All modern telecommunications networks use digital transmission to move the sound of your voice across a nationwide – or global – network. Digital signals are far more reliable, efficient and secure and are used universally by all telecommunications companies. This is the case for your cell phone, your 3 Rivers phone calls and even your television, and has been for more than a decade. If you make a cell phone call today, for example, the sound of your voice is converted to a digital signal inside your cell phone. This digital signal travels from your phone to the nearest tower, through the network, and all the way to the person you are calling. At that point the digital signal is converted back, in that person’s cell phone, to a voice sound that is understandable to the person you are calling. That is the same basic concept with your television signal. From the time your news anchor’s voice hits the television station microphone until it arrives at your television it is a digital signal, converted back to a human voice only at the last step inside your TV. Your 3 Rivers voice call works in the same way, with one difference. The conversion to a digital signal does not usually occur in your phone, but rather at a point a little further along the network. For most of our members, those served by Fiber-to-the-Home, this conversion to a digital signal occurs inside their router or at the little gray box on the side of their home, in many cases only a few yards away.
3 Rivers’ Digital Voice service is technically classified as interconnected VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) service, and appears on your bill as an “add-on” to your Internet and/or digital TV service. Although an interconnected VoIP call is routed differently than the old Local Exchange calls within the 3 Rivers network, both types of calls are routed within the same room in the same building at 3 Rivers and the security of your call is unchanged. However, the way in which 3 Rivers’ USF support is calculated is different and some of the fees and charges are eliminated for our members. Digital Voice is regulated by the FCC in a more modern fashion than Local Exchange service – which uses regulations developed starting in the 1930’s. Click here for further details on how interconnected VoIP is regulated.
To avoid a disruption during a power outage – and to maintain the ability to connect to 911 emergency services – 3 Rivers Communications will install a battery with backup power for the new equipment we are providing. This is necessary because the old Local Exchange service did not require a separate power source—the copper wiring carried enough power to make things work. The backup batteries are expected to provide up to two hours of talk time. If you feel that is not enough time, you may extend your standby power by purchasing additional battery backups from our company or a third party. More information on battery backup is available here.