There are approximately 12,000 Chelan PUD customers who are subscribed to fiber optic telecommunications. Their systems have a piece of equipment with a battery backup for corded telephone service. There are fewer than 6,000 terminals supporting corded telephones.
Mike Coleman, Fiber and Telecom managing director, reports that in the decade since many of the back-up systems were installed, cell phone use has skyrocketed and the number of corded phones has diminished. When the PUD originally offered the fiber telecommunications capability to customers, the battery backup was used if there was a power outage.
In 2012, as part of the PUD’s fiber strategic planning
, there was a recommendation that the utility no longer maintain the battery backup system in its fiber terminals.
Today, with all of the options available to customers for their telecommunication needs, the old style battery backup is limited. Customers should talk with their fiber service provider to determine if a backup system is needed and what would be the best choice for the customer’s telecommunications equipment.
The PUD is working with local service providers to remove batteries from the power supply during the next three years. If customers want to keep a backup system for their telecommunication needs, they can ask their service provider to propose a solution.