Plain Old Telephone Service (aka POTS) has been available since the introduction of the public switched telephone network in the late 19th century. Yea, that’s right – since the late 1800’s; remember Alexander Graham Bell? POTS is the voice-grade telephone service that is based on analog signal transmission, which was the common standard before more advanced forms of telephony like ISDN, cellular communications, and voice over IP (VoIP) were introduced.Image

A few years ago, AT&T and Verizon began petitioning the FCC, claiming it was time to ‘sunset’ POTS; at least as a carrier of last resort. In fact, a November 19, 2013 NY Times article reported on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s plans to begin moving the nation’s telephone service from its century-old network to one that transmits phone calls in a manner similar to that used for Internet data. In a statement for the article, Jim Cicconi, AT&T’s senior executive VP of external and legislative affairs said “Our current infrastructure has served us well for almost a century, but it no longer meets the needs of America’s consumers.”

My firsthand, day-to-day experience reveals that POTS lines are going away. How soon? It’s difficult to speculate; however, if it’s any indication based on how difficult it is to add new POTS service, then it certainly appears that there’s a widespread initiative to “hang up on POTS”. According to my research, 2018 is the soonest that POTS lines would be abolished. For phone systems, this is not really a problem as existing services like ISDN PRI would remain intact; and SIP trunks (yes, another acronym that in simple terms means VoIP phone service delivered over a broadband packet-based service), have been gaining a lot of traction over the past few years. The speed at which SIP trunks are being deployed is incredible. The value and benefits of SIP trunks are tremendous; too much so to cover here. So if you needed another reason to ditch your POTS lines, standby until next month to learn more about SIP trunks.

My intent is not to convince you to maintain your POTS lines (if you still have any), or to drop them immediately. I feel compelled to help you recognize that POTS service is no longer relevant and you should be evaluating new potential solutions for your business. Next month we’ll help you understand the concept of SIP trunks, how SIP is helping so many companies, and things you need to be aware of during an evaluation & deployment.

And remember, you can always rely on the specialists at IDeACOM to help you understand the pros and cons of your specific situation. IDeACOM Communications Group is a uniquely positioned local VoIP service provider with a nationwide; check that, worldwide reach. We’ve become the VoIP specialists that you continue to depend on with confidence. Let us know how we can help you maximize your results with today’s technology and business solutions.

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