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Sat, Dec. 9th, 2006, 05:22 am
Real time power status

The power is out at my house. Does anybody know of a web site which gives power status around the bay area in real time, with the latest info on when power might come back up again?

Update: robbat2 explains:

There did used to be sites that tracked this, but they got closed down when the FCC made such information restricted under the auspices that it helped terrorists. The NANOG list complained bitterly about this, because outages of power and telecoms were integral to their work.


Thanks, homeland security! It makes us all so much safer to not know what the hell is going on during a power outage.

Sat, Dec. 9th, 2006 05:30 am (UTC)
luminairex

It's a question of demand. Who's going to run to use the computer in the living room when the power is out to check a website? There's no power to use the computer.

Thinking wirelessly, would one have service during a power outage, if said outage affects the cellular transmission towers? And if you have a working phone, why not use it to call the power company to report the outage? It's likely the representative on the phone will know about as much as the website will :)

Sat, Dec. 9th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)
bramcohen

I posted just fine during an outage - posted from laptop using cellular wireless card. POTS lines work fine too.

Sat, Dec. 9th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)
robbat2

There did used to be sites that tracked this, but they got closed down when the FCC made such information restricted under the auspices that it helped terrorists. The NANOG list complained bitterly about this, because outages of power and telecoms were integral to their work.

Sat, Dec. 9th, 2006 07:36 am (UTC)
robbat2

additionally, consider yourself lucky to still have internet access in an outage. Locally, the internet portions of cable (signal repeaters on the line) and ADSL infrastructure (DSLAM specifically) are on very minimal UPS if at all. Basic POTS lines sure, they work, but that's it.

My personal network and systems can stay up fine (but I do need to look into a larger UPS for one of my new machines), but when my provider sucks at staying up under such conditions, it's not much help.

Mon, Dec. 11th, 2006 01:24 am (UTC)
granting

I live in Virginia, near DC, and Dominion Power has a page that shows outages and how big they are.

Given that the a large portion of the federal government exists in the area covered by your map... I think your comment is inaccurate.

Mon, Dec. 11th, 2006 03:55 am (UTC)
robbat2

For references, I cite:
"FCC Cuts Public Line To Phone Outage Data"
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A40329-2004Aug27.html

"Some Opposed to Phone Outage Rule Change" from the Associated Press
http://foi.missouri.edu/federalfoia/someopposed.html

I don't deny that some organizations have pages up providing the information still, but for every one you can find that does still have it, there used to be several more.

Tue, Dec. 12th, 2006 01:44 am (UTC)
granting

Hmm... Perhaps it is simply a matter of Phone != Power.

Tue, Dec. 12th, 2006 02:20 am (UTC)
robbat2

Digging more into it, it seems that a numbers of organizations that had it offline originally have added it back again. So maybe just a matter of years before all of it comes back.

Sat, Dec. 9th, 2006 09:25 am (UTC)
rik

... which raises an interesting question about how you posted.

being in the mobile internet industry, i'm fairly sure i know what the answer is, though.

Sat, Dec. 9th, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
bramcohen

Yep, cellular wireless card.

Sat, Dec. 9th, 2006 11:23 am (UTC)
hikari_neko

I don't know about them, but my UPS will keep things running for about 40 minutes.