Over the last couple years, we have watched many things in the world drastically change. The realm of communications and IT has been no different. In fact, even though the industry is known to be on the leading edge and embracing of early adoption, we have felt a dramatic increase in the urgency for radical or immediate upgrades.
This year will bring drastic change to the way businesses utilize communication services. In August 2019, the FCC issued order 19-72A1 which mandates that all U.S. POTS lines get replaced with an alternative service by August 2, 2022. Service providers are moving ahead of that deadline. For example, in many areas of the country, Verizon Business will no longer support POTS lines after April 2022 in order to have a reasonable timeline to tie up all loose ends and finalize end of service demands.
Section I.3 of the FCC order states the following:
“Given the sweeping changes in the communications marketplace since the passage of the 1996 Act, including the increasing migration of consumers of all sorts and sizes away from TDM technology, copper loops, and local telephone service toward newer, any-distance voice services over next-generation wireline and wireless networks and the wide range of competitors offering facilities-based voice service alongside over-the-top Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services, we find that the public interest is no longer served by maintaining these legacy regulatory obligations and their associated costs. Rather than a foothold for new entrants into the marketplace, they have become a vice, trapping incumbent LECs into preserving outdated technologies and services at the cost of a slower transition to next-generation networks and services that benefit American consumers and businesses.”
In anticipation of disconnection, service providers are increasing monthly prices for POTS lines - some as much as $700 a month for a single line.
There are two choices facing IT leaders. Be proactive and make this transition smooth and easy, OR wait, push this to the bottom of our to-do list until we have no choice but to be reactive, desperately, and frantically looking for a way to continue communications service once we are cut off.
Finally, many IT leaders will not welcome a visit from the CFO asking why their POTS line bills have increased by many thousands of dollars per month. Sadly, we are commonly seeing this occur for those enterprises who have not acted.
Why The Change?
Copper is becoming more and more outdated because it is increasingly difficult to service. Service technicians who specialized in copper installation and service are retiring or have transitioned to more popular and modern services. Managing dated infrastructure is costly to businesses as well as service providers.
Deregulation and decommissioning are being mandated by the FCC and standardized and unified setup becomes paramount.
Options For Change
The good news is there are many great alternatives that are more cost-effective for businesses than copper lines.
For those who rely on analog technologies that do not translate well to digital, POTS replacement in a box is an excellent option. POTS replacement in a box is a device that functions digitally over analog as an LTE/Cellular/Wi-Fi/PSTN/FirstNet-capable router.
This replacement can enable many combinations of legacy analog wireline in-band voice, M2M, data, fax and alarm system signals as shown below.
Depending on your business, one of these newer technologies may be a better fit in the long run. Do your research and due diligence, but it is important to keep in mind the need for urgency to address this situation so that service is not interrupted or astronomical costs surprise already narrow budgets.
Renodis can proactively help make the switch away from POTS service painless, reduce costs and increase support. We will assess your current setup, discuss your needs, and take care of the process for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Matt Spivey, CTO, Renodis
With over 20+ years in business/IT consulting, Matt brings strong enterprise technology leadership experience to the table along with his passion for solving complex problems with a strategic business mindset. Prior to joining Renodis, Matt held several Executive IT leadership positions with firms in the upper Midwest including health care, animal healthcare, and IT Managed Services. Most recently, Matt led the IT organization, at a large network of animal hospitals, to where his department boasted a 97% approval rating from the 160 animal hospitals they supported during a period of rapid growth and change. In 2020, Matt was honored to be a finalist for the Michigan Orbie Awards - CIO of the Year, a premiere technology executive recognition program commending excellence in IT