POTS line replacement in 2024 is extremely easy when you decide to retire analog connections and put in proper planning.  Retiring POTS in favor of the next-generation service may feel daunting however with the right execution of design, pricing, governance and cancellation of legacy telephone lines, it can be achieved quickly.  The decision does not require you necessarily selected a large Tier 1 ISP as there are plenty of smaller tech company offering POTS replacement.  This is important if you are only swapping out a few analog connections a sing POTS line and feel you need to go into a deep network redesign of your entire voice architecture.

Additionally, Telecom Consulting firms like us are constantly looking to lower monthly billing for opex reduction while improving the functionality of your network.  In fact, many of the RFP’s we’ve run for organizations includes POTS services and it has been very impactful for teams.  Many enterprises have asked, should they just use the existing carrier anyway and if there are pros and cons to POTS replacement?  Our answer is always the same;  it depends on your use case we need to understand a bit more about your environment today.

Are POTS lines going away?  No, POTS lines are not going away.  Your low attractive POTS line pricing might be going away and solid customer support.  We will explain what is going on in the industry as there is a lot of misinformation in the industry.  Why are companies replacing POTS lines?  The FCC Landline Shutdown order 19-72 announced telecom carriers are not required to install services in their coverage area.  This does not mean they are shutting them off but that could always change.  If you are looking for net new analog POTS lines with copper handoffs, that could be a potential problem, however we’ve solved this for many companies.  Let’s dig in.

There are 3 main reasons why enterprises are swapping out analog POTS lines for a new technology.

POTS Replacement Reason #1


POTS replacement is typically first derived due to the amount of cost per month ISPs charge for a telephone line.  Even some of the best ISP carriers are now charging upwards of $150 to $200 per analog telephone line.  You read that correct, the standard dial-tone service which has been in homes and businesses for years is this high per month!  Previously these services where heavily regulated by the FCC and as such were kept way below $50-$75 per line depending on features (long distance, call waiting, unpublished number etc.).  By replacing these POTS lines it’s an easy OPEX calculation.

POTS Line Replacement Savings Calculator:  

# of POTS Lines X MRC (Monthly Recurring Cost)

Here’s an example savings calculator for your business.

Current individual POTS line charge is $150.00 Per month.

12 POTS lines currently in use

Total MRC:  $1,800 Per Month!


Now add the new POTS replacement cost structure (which includes redundancy, we’ll cover that shortly).  Most of the time in any of the installs we’ve completed. IT teams have been able to go back to finance and explain that not only have they lowered the op ex moving forward by replacing POTS lines. They have improved the functionality and redundancy of this network. This may also potentially reduce your insurance costs. You would have to speak with your agent to confirm, but they may like the fact that you have additional redundancy in for these new services.  We will talk more about redundancy further in the post.

But wait, there’s more. Another advantage of POTS replacement services. You now receive a portal that will outline all your telephone numbers with the ability to actually see if they’re working. This helps with trouble ticketing and billing. 

Having a service portal with POTS lines is much easier, especially for accounting teams. If you walk into your accounts payable office and ask to see the POTS bills today, most likely they are all on paper and they all have hundreds of pages due to the complexity of these legacy billing systems. This new POTS service will simplify the billing and make it much easier to understand your inventory and you will earn more friends in accounts payable, we promise!!! 

POTS Replacement Reason #2 

New Construction:

Many new buildings such as Multi Dwelling Unites (MDUs), off-campus Student Housing or existing Retail locations most likely will find themselves without a new copper POTS line.  Why?  Since the FCC has provided relieve to ISPs from providing POTS lines, most carriers will not endure the expense to add lines for a small out of revenue in return.  If that building is brand new, the carriers will not look to install telephone lines, they often will “no-bid” the work or cancel the order mid-flight.  This is a major problem if you need Certificate of Occupancy (CO) from the town/city to operate.

This also doesn’t mean you can’t plan well in advance of starting a new construction project. Often. Many general contractors (GCs) will look at traditional utilities such as electricity, gas and telecommunications proximity to the property site.  They are very familiar with the permit process both with the city/town and the incumbent electrical or gas provider.  GCs need to understand where these utilities enter the buildings from a lateral in the ground for example. However, most organizations only look at telecommunications simply as Internet services or connecting a broader wide area network to the site and skip over POTS services until the end.  

Today, waiting at the end for this phase can jeopardize your entire opening and progress of the building.  Knowing that you will require life safety services such as a burglar alarm, elevator phone and many others, you need to be sure POTS services can be installed. You should plan this before you even break ground and we’ve had many new clients contact us to help literally a week before inspections. 

Now you may be wondering why you need to understand this so early in advance. This is due to the Internet and other capabilities of replacing POTS that must be factored into consideration. In the new world of replacing pot services, there is an option to have a battery backup to ensure that you can still meet the life safety standards or even if you were just using a fax line. To communicate to the outside world, this is simply done with a backup battery and an LTE backup connection, usually from two different providers, to communicate to the outside world. This would have never happened in the analog world, only because it was simply a dumb analog copper line that you would know either worked or didn’t work when you picked up the receiver or decided to place a call or logged a call through your fire panel. There simply wasn’t any sort of monitoring option unless you performed manual tests. Now in the new world where we can simply build some additional redundancy both for power and carrier failure. This new POTS replacement service improves the functionality of your new construction building. As we move into additional services long term for consumers, especially as they. Continue to absorb more Internet. And applications that they download. You would want to also ensure that the critical traditional life safety communications are never impacted.

POTS Replacement Reason # 3

Tech Upgrade due to corroded and less functioning lines.

