Accepting Less Than 99.999% Uptime

The Standard has a good writeup on how we accept less than stellar uptime for things that are becoming more and more valuable such as broadband.

Phone service is reliable because it’s mandated to be. There’s pretty strict rules regarding uptime. As a result it’s pretty good. The reason for this is that phones are used for emergencies (911). But what about VoIP?

It makes you wonder why broadband access isn’t being held to these standards. Of course the answer is “money”. But should it be changed? Should ISP’s need to ensure connectivity is as reliable as old POTS lines? I suspect for people to ditch POTS, it will need to be.

I wonder if FiOS is held to the same 99.999% uptime requirements when it’s run by the phone company, and used for VoIP. I doubt it, but I’m not sure.

I suspect reliability of broadband will become more of an issue as VoIP interest increases in the next 18-24 months and larger players like Verizon and Comcast start pushing it to even more homes.

3 replies on “Accepting Less Than 99.999% Uptime”

Her in France we have a rather large number of VOIP lines, and unfortunately not a great uptime. With the better ISPs the average uptime is not that bad, but when it’s down, it’s down for a long time.

The end result is it’s very strongly recommended to ditch the POTS line only if you have a cellular phone as backup.

Where did the other “three nines” go?

Verizon amazingly does state on their web site (for their home land line business), “over 1 billion calls a day with 99.9% reliability”. I think this “marketing” approach has some major holes – It implies over 1 million calls a day have interruptions/issues.
Whatever happened to the wireline 99.999% mandated lifeline service requirement.


@Graham Pattison: Last I checked only POTS require 99.999% uptime by law. Companies also take their PBX down without fines and FCC troubles (POTS or VoIP).

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