Battery Backup

Backup Power for Home Phone Service during Power Outages

A backup power supply (battery) is required for your digital voice service to be in service in the event of a power outage. A backup battery, such as the one that SMU has provided and installed, will allow regular corded land line phones to work during a power outage and to maintain the ability to connect to 911 emergency services. When a power outage occurs, you should ensure that you have one corded single-line touchtone phone connected directly to the gateway or your in-home wiring (wall jack) and the gateway connected directly to the Battery Back Unit*. If you connect a cordless phone, it will not function without a separate battery backup, and not all cordless phones are so equipped.

What Your Battery Can-and Can’t-Do for You

Our backup battery allows you to continue to use your home voice service during a power outage. Without a backup battery, you will not be able to make any calls, including emergency calls to 911. The backup battery does not provide power to any service other than voice. Home security systems, medical monitoring devices and other equipment will not run on a home phone backup battery.

Replacement Options

Backup battery replacements are available directly from SMU. If you have any questions on how to purchase and obtain a replacement unit as well as pricing and instruction on the installation of the replacement unit, please call 712-580-5800.

Expected Backup Power Duration

The battery backup is designed to last up to 8 hours in the event of a power outage depending upon battery age, usage, and environment. The estimated life expectancy for the battery is 2-4 years depending on power outage frequency and environment. We also have a replacement battery available that provides 24 hours of backup power.

Instructions for Proper Care and Use of Your Battery

Please follow the instructions included with your battery for proper use, storage, and care. Batteries should be stored in locations under normal room temperatures. In some cases, a special outdoor rated UPS may be used.

You should periodically test your battery to verify both operation of the backup battery and its condition. The battery backup unit can be tested by unplugging it from the power outlet. If it is working correctly, the Optical Network Terminal (fiber)* will remain powered and regular corded land line phones will continue to work. Make sure to plug the unit back in at the end of testing.

Battery backup units will display a battery light when the battery needs replaced. Please refer to the battery backup unit’s instruction manual (see below) for details on the warning indicator lights and the battery replacement procedure.

*ONT, Optical Network Terminal (Fiber Network) external battery: separate UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).