Ofcom mandates battery back-up for FTTP services

Ofcom the super regulator that covers media, broadcast and telecoms is holding a 10 week consultation about proposals that operators of FTTP (fibre-to-the premises) must provide battery back-up for the service which is located in the premise. This is to ensure that phone calls can still be made during a power cut (and thus still provide access to the emergency services) which is a condition of the Communications Act (General Condition 3).

The initial idea was to mandate 4 hours battery back-up which has now been reduced to 1 hour as the majority of power cuts in the UK are less than 1 hour. 1 hour back-up also means smaller batteries that are easier to obtain, install and recycle and are more likely to be accepted by consumers.

Ofcom does recognise that some premises will require longer back-up times, but these will be examined on a case by case basis.

The Ofcom summary is available here and the consultation closes on 10 Sept 2011.
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