In August of 2019, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) took action to relieve local phone companies of obligations under requirements from outdated regulations based on the Telecommunications Act of 1996 that were intended to foster competition for service in local markets. The LECs no longer have to provide competitors with access to “analog voice-grade copper loops” and other legacy services at regulated rates.
These landlines or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) were how we made phone calls for over a hindred years before technology advancements made alternatives available. Today, copper telephone lines and switches are an aging infrastructure that’s getting more and more expensive to maintain. Major telephone providers have already started phasing out their support of analog POTS lines – ultimately promising a full phase-out, nationwide. This digital future is pushing customers to look at other options to replace copper telephone connections.
Some of the business environment services that still use a POTS connection are:
- It connects modems for remote access
- Provides basic communication services during network outage
- Still used for Fax machines
- Out of band backup access for telecom support
- Elevators (emergency phones)
- Remote access to your legacy private branch exchange (PBX)
- Credit card machines
- 911 access with location ID
As mentioned above, POTS is heavy on infrastructure needed to implement and keep it running. The copper wiring, switching equipment and engineering staff are expensive components in providing a landline. The fees, surcharges and taxes that are a part of any telecom service now, and a POTS line in particular, can be a pretty big line item on your monthly accounts payable ledger. However, these analog era office applications weren’t built for digital connections and they run inherently better on analog lines. Not to mention, fiber connections are an expensive solution to an analog problem.
So how do you get ahead of the ultimate phase-out of POTS availability all while keeping the reliability that POTS is known for? The first step is to do an analysis of your services, if any, that that are running on POTS. Maybe you can cancel a POTS line that is not needed any more. In the case where you still have POTS based service, there are cost-effective technologies that can provide the same service. Our customers have had good experience by converting their legacy landlines to an always on 4G LTE POTS Replacement solution.
4G LTE is simply a cell phone connection. 4G LTE has been a reliable service since it came out in 2010. It covers upwards of 98% of the US subscriber base. With built in power backup capabilities, it really is a reliable and cost effective alternative to a POTS line.
Regardless of the timeline for phase-out of POTS lines, it’s safe to say that over the next few years, conventional analog telephone services will only get more expensive and offer fewer options. As telcos begin retiring all copper-based communication, you need to help customers come up with a game plan for replacement. At Broad Sky Networks, we can convert all of your customers’ legacy landlines to a next-gen 4G LTE POTS Replacement solution.
Do you still need a landline? Maybe not but there may be hidden reasons why you do. You’ll need to do a little research to find out if you really are using anything that requires a POTS line. If it turns out that you are using POTS connections, you’ll need to prepare for the ultimate phase out of POTS lines. Regardless of the phase-out timeline, it’s safe to say that over the next few years, conventional analog telephone services will only get more expensive and offer fewer options.
Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.
John Hagan is President of TeleData Select, a Telecommunications Consultant located in Atlanta, Ga serving customers throughout the US and overseas. His company provides business solutions for voice, data, mobile and cloud solutions for both large and small businesses. Contact John or his team for a complimentary telecom audit to make sure you’re getting the best value for communication services. The savings you receive could offset the cost of purchasing a new Hosted or Premise based solution.