POTS has nearly reached EOL — here’s how G12 Communications can help your business transition

1876. That was the year Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. Or more accurately, it was the year Bell claimed to have invented it, when in actuality he simply parroted the designs of Antonio Meucci, who dreamed up the first phone 16 years prior. 

The technology has gone through a few changes since its inception, with the most notable example arguably being the retirement of manual telephone exchanges and switchboards in favor of automated exchanges and trunks. However, the underlying infrastructure has changed startlingly little. The Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) as it exists today doesn’t look much different from systems created over a century ago. 

And that’s a problem. 

Consider for a moment how much has changed since the late 19th century. How different the world looks today from how it looked 146 years ago. You might feasibly argue that this speaks to the longevity of the POTS — if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it, right? 

The problem is that POTS is broken, and has been for quite some time. It lacks modern capabilities such as remote monitoring and management. The capacity of copper wiring to carry broadband signals and deal with traffic congestion is limited, at best. 

Perhaps most damning of all, however, is that the aging infrastructure at the core of the POTS has become increasingly difficult and costly to both operate and maintain. Telecommunications firms in the United States have been urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to take action on this issue for years. And in 2015, the FCC finally listened. 

 

The Sunset of Legacy Landlines

We won’t bore you by going into too much detail, but suffice it to say that the FCC in 2016 released a framework to guide businesses through the decommissioning of copper phone systems. Known as the Technology Transitions Order, it was proposed by the agency as a means of guiding “transitions to next-generation communications technologies while protecting the interests of consumers and competition.” This would be followed a few years later by the 2019 release of FCC Order 19-72A1

That order is the real nail in the coffin for POTS and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). 

Set to come into effect in August 2022, Order 19-72A1 releases carriers from their obligation to cap costs and fees on POTS services. As maintenance costs for copper lines continue to increase, those costs will inevitably be visited onto your business. Particularly now, the days of legacy landlines are numbered.

One estimate places their ultimate extinction as sometime in 2028, just six years from now. And don’t make the mistake of thinking that means you have six years to drop your POTS, either. Major carriers have not been shy about their desire to step away from the PSTN, and Order 19-72A1 was actually released at their insistence. 

One way or another, your landline will go the way of the dinosaurs. But it’s up to you whether you accept its death and embrace something new, or end up dragged, kicking and screaming, into a modern replacement. If you choose the latter, just be aware that you’ll have to stare down exponentially mounting costs as carriers seek to make up the difference created by falling subscriber counts and aging technology. 

The smart choice, as you’ve likely guessed, is the former — and that’s where G12 Communications comes in. 

 

Embrace Change With G12’s Cloud PBX

We’ve worked in the telecommunications sector for decades. We understand your business’s communication needs. And we understand how essential the POTS currently is to your daily operations. 

We can help you replace it with something better, and for a better price. 

Take G12’s Cloud PBX with Mobility. Flexible, scalable, and feature-rich, it provides you with all the functionality you need to support distributed work and thrive in the digital age. It also greatly outperforms traditional PBX, with a better featureset, greater customizability, and crystal-clear voice quality — all backed by 24/7 US-based customer support and a 99.999% uptime guarantee. 

Best of all, however, is the fact that it offers all this without expensive hardware and with a transparent per-user pricing model that keeps your costs predictable. 

Of course, not every business relies on the POTS solely for voice communication. Faxes are still an essential channel in multiple businesses. That’s why our digital cloud faxing service allows you to securely send and receive faxes via email no matter where you’re located. 

That’s just a sampling of what we offer, too. Whatever your business’s communication needs, we’ll work with you to design a purpose-built solution. And we’ll assist you every step of the way as you transition away from your old phone system to ours. 

As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end. The POTS has served the needs of businesses across the country for decades. But its time in the limelight is coming to a close. 

It’s time to leave it in the past and accept the future with G12.

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