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Power Up!

Don't be shocked by a sudden phone outage.

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This story appears in the March 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

You've protected your PCs and computer peripherals for years with the help of power and surge protectors, shielding them from damage in the event of a power outage or electrical storm. But, for the most part, such emergencies rarely affected telephone lines, because they weren't connected to an electrical system.

At least, that was until Congress deregulated the telephone industry in 1996. Now that a multitude of phone company alternatives (like cable businesses, fixed wireless providers and fiber-to-the-curb providers) have cropped up, these nontraditional phone connections can easily go out if the electricity fails or surges.

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