When the electric telegraph was invented in the 1830s, telegraph poles started springing up along the railroads at first and big city highways next. Almost 200 years later, we still have utility poles along most roads. Most people don’t think twice about these poles and their significance to the industrialization of the world. Today, these poles carry our electricity, cable, telephone and now fiber to our homes and businesses. Wireless, cellular, and satellite communications are trying to displace “wires” and the expensive cost of cabling and maintenance of this 200-year-old system.
The FCC has been working with industry giants like AT&T, Verizon, Spectrum and others to eliminate the government rules that they must maintain this aging infrastructure. Well, we have finally reached the end of the line. The communication companies can stop selling and servicing the old copper phone lines we all grew up with for the past 150+ years.
These “plain old telephone service” (POTS) landlines are destined for the dump. Here’s the challenge. We have depended on these phone lines for so long, some locations, homes or businesses only have them. They provide the phone line for elevator’s emergency phones, your fire alarm, credit card machines, postage meters, fax lines (what’s a fax you ask? You must be a millennial.) Maybe you still have a DSL Internet connection. POTS lines won’t be able to be ordered and repairs maybe delayed or not even provided in due time.
Now is the time to switch over to wireless and cellular services. All these millions of POTS lines need to be replaced. To throw even more fuel on this fire, the FCC has mandated that they would like major providers to sunset copper POTS lines by the beginning of August 2022. We have been moving steadily to wireless (cellular) for years. In 2006, only about 16% of U.S. households ditched their “landlines” (another name for “POTS.”) As of 2019, that number was 31%. 97% of adults own a mobile device. The number of homes with only “landlines” has dropped to below 5%.
Ironically, many businesses still rely on landlines for long forgotten services. Elevator phones, door phones and intercom systems, alarm systems, fax machines, postage meters and credit cards. Although, many credit card companies have been forcing businesses to switch. 9-1-1 services are critical and now “e911” is required for VoIP systems. You want emergency services to find you if you call. What if you work from home and use your company remote phone for 9-1-1? Where do they show up – at the office address? Do they know your home address?
Where to start: Pull any of your bills from Frontier, Century Link, Verizon, AT&T or any other telecom company. We can review your bills to determine any services you might still have that rely on landlines (POTS). Have one of our technicians visit your site and review the “telephone room/closet” or “basement” to see what services are still active. We can test and determine phone numbers as well. We can identify any proprietary system still using a phone line – alarms, elevators, door access panels. We can then work on a plan to replace these copper systems with newer cellular technology on a fixed monthly cost. Many clients are actually saving money every month since the old services have had price increases for decades as less people use the older service. Many of the taxes are eliminated on the newer services too.
Give our phone division, AstraNetworks, a call at 585-377-5480 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would be happy to help guide you through this transition!
About the Author
As the Vice President, David Wolf is a technology visionary and serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in the IT industry. David has achieved the highest industry security certifications of CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), and CCISO (Certified Chief Information Security Officer). He enjoys using his technical expertise to help fellow business owners get the most out of their IT.