Battery Backup FAQs

Q: What is Battery Backup? A: TDS Wireline Fiber Home Phone service, TDS Cable voice service, and Bend voice service require electricity to work. That means for customers installed after 2/16/16, if the power goes out, you will be unable to use your home phone service (including making 911 calls) unless you have a Battery Backup Unit.

Q: Why would I want battery back up? A: If you have a need to call 911 when the power is out, or have a home alarm system, or medical alert system, you may want BBU. Check with your alarm service provider to see if their alarm system requires a voice line to work.

Q: How much does a battery cost? A: The cost of the battery is $40. If you purchase the battery at the time of install or upgrade there are no labor charges. If you purchases after install and a separate service call is required normal labor charges apply.

Q: Who maintains the battery? A: You do. TDS is not responsible for maintenance, monitoring, or disposal of batter backup units.

Q: How long does the battery last? A: When fully charged, our current Battery Backup Unit powers phone service for up to 8 hours during a power outage, letting you make and receive calls from a corded phone. Regarding “shelf life”, an unused battery should last 3-5 years before needing to be replaced. TDS & Bend are not responsible for maintenance, monitoring, or disposal of battery backup units.

Q: How large is the battery? A: 16.7 × 19 × 8.3 cm. 3.03 kg

Q: Do I have any other Battery Backup choices? A: Alternative sources of backup power may be available, including generators. What’s more, a charged cell phone may provide the backup phone service needed, if home phone service goes out.

Q: Can I supply my own battery? A: Yes. TDS will not install it – but if you are comfortable you can install your own battery. Keep in mind if the wiring is damaged by you during this process and TDS or Bend needs to correct it normal labor rates will apply.

Q: Will TDS drop ship a battery? A: No.

Q: What does the Battery power? A: Voice only. The Battery Backup Unit only powers customers TDS Phone service, which will only work with a corded phone. The Battery Backup Unit will NOT power a cordless phone, Internet, or TV service. Although it will NOT power a home-monitoring or medical-alert system, a Battery Backup Unit will support the calling service needed to transmit data to those systems.

Q: What happens when the battery goes dead? A: A Red light will display on the battery to let you know the battery is no longer working. Some older batteries may also have an audible alarm. If a Battery Backup Unit is purchased, TDS supplies the initial battery for it. Subsequent batteries, their disposal, as well as maintenance and monitoring of the unit are the customer’s responsibility.

Q: How do I order a battery? A: To order a Battery Backup Unit call 1-888-CALL-TDS.

Q: Will Lifeline customers receive a battery? A: Lifeline covers voice service only. If a Lifeline customer wants to have a battery they will need to purchase one.

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