Let’s face it: analog telephone lines or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) lines are not going to place very high on the list of coolest technology solutions as compared to cloud, security or omni-channel contact center solutions. But, telephone lines have been rock solid for more than 100 years. While your company might have VOIP technology for voice phone calls, you might still be using regular telephone lines for fax, alarm, elevator, and point-of-sale systems. If you are still using POTS or analog lines, you’ll want to upgrade your technology this year. In summer 2022, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is allowing telecom companies to shut down their copper POTS lines. Here’s what you need to know about replacing POTS or analog telephone lines.
POTS Lines Aren’t Supported Like They Once Were
Regardless of how companies are using POTS lines today, the major telcos that supply the lines have been wanting to sunset the old technology. Their equipment is old and it’s expensive to manage. And, if you looking in the basement of older commercial building basements, you’ll see a tangle of wires that looks like a squirrel and a bird had a nest-building contest. Copper lines just can’t be supported like they once were. In reality, IP-based networks are cleaner, more efficient, and many services can be carried over the same core networks.
Get Ready For Price Hikes
In 2017, the FCC granted the major telcos the ability to sunset analog solutions. However, they couldn’t do it all at once. They can’t just shut off services–it would be front-page news and a PR nightmare.
What makes folks usually want to switch services? When their current service goes up in price. So, when the telcos make technology shifts, they do a controlled and consistent increase in prices. This incentivizes and motivates you to migrate to something else. While many businesses have switched to VOIP to replace copper voice telephone lines, they haven’t migrated fax lines, alarm lines, point-of-sale systems, or elevator telephone lines.
In recent vendor audits and bill reviews, we’ve seen costs for POTS lines go up exponentially. Because most businesses are set to autopay, they may not even realize that their phone costs are going up by 2 or 3 times– or more! We have seen POTS lines that were once $40-$50 each skyrocket to $500-$800 each.
Replace POTS Lines or Analog Telephone Lines
Like the transition from phone lines to VOIP, eFax has been adopted by many companies. Efax is a very popular and easy way to move your fax from the machine in the copier room to your desktop. However, for other services that still use analog lines, vendors are offering POTS replacement solutions that can have built in redundancy and potential cost reductions as well.
How to Replace POTS Lines or Replace Analog Telephone Lines
To replace POTS lines, vendors supply a device that can connect to dual wireless sim cards and your wifi. This device is on site, for example, in an elevator. Your analog numbers are ported to the vendor and when you make or receive a call, it’s sent to the device via cell or wired internet. Granite, MetTEl, BCN, and Spectrotel are four good vendors, but there are more. Using our RFP Alternative Process, we help you find out which vendor best suits your needs. The fact that there are dual SIM cards and internet access offers redundancy which traditional copper lines cannot support. Your usage can be bundled-in so that the cost per minute for calling on analog can be reduced or eliminated. POTS replacement lines are also approved for fire and security alarms.
Don’t Wait to Replace Your POTS Lines
POTS line will disappear regardless of how long we want to hang on to our century old comfort friend. It’s the inevitable evolution and it’s happening sooner than you think. Think of what cars looked like 100 years ago as compared to now. But don’t wait until the 11th hour to replace your POTS or analog telephone lines. If your company has POTS lines currently, we can use our RFP Alternative process to help show you replacement options so you won’t miss a beat.