The rumors have spread that landlines will be gone after August 2022. Fortunately, that’s not entirely true. Find out if you should be concerned about carriers sunsetting their POTS service and what to do if you need to make a change.
What are POTS?
If you’ve been hearing POTS and expecting some techy jargon, you may be surprised to find out it stands for Plain Old Telephone Service.
These are the copper landlines on the telephone poles around town. Maintaining those lines and the poles has become more costly than companies can charge for using them, so the FCC allowed carriers to stop service as of August 2, 2022.
Since many businesses have switched to VoIP (Voice of Internet Provider), this may not concern you. But there are a few of your services that may be impacted by this change.
Carriers sunsetting landlines:
If your carrier is on this list, you should be looking out for lack of service and a price increase on your landline:
AT&T had already been reported for neglecting their POTS lines in California, and now the FCC will allow them to stop serving the lines completely.
Verizon is slowly retiring copper lines based on region, so check with your provider on the deadline. Even though they will no longer maintain these copper POTS lines, they have added fiber along the same telephone poles. That means you’ll still see telephone poles and lines in your neighborhood, even if you’re not using them.
In some regions across the US, a larger carrier installed the POTS while a local carrier maintained the service. In those situations, you’ll need to check with your carrier to determine when your service will increase in price.
Should you be concerned?
Maybe your business has already switched over to VoIP or a UCaaS platform: do you need to be concerned about POTS at all?
Alarm Systems & Fire Alarm Panels
Many alarm systems over the years relied on POTS to run. This way, if the electrical power went out, the system would still function through the power in the copper wire.
To alleviate the concerns of a power outage, VoIP and UCaaS systems come with battery backups and an automatic switch to mobile. However, if you’ve switched to VoIP in the past, you might have overlooked the alarm system (because you focused on employee desk phones or the main line), so you’ll want to check that you’re not relying on POTS for this service.
Another commonly missed POTS service is the elevator emergency phone. Again, this was historically a POTS line. Most elevator emergencies occur during a power outage, and the POTS line ensured the phone still worked.
If you haven’t switched to VoIP yet, don’t miss the elevator phone line!
Shipping & Postage Printers
Did you know your postage printers typically use a copper phone line? Some shipping facilities pay for ten or more additional phone lines to manage their postage printing. Now that the FCC has stopped regulating the costs of these lines, you might see the price increase significantly.
Call Viirtue today to determine if you need to replace your postage printer phone lines with VoIP.
Many health care providers still rely on wired fax machines to send patient information securely. Fortunately, VoIP carriers have an alternative to faxing with a landline, and it’s easier to use but just as secure.
If you’re still using a landline for your fax machine, get in touch with Viirtue today to start the transition to a fully VoIP platform.
Switch early to save
The earlier you switch to VoIP, the more you’ll save.
Before August 2022, The FCC regulated POTS lines to ensure maintenance and a low cost. However, the FCC has now lifted those regulations, and phone line providers can charge exorbitant prices to service these lines. So while you won’t lose your landline anytime soon, the cost of that landline will increase considerably.
At Viirtue, we have local service providers all across the country, offering a network that doesn’t fail. You’ll get the same features and reliability of a copper landline with the modern technology of a UCaaS company.
What to do next if you have landlines:
If you’re not sure about the status of your landline, call Viirtue today, and our helpful customer service team will help you understand your network. Whether you need to switch everything over to VoIP or you have a few questions about your emergency phone lines, we’re ready to help troubleshoot and solve your problems today.