Re: Plumas County Communications Outages

Alan - W6WN

You make a great point, Jim. And a big takeaway is the movement of many served agencies away from reliance on Ham Radio comms. For us to maintain relevance, I believe we should start transitioning our support focus from served agencies and towards "served populations," or at least start including them in our overall community service efforts. 

The statement in the advisory, "All landlines are still able to call 911 in case of an emergency. " no longer applies to much of El Dorado County. Pac Bell has been busy replacing their copper trunk lines with fiber, to the extent that only the last mile to the house is two wire. When we've lost power due to PSPS shutdowns, down went the fiber-to-copper nodes - taking out the "wired" telephone system. Also, how many people in California are even using true land-line phones anymore? I'm guessing our percentage is lower than the national average (shown in the CDC report below) due to our high-tech economy.

I don't like thinking of myself as a pessimist but I fear these problems are not going away anytime soon, and are likely to get much worse. California has so much "sitting duck" infrastructure strung overhead on wooden poles throughout our rural areas. Maybe we should consider starting some kind of Western Fire Watch Net that regularly activates on HF whenever an event threatens, similar to the Hurricane Watch Net in the southeast. This might help to mitigate the loss of VHF repeaters during events. 

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