Why POTS Lines Are on Their Way Out
The FCC began phasing out POTS lines starting on August 2, 2022. Read along to find out what that means for your business as you’re exploring alternate options.
- POTS lines have been used as the standard for a variety of communication services, and the FCC began phasing them out starting on August 2, 2022.
- POTS services have been deemed unsustainable because they’re expensive, incur damage from exposure to the elements, are difficult to monitor and repair, and have a limited number of professionals that can service them.
- There are modern replacements for POTS systems, like VoIPs, which provide telecommunication over the internet.
What Are POTS Lines?
POTS lines, or plain old telephone service lines, are the analog technology systems that have been used to communicate for over 100 years. They rely on copper lines to transmit information over vast distances—hence the term “phone line.”
Although POTS lines are most often associated with telephone systems, they are used in a variety of traditional analog services as well, such as:
- Fax machines
- Elevator switch boxes
- Fire alarms
- Burglar alarms
- HVAC systems
Despite being the standard of communication for a long time, POTs phone lines have their drawbacks. To speak with someone over the phone, sound waves need to be converted into electrical signals and transmitted through copper lines, which makes them susceptible to interference. Moreover, in order to communicate over long distances, telephone lines need to stretch across the country. Over such long distances, these copper lines are prone to weak signals and poor call quality.
But despite these drawbacks, POTS lines are standard in most homes and offices. Whether they’re used for phone systems, fax machines, or more, these copper lines help us go about our daily lives.
So, Why Are POTS Lines Going Away?
The FCC has determined that POTS lines are unsustainable, especially in comparison to modern alternative services. Below, you’ll find some of the reasons why the FCC has decided to phase out POTS lines.
They’re Too Expensive To Maintain
In the last decade, the price of a POTS line has increased by roughly 36%, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to drop anytime soon. Moreover, each individual POTs line can cost upwards of $100 each month, and most businesses have a number of POTS systems throughout their building. The cost of maintaining an office full of landline phones, fax machines, elevators, and of course, fire alarms can become quite considerable, putting a strain on your business as prices continue to rise.
They’re Exposed to the Elements
The copper wires used to transmit information are constantly exposed to the elements. Although many of these copper lines have been buried underground, some still reside on the surface. When you drive down the highway, you can see these exposed POTS lines, dipping and looping until they disappear into the horizon. With this level of exposure across the country, POTS lines inevitably become damaged by natural elements. They require constant maintenance and repair, which can result in unexpected downtimes for a number of systems.
They Don’t Have Monitoring Abilities
Unlike modern digital platforms, the physical nature of POTS lines makes it impossible to monitor them in real time. When there is damage, you won’t know until you need to use that line. And, when you find out, the actual damage can be difficult to pinpoint, so you generally experience more downtime.
They Have Limited Professional Support
As the demand for digital platforms increases, the demand for those with knowledge of traditional analog systems dwindles. Fewer individuals are available to service POTS lines across the country. This means when POTS lines go down and need service, it will take longer to get them fixed.
Does your business need help transitioning to a VoIP system?
What Options Are Available for Your Business?
Although the FCC has decided to phase out the POTS system, that doesn’t mean your business is out of options for communication. Many businesses are deciding to switch to VoIP systems, or voice over internet protocol systems. VoIPs are internet-based communication systems that offer you the same communication benefits as a POTS line, but at a lower price. Because they transmit data through the internet rather than a copper wire, they don’t require physical installation.
Here are a few more points of comparison between VoIPs and POTs systems:
- Unlike POTS lines, VoIPs transmit phone calls through the internet, which require copper wire as a physical medium.
- VoIPs cost less to install and maintain than POTS systems. As the FCC continues to phase out POTS lines, the price of maintenance and installation will rise.
- VoIPs use packet switching, whereas POTS lines require circuit switching. This means thatVoIP systems can transmit data more efficiently, while not taking up the entire system’s bandwidth.
- The cost of running VoIPs is independent of time and distance. The cost of a POTS line is dependent on these factors.
Superior Solutions for the Post-POTS Transition
At Superior Office Solutions, we’re determined to make the transition away from POTS services as smooth as possible for your business. Although the FCC is phasing out the standard means of telecommunications, that doesn’t mean your business has to be left by the wayside.
We offer free evaluations of your current phone bill and help you decide whether a VoIP phone system is right for your business. In almost every case, the answer is yes. If you’re looking for a more cost-effective phone service that can provide your business with a greater degree of flexibility, contact us today.
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Superior Office Solutions has been adding a personal touch to the office equipment leasing industry since 1999. With four convenient locations in the tri-state area, we provide world-class equipment and unbeatable service to over 4,000 customers.