GCI cares about your safety and wants you to understand how your home telephone service will work in the event of a power outage.
All telephone service depends on electricity. If an electrical outage affects your home, your GCI home telephone service will not work—even to call 911—unless you have a source of backup power. That’s why GCI’s home telephone service is built to provide at least 10 hours of standby backup power. Your telephone service will switch to battery power automatically if it is unplugged from the wall outlet or in the event of a power outage.
Your GCI home telephone service comes with backup power, and there is no additional charge to you for the backup power solution. However, not all telephones will work during a power outage. You must have a telephone that does not need to be plugged into an electrical outlet in order for it to work during a power outage. Typically, these telephones are simple devices with few or no features beyond placing and receiving calls. Cordless phones, for example, generally will not work during a power outage because the base station that communicates with the handset relies on power from the wall outlet and cannot be powered by your GCI home telephone service backup power.
The backup power for your home telephone service will allow you to make and receive voice calls but will not power other services. Services including but not limited to home security, medical monitoring devices, or other similar services and equipment will not be powered by the backup power source, and therefore, will not be functional during a power outage unless you have an independent source of backup power for these other services.
It is important to periodically check to make sure the battery in your equipment is in good working condition. The equipment in your home that GCI uses to provide phone service is made by Arris and has a battery light that indicates whether the battery for your home telephone service is charged and working properly.
GCI’s home telephone service comes with a battery that is designed to hold a charge for at least 10 hours in standby mode (meaning ready to receive and place phone calls) and to provide at least 4 hours of talk time if used and stored properly. You should leave the unit plugged into a wall outlet so the battery remains fully charged and ready to power the phone in the event of a power outage.
A number of factors may affect the amount of standby time and talk time you actually experience. For example, exposure to very hot or very cold temperatures and frequent power outages can reduce the amount of standby time and talk time your battery can provide. Talk time drains the battery faster than standby mode, so whenever possible you should minimize the amount of time you talk on the telephone during a power outage to lengthen the overall amount of time that the telephone service will operate.
Please contact GCI customer service at the number below if you would like to purchase additional batteries which, if rotated in your telephone service equipment regularly, could extend the duration of backup power. The current price for each additional spare battery is approximately $25.00. There is no separate charge for the battery that came with your GCI telephone equipment and necessary replacement batteries.
We keep records on how old your battery is and will mail you a replacement free of charge with directions for installation when it is time to replace your battery. The battery should last for 7 years of use, although the battery may not last as long if it is frequently drained below full charge due to many power outages or other problems keeping it charged. As explained above, if the indicator lights on your telephone equipment show that your battery is not working properly, please call GCI customer service.
If the battery that comes with your home telephone service is not being used in a device, it should be stored below 77 degrees Fahrenheit and has an expected shelf life of 16 months. In general, you should keep your battery in your telephone service equipment and keep the equipment plugged into a working wall outlet so the battery remains fully charged and ready to power the phone in case of a power outage.
As a customer, you are responsible for ensuring that you have installed and appropriately maintained backup power in the event of a power outage. GCI will not be responsible for your telephone not working during a power outage. You should, at minimum, take these steps:
If you have additional questions about backup power or wish to purchase additional batteries, you may contact GCI customer service at 1-800-800-4800.