“Hello, operator?” This phrase has stuck in our collective consciousness for a long period of time, but the job of the telephone operator who would connect our calls to friends, business partners and loved ones has gone the way of the dodo. While the job may be gone, the infrastructure that we use to call each other over landlines are still around. Think of your old home phone service, or the landlines in your office - there’s a good chance that they may still be running on copper wires. However, the fate of landlines and copper wires looks close to being made as obsolete as their operators in the face of technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).
What are POTS Lines
POTS stands for plain old telephone service. This mildly derisive name signifies everything that a normal telephone line would deliver for an organization. At its core, it’s an analog way to transfer data, mostly voice along copper wires into a switching system that then routes calls or other information to its destination. While different POTS systems have varying degrees of upgrades or technological change, moving data over a copper line has been the center of the technology since its inception. Plain old telephone services were the widely held standard for a long period of time as there was very little to contest with them. When VoIP service started to grow, issues with connectivity, slow internet speeds and immature wireless technologies still made POTS lines attractive for many companies due to their reliability.
Why Replacing Your POTS Lines is a Necessity
Replacing your POTS lines has quickly moved from being something that would be nice to do, to an imperative for your business in terms of saving on costs. In August of 2022, an FCC ruling deregulated pricing on plain old telephone service lines in a bid to start sunsetting the technology in favor of more modernized phone services. This order effectively removed any regulatory reason for organizations that provide POTS connections to support any level of copper wire connectivity, and signals a shift toward the end of copper wires. By allowing this, the FCC has opened the door for carriers to greatly increase prices, with some organizations seeing the cost of a single copper wire line skyrocketing to up to $1,300. The FCC’s own description of this ruling is described as “FCC grants relief from outdated phone industry regulations.” These price hikes are anticipated to continue as telecom organizations are looking to discourage new POTS services while incentivizing businesses to switch over to IP-based and cellular phone services. The value that a plain old telephone service has brought to end users across the country has played its course. Now, everything that a POTS line used to be able to do can be handled by digital services in a more efficient and cost effective manner. The inevitable march of technology, combined with government deregulation and the interests of telecom companies, have all unilaterally decided copper wires are dead, long live digital solutions.
The benefits of digital lines over a plain old telephone service
There are several reasons why POTS replacement is something that your business should be considering as soon as possible. Modernizing your office equipment and how your employees interact with the world and your organization helps to keep them productive, and using antiquated systems can impact their ability to work. Some of the most notable benefits that replacing your POTS can give you include:
- Affordability: As discussed above, copper wire lines are getting more expensive, while also being on the road to obsolescence. Switching over to VoIP and cellular solutions may seem like a high up-front cost but it’s an inevitability that your organization will have to face. Changing to digital and more modern solutions can help your organization save up to 40% on their phone line costs.
- Centralization: For organizations with offices or business units that would require POTS lines at each of their sites, a common hassle was invoicing from different providers to each location. With a digital approach, invoicing for your business units countrywide can be centralized under one provider and one bill.
- Redundancy: Many emergency systems that used to require POTS lines to run, such as elevator lines, fire alarms and burglar alarms were difficult to build redundancy into. With VoIP and cellular services, your life safety lines can now have multiple layers of redundancies to ensure they operate properly. Business appliances such as a fax machine or phone line also can benefit from this redundancy, allowing your organization to work even if your main line is down.
- Active monitoring:Digital POTS replacements allow your team (or your provider’s team) to monitor the status of your endpoints in real time.
- Reliability:Copper lines require physical connection. Forces of nature can quickly destroy that physical connection and it may take days for repair to be completed. Digital solutions don’t require as much maintenance work and can be repaired quickly to get your company back up and running sooner.
- Advancement in technology:The analog line is at the end of its natural lifespan and will not get any more meaningful upgrades that will help your business. Cellular and VoIP technology is consistently improving and the sky’s the limit for how much the technology will grow.
The Best Practices for Replacing Your POTS Lines
When looking to replace your POTS lines, it’s vital that you take a close look at the costs of running your current service against switching over to a digital model. It’s also important to bear in mind all of your devices that will need to be replaced, from office phones and POS systems to your elevators and security devices, each of which might be relying on a POTS line. For each of these systems, integrating them with a generic VoIP or cellular based system will not be completely sufficient. Every system that you have could require unique solutions to maintain their effectiveness. For example, you may want to ensure that your fire alarm systems need to have redundancy built in and also might need unique communications protocols. Compare that with your telephone service which may have an entirely different set of requirements alone. Due to the unique nature of every organization, needs for POTS replacement will be different. To make this process of switching easier, it’s important to work with a company that has a fully realized analog replacement system in place to help you make the transition quickly and smoothly.
Work With WiLine to Replace Your POTS lines
WiLine can help your company make the transition from your POTS lines over to a digital network speedily and painlessly. Our enterprise-class analog replacement systems are designed to integrate with all of your mission-critical applications, including your fire and burglar alarm systems, emergency phone systems, fax machines and more. Our analog replacement solutions have also been designed from the ground up to ensure that you don’t have to replace your on-premise equipment, saving you time and money. By providing dial tone to IP conversion, the vast majority of your analog devices can be used either with ethernet or IP-based connectivity. Our analog replacement line also helps your company create redundant backups for your corporate appliances, assisting them maintain higher standards of uptime when compared to traditional copper wires. Using WiLine’s SD-WAN can help to simplify the management of your analog replacements by providing large scale and agile ways to manage your enterprise appliances while gaining high levels of performance and greater insight into your operations. Our architecture is unique to meet your needs, simple to deploy and manage and can aid you in optimizing your bandwidth across your organization. By replacing your copper wires with WiLine’s replacement, you’ll be able to quickly see a cost reduction of up to 40% for the pricing of your phone lines. If you’re interested in creating an efficient and redundant system that costs less than your current POTS lines, contact us today.