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In a perfect world, every battery cell would be monitored continuously for every conceivable parameter mentioned in IEEE Standard 1491 (Guide to Battery Monitoring). Few failures would be observed because the user would be pre-warned of almost every potential failure so that they could take action before an event happened. However, the world is not perfect, and while reliability is very important, it must be weighed against cost. I work for a large RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company), nad have been involved in the decisions of that company as to whether to monitor batteries, what to monitor, and how to monitor it. This paper will give a synopsis of the thinking that led to those decisions in a world governed by budgets (a parameters to monitor, and what equipment to use all have economic values.