Plain ordinary telephone system or plain old telephone service (POTS) employs analog signal transmission over copper loops. POTS is a retronym name for “voice-grade telephone service”. Although everything is becoming digital, not every business has stopped using the old copper phone lines. According to The Chicago Tribune, at least 20 states in the US have passed a bill that allows AT&T phone carriers to end their partnership with landlines. This is because the copper telephone systems are expensive to manage and don’t have a good return on investment.
What is POTS?
POTS is a traditional analog voice transmission system that heavily relies on copper wires for message transmission. The term POTS has several names, but the acronym remains the same.
Using a traditional handset, you will dial a telephone number to speak. Your voice is then changed into an electric signal and passed to the recipient along copper wires. During its early days, the system was referred to as the Post Office Telephone Service because people relied on post office operators to handle the calls.
However, when the process became automated, the system moved away from postal offices, and the term changed to Plain Old Telephone Service.
Is POTS Line Replacement Necessary?
The cost associated with POTS line installation and maintenance is one of the biggest concerns for businesses.
To set up a telephone system on a new premise, you will have to pay for the needed meters of copper wires required for its installation. In addition, you will also need to acquire the necessary installation hardware and hire a technician for the installation.
Another cost to consider is the frequency of maintenance the copper lines require. After years of service, wiring and telephone poles will need to be maintained to prevent them from breaking down.
However, the maintenance is more complicated as the spare parts are hardly available since they are no longer produced. Additionally, copper telephone technicians are scarce, as many of them are retired without new technicians getting into the field due to technological advancements.
POTS lines going away is inevitable, and some of the replacement options include AirDial. AirDial is a replacement for POTS lines that combines an AirDial base station with virtual analog phone service and a data connection through a nationwide wireless network.
Should You Ditch Your POTS Line Now or Later?
Several factors will determine whether or not you should ditch your POTS line now or later. However, one thing to note is that the more you hold onto the lines, the more stressful it will be due to the costs associated with the telephone system.
The process of decommissioning AT&T’s copper telephone service has gained momentum over the past eight years. Although there’s no specific date when the copper telephones will completely stop functioning, expect the following challenges using POTS lines.
- Longer waiting periods for repairs as expertise is decreasing
- Higher cost of installation and maintenance
- Inability to install new copper telephones as there is less production
The decision to get rid of your copper telephone line will require you to have a detailed evaluation of the return on investment before dumping the telephone system.