Death of the Pots Line and What It Means to You
During the 80s, 90s, and years before that, plain old telephone lines or otherwise known as POTS lines were the main telephone systems used for business communication.
Lately, though, technology advances now enable businesses to replace their ageing communications infrastructure with newer technologies like LTE and fibre. As a result, POTS lines have declined in popularity and usage. Also, the FCC has issued Order 10-72A1, which requires that all POTS lines in the US be replaced with alternative options like fibre or wireless by 2 August 2022.
So, the question is how this will impact your business and what alternatives you can consider. Let’s take a look.
How Many People Still Use POTS Lines?
The FCC estimates that there are about 36 million POTS lines still active in the US. These are typically used by businesses for applications like fire alarms, security systems, elevators, point of sale systems and office equipment like fax machines which weren’t specifically designed for digital connections.
However, the number mentioned above is steadily declining with service providers terminating an estimated 10,000 POTS lines per day.
Potential Replacements for POTS Lines
Considering the above, what are potential replacements for POTS lines. Generally, there are two options, fibre or wireless systems like LTE. From a digital transformation perspective, these options are sensible because they give businesses a modern communications infrastructure that includes all the functionalities they would need. They could, however, be expensive.
Another, cheaper option would be POTS to fibre conversion. This entails using a converter to convert copper line signals to digital signals. In turn, this gives copper lines the same functionality and features as full-fibre networks.
Pros and Cons of Getting Rid of Pots Lines
One of the main disadvantages of POTS lines is that they’re expensive to install and maintain. Support may become a major issue as they age.
Another significant drawback is that POTS lines are not very flexible, scalable, and don’t offer remote monitoring and management capabilities. As a result, they’re not well suited to the current technological landscape.
In contrast, a shift to wireless or fibre solves these problems because they’re more affordable, easier to manage, offer more features, and are easier to scale. However, POTS lines do have some advantages over digital solutions. For example, they don’t rely on an internet connection and are not affected by power outages. They’re therefore typically more resilient than fibre networks.
How Will Getting Rid of Pots Lines Impact Your Business?
If you haven’t already made the switch, it’s time that you consider the possible replacements as the consequences of having no alternative solutions in place when POTS lines are retired could be devastating.