POTS Lines Are Going Away: How Will This Affect Your Business?

Copper telephone lines that enable POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) were once the epitome of elite communication. They have served everyone well over the years, but something more modern and valuable has now made its way onto the scene. Traditional telephone lines are rapidly declining and will soon be utterly absent from view. And by soon, we mean the summer of 2022. 

Major telephone providers like AT&T, Verizon, and more, have already started weeding them out, while the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) simultaneously issued Order 10-72A1 that requires that all POTS lines in the United States be replaced with an alternate service – such as fiber or wireless connections – by August 2, 2022.

3D busy man with talking on two phones - isolated

As the FCC and telephone services are actively working to dissolve copper lines, POTS will become increasingly expensive and offer fewer features in the near future. The disruption of POTS service will provide businesses with some considerable challenges to overcome if not proactively addressed. There is no time to waste on this. Below we take a deep dive into the situation and how your business can adequately prepare for the upcoming changes. 

Goodbye, POTS

The FCC has conducted studies showing the significant decline in POTS lines in the United States from 122 million in 2010 to 41 million in 2019. At this rate, there will be little to none left by 2026.

POTS Are Quite Expensive

While the FCC and other legislatures have removed many price caps on POTS lines, some carriers have used this as an opportunity to increase monthly rates for different communication services (like mobile phones). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the cost of POTS service has risen by 36% over the last decade, and this could rise to 75% over the next five years if trends stay on their current course.

Quality of Service (QoS) for POTS Lines is Diminishing 

For services, the idea of increasing the cost of POTS lines is crucial because there are a limited number of customers continuing to utilize copper-wire infrastructures. The cost of maintaining phone poles and switching centers has increased while users have decreased. 

However, in reality, it seems like some carriers are taking advantage of larger audiences and their common needs rather than focusing any more attention on POTS lines. In an April 2019 report conducted by The California Public Utility Commissions, or CPUC, there were multiple reports of neglect for POTS lines at the hands of AT&T (who is California’s lead provider of POTS lines). Since this report, AT&T has stopped actively marketing POTS lines and is working to phase out their POTS lines within their customer base. This report was eye-opening for consumers utilizing POTS lines and made many looks into alternative communication options that would be served better than conventional POTS lines. 

However, even with this report, many businesses still use POTS lines every day. With this continuous phase-out taking place, some challenges could arise for your business if you are still using POTS lines. Below, we go over three trends creating a problem for companies that still utilize POTS lines. 

While much larger businesses have long been using VoIP lines and forgotten about copper-wire phone lines, some small businesses have yet to make the transition. There are three popular reasons why these smaller businesses may still be using POTS lines:

  • Immobility: Many companies have used POTS lines for so long and just have never gotten around to making the transition to a more modern communication platform. However, the resistance to change may be harder to keep when their bill consistently increases with the continued usage. 
  • Dependability: POTS lines have worked for so long. They work when there is a power outage (because copper wires have their power source), which is very reliable. But when carriers are cutting back on the maintenance and infrastructure management, outages will increase, and the duration of outages will also rise. 
  • Conventional Devices: This is a big one. There are tons of out-of-date devices still in use within businesses all over the country. These legacy devices require POTS lines to operate, ranging from fire alarm panels, building entry systems, emergency elevator phones, fax machines and printers, and more. These devices cannot transition to a VoIP system because of their conventional regulatory requirements. 

What The Discontinuation of POTS Lines Means for Individuals and Businesses?

Many consumers realize that change is imminent and digitalization is happening. With such a significant uptick in e-commerce and day-to-day communications conducted over the internet and through mobile phones, the ongoing adaptation of technology offers vast opportunities for individuals and businesses alike. 

It is now essential that modern business owners accept and adopt new technologies to find alternatives to landlines and POTS line replacements. If they don’t, they will be left behind by the ever-growing and changing business and technology world. A Business Insider article found that landline use in businesses has dropped by 36% from 2010-to 2018 and continues to decline globally. 

Besides the discontinued use, POTS going away could have potentially harmful and detrimental safety concerns for businesses that rely on POTS emergency phones (like in an elevator). Without the dependability of POTS in the case of an outage, many companies and residential buildings are now required to adopt an elevator phone replacement such as a cellular elevator phone line for things like elevator monitoring.

POTS going away can create quite a few problems for businesses and residential buildings. Crafting a POTS replacement plan or securing a POTS adapter is critical to keeping up with these new regulations. Simplicity can offer your business an excellent VoIP solution with many desired features. We can provide you with a stress-free transition with tons of support! Now that you are up to date on the future of POTS lines let us tell you all about a VoIP solution for your business.

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