Threatened Strike By FairPoint Communications Could Impact New Hampshire TDS Customers!
by Anura Guruge
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If you live in New Hampshire and have a TDS telephone line (‘landline’) — as I do — I can tell you for a fact, irrefutable to beat, that when you make ‘long distance’ calls, even intra-state, at some point, your traffic will go across FairPoint Communications’ “lines”. Yep. You think you have TDS, but TDS subcontracts with FairPoint. It even gets better, though we are paying for a ‘landline’, thinking that we will still get good old-fashioned POTS, that is NOT the case. At some point there will invariably be SOME VoIP (Voice over IP), i.e., digitized voice across the Internet, involved!
I am not making this up. I was told all of this, quite recently, by a friendly and helpful, local TDS technician who helps us quite a bit with our multiple TDS lines.
If you have a TDS phone line and occasionally experience dropped calls (just like on a cell) — particularly when the call is getting connected — BLAME VoIP! It is actually part of a devious plan by the Telcos. They use a ‘least cost’ algorithm when establishing and maintaining calls across VoIP. Basically a standard feature of routers — which can then be ‘provisioned’ and programmed. Part of the algorithm, and I kid YOU NOT, is to drop calls. That saves money.
From what I can gather TDS is not alone in this. All of this now applies to all Telcos. There are no ‘dedicated’ phone lines so to speak — at least for consumers. I am sure that they have them for certain U.S. ‘agencies’ and for the DoD — as they should. But, VoIP is here to stay.
So the FairPoint strike could have broader repercussions, in New Hampshire, than people realize.
Coincidentally, or otherwise, FairPoint customers, over the last week, have had Internet issues! Hhmmm.
I haven’t checked the law but I hope that there are some laws that say that UTILITIES, think ‘electric’, cannot be turned off due to a labor strike. IF so I would hope that ‘telco’ is considered a utility as it is — and by that also Internet access. I don’t know what I will do if I lose Internet access for more than a couple of days due to a strike. Yes, I have gone for 3 days or more without Internet, but that is about the limit.