phone with almost all power outages (I do have a home generator), in the Oct 11 storm when trees fell and took out all cables I did have a loss of all cable services, but the cable came back on in about 4 days, the power took 7 days.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:51 PM   #53
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I think a better solution is for Tivo to enhance their box to support Notifications similar to the the iPhone. Caller ID could be done by hooking up a separate box that monitors the caller ID and then does a Tivo Notify. You could even have whitelist/blacklist capabilities.

I can see other notifications such as favorite shows coming up or get off the Sofa and get to that doctors appt.

Not everybody would want them and I certainly would not want spam but if only I were in control to what notifications to subscribe to, I could see it having a lot interesting possibilities.
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