August 2022: POTS and ISDN Services Phased Out By FCC
As of August 2nd, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released an order to end POTS and ISDN services in the United States. Many major phone companies had already announced beforehand that they would no longer offer these services. The increased use of new technologies like VoIP has dramatically lowered the demand for POTS and ISDN services, making this an inevitable next step towards evolving technology. The FCC’s recent order has been a major blow to the traditional phone industry, making customers still reliant on these lines confused and unsure of what to do next. But why exactly are POTS and ISDN being phased out, and what do you need to know about it?
How Did POTS Lines Work?
POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) worked by using a copper wire telephone line to transmit voice signals to customers. The POTS network was supported through a central office with a large switching system. Since the copper line from the central office connected to customers’ homes, all customers had to do was plug in their telephone to a telephone jack to be able to make and receive calls. POTS lines were convenient during their time, allowing individuals and businesses to connect with others easily.
The original POTS lines introduced in the late 1800s used a rotary dial phone. In the 1970s, POTS was upgraded to use touch-tone signaling. This meant customers could start using telephones with push buttons to make calls. This shortened the time it took to dial a number, making it easier to make calls. In addition to making and receiving telephone calls, POTS lines were used for things like dial-up internet and fax machines, but these services were limited by the slower speed of the POTS lines.
What Were POTS Lines Used For?
While the primary use of POTS lines was designed to make and receive calls, POTS lines had several other applications. Some examples of POTS line uses included:
Alarm systems use POTS lines by sending signals to a monitoring center when set off. If the alarm was triggered, the monitoring system would be notified, allowing the company to dispatch police to a customer’s home.
POTS lines were also the beginning of telephone polling and marketing. Pollsters and marketers would select random numbers to call and ask questions or try to convince the person on the other end to buy a good or service. This type of telemarketing still exists today but has become more efficient with newer systems.
Before email, documents were sent via fax machines. These machines would scan and print the copy on the fax machine receiving the document. Fax machines used the POTS lines to transfer the data, allowing people and businesses to send important documents without paying for postage.
Just like alarm systems, some fire alarms used POTS lines to notify the fire department if the alarm was triggered.
Credit Card Machines
Before wireless credit card terminals, many credit card machines used POTS lines to transmit transaction data to credit card companies.
Many of the uses of POTS lines now have more efficient and affordable alternatives, making POTS lines less and less popular as newer technologies have entered the scene.
Why Are POTS and ISDN Being Phased Out?
Many providers started phasing out POTS lines in the late 2000s as customers switched to newer and faster technologies like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). VoIP allows customers to make phone calls using a broadband internet connection. VoIP offers many benefits over POTS, including higher call quality, cheaper rates, and the ability to make calls over longer distances. VoIP services like Skype and Google Voice allow users to make calls over the internet, bypassing traditional phone service providers.
ISDN was a digital telephone service introduced in the late 1980s. ISDN became popular because of its ability to carry voice and data signals but was expensive to install and maintain. It was popular with businesses for transmitting large amounts of data until cheaper alternatives to ISDN came about.
If I’m Still on POTS Lines, What Should I Do?
While many providers have switched to VoIP and are no longer offering POTS and ISDN services, some individuals and businesses still rely on them. As of now, VoIP is the most affordable and reliable phone service option, especially for businesses.
If you are still using POTS or ISDN, several options are available. You can switch to VoIP, which offers the best connection and lowest prices for phone service. This is the best option for most individuals and businesses available today.
Other alternatives include using a POTS to VoIP gateway to receive calls on your POTS line that are rerouted over the VoIP network. You can still use a landline phone, but keep in mind that landline plans are becoming increasingly more expensive and do not offer all the same features as VoIP.
V&C Solutions in San Jose
Now that copper wire connections are being phased out, the time for digital services has arisen. While these services have helped businesses run for years, newer, faster, and more affordable options for phone service are out on the market and better than ever. The world is changing, and keeping up with it is important to stay on top of the business world.
At V&C Solutions, we want to offer the best solutions to our customers. V&C is more than just an IT services provider in the Bay Area & San Jose. We’re a company that provides expert IT services and IT strategies and gives you the tools to fuel your business growth and profitability. If you’re ready to switch to a VoIP service or need assistance with any other IT service, we want to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and see what our IT experts can do for your business.