EFFECTIVE AUGUST 2, 2019 – On this date, the FCC approved a forbearance request (order 19-72A1) that permitted telecommunications carriers to abandon old, outdated, and degrading copper analog POTS landlines. They are not only released from any obligations to maintain this critical communications infrastructure, but they are also no longer required to make POTS available to their current or future consumers.
Expected Impact of the POTS Forbearance Order
The aftermath of this order is already underway, telecommunications carriers have begun increasing the pricing for existing POTS lines by up to 150%. This is being done as a way to force customers off of the outdated copper analog POTS infrastructure. It’s no surprise then, that the costs to maintain POTS lines are becoming increasingly expensive for carriers to maintain. With more businesses starting to make the shift to digital technology, this leaves existing businesses that still use copper analog POTS lines to pay the difference. Keep in mind that with these higher costs also comes the lack of service, since carriers will no longer be required to maintain or offer POTS lines service.
The FCC Order 19-72A1 mandates that customers and resellers of POTS line services must transition to an alternative solution on or before August 2, 2022.
Full VoIP Conversion, or a Hybrid Solution Consisting of ATA’s, and/or SIP Trunks
Some solutions, such as a fully hosted VoIP system, are capable of handling certain POTS line functions, like voice and data. However, there are additional services that have been historically supported by POTS lines, such as burglar and fire alarms, elevator and fax lines, ATMs, and analog modem data, that make working with VoIP challenging. This is due to the unique codecs and transmission modes needed to effectively support such devices. In this instance, the use of Analog Terminal Adapters (ATA’s) and SIP Trunks would be the most effective way to convert these older systems.
If you are one of the companies affected by this Order and are interested in how we can assist you with compliance, contact us here at eTech Network Solutions for a free consultation, and our team of Specialists will diligently work with you to create a solution uniquely designed to meet your specific telecom needs.