Energy saving in networks has traditionally focussed on reducing battery consumption through smart wireless network design. Recently, researchers have turned their attention to the energy cost and carbon emissions of the backbone network that both fixed and mobile communications depend on, proposing primarily mechanisms that turn equipments OFF or put them into deep sleep. This is an effective way of saving energy, provided that the nodes can return to working condition quickly, but it introduces increased delays and packet losses that directly affect the quality of communication experienced by the users. Here we investigate the associated tradeoffs between power consumption and quality of service in backbone networks that employ deep sleep energy savings. We examine these tradeoffs by conducting experiments on a real PC-based network topology, where nodes are put into deep sleep at random times and intervals, resulting in a continuously changing network with reduced total power consumption. The average power consumption, the packet loss and the average delay of this network are examined with respect to the average value of the ON rate and the ON/OFF cycle of the nodes.