If you look at how long copper lines have been installed over the years (some of you might remember party lines in your youth), nobody, not even the carriers have regularly maintained these fixtures.   If a copper POTS line which is now dubbed for replacement has been installed in a retail building for 30, 40, 50 years, how often have you seen the carrier come onsite to make sure it’s working properly?  Chances are never unless it was brought down by a storm.  Over time these lines might get wet from rain or snow, college vast amounts of dust in the panel they terminate in a basement or other unsavory environments.  This might lead to issues with the line itself working properly when needed.  Your internet connection for your business essentially has a test pretty regularly either via monitoring tools or just simply trying to surf the web.  You will know if it’s up or down pretty quickly.  In that same vein, how many times per day do you test the fire alarm, burglar or elevator line if the POTS line works?  The elevator line is probably only tested when it needs recertification or if there is an emergency.  

Also, if a building is very old, the 66-Block might have an issue for expansion due to damage or there is no more room any longer.  A 66-block is a type of punch- primarily used for connecting and organizing telephone wires or data cables within a structured cabling system. The “66” in its name comes from the number of wiring positions it has on board.  

How does a 66 Block work?

Connected wiring: A 66-block has rows of metal clips positioned in four rows of 25 each, totaling 100 positions. These positions are used for connecting wires by punching them down onto the block with a special tool the carrier would be responsible for.  

Punch-down Process: The punch down process includes stripping the insulation from the end of the cable then using a tool to terminate the wire by forcing it into the metal clips on the block. This creates a secure electrical connection and will allow the signaling to work correctly.

Bridge Clips: These are used on the 66-blocks to interconnect rows which allows the X-connect between the different rows for the signal routing and connecting various parts of the telephone network.

66-blocks have declined in buildings due to modernization, lack of support and the move to a 110-block.   

Looking for a POTS replacement Guide to help you structure a plan your Finance and building facility teams can rally around?  We have you covered.

We’ve been calling out the need for POTS replacement since 2021 as the FCC was providing forbearance relief on these services for carriers.

How to replace POTS Lines with an alternate service?

Replacing old telephone lines (POTS) lines typically involves transitioning to a newer, more advanced communication technology.  Do not be fooled by simply swapping something out, you really need to assess your network needs?  Why?  It all depends on what the lines will be used for and taking that into consideration against the right vendor option.  

The very basic XXX steps to replace POTS lines here domestically in the United States.  (to see generic pricing, you can pull that from our eBook) you should follow is listed here.  We do recommend having one of our engineers give you a quick 10-minute guide over the phone or email to provide direction.  

Generate your POTS Replacement Quote with our automated Fiber and Pricing Tools

Step #1:  What are your POTS Communication Needs?

To be very successful in your POTS replacement strategy you will want to take several steps, plan accordingly, and don’t simply order something from a carrier without understanding all of the intricacies. We bring this up because the new POTS replacement services have a lot of advantages, but also features that may or may not necessarily work with your particular use case. 

For example, if you are looking to connect multiple buildings, we really need to understand that in advance, because the new devices that connect and terminate analog signaling have some necessities that are required if you are building out multiple locations.  Additional design review considerations taken now will prevent a technician coming on site looking to install incorrectly.  After thousands of POTS replacement installs under our belt, we’ve perfected a complete checklist to validate there is not a “wrong” requirement.  

Consideration factors include the following:

  1.  How many lines are required.  This may seem rather intuitive, but you would be surprised. That most organizations overlook simple things such as their fire alarm, their elevators, their burglar alarm. Their doors. Their gate entrances, their fax machines, and maybe some legacy dial-up service that supports something that everyone really needs but forgets about and it just works. These are all areas that we go through in a very specific checklist to make sure that if we are issuing new numbers or porting existing numbers. That way we can pull all of the right information well in advance to ensure that your conversion over to a new POTS replacement infrastructure goes seamless.
  2. How many locations required? This may also sound like another intuitive question. However, after many installs, we’ve found that some telephone services are installed in individual buildings and not based on a 66 block in one building. This is important to know because if there is no fiber or tie lines between buildings. There has to be a design consideration there. And if those services do exist, do you want to keep the same design moving forward? There is a lot of pluses and minuses between the two, but it also has implications on where the actual device that terminates your new POTS lines will reside. 
  3. Is there power mounted on the wall where pots will be installed? This is very critical because the new services that replace legacy POTS lines come in on a carrier access device. This device does require traditional 110Amp power, however it also has a backup battery should the power fail for an extended period of time. 

It is required to have power to service this device otherwise your POTS service will work nor failover correctly during an outage. Now keep in mind the power isn’t an extensive draw, but it does require something to keep the lights on and keep your telephone services working functionally. 

Additionally, this device also will serve as the LTE backup for one to two carriers should the actual POTS line fail. Even if power or backup power is operational, this is extremely important in storms or fiber cuts and other negative scenarios that are planned out in the next generation pot solution. So, understanding where your power is mounted and if power is not mounted in the actual location, we need to discuss how to remedy this.

  1. Installation intervals. We can help install a POTS replacement service within two weeks, sometimes less if it’s an absolute emergency. The traditional time frame that really allows everyone to be on the same page, plan accordingly, line up technicians and ensure that there is somebody on site to meet them. That time frame is typically 30 days. If you are looking to port numbers over, meaning you want to keep the existing telephone numbers that you have in service today, that will require extra time. We typically recommend a couple of months in advance only because the carrier that. As your telephone numbers today. Does not want to lose your business. And if the paperwork is not 100% accurate. With the porting documents, they will reject your ability to take the number. Onward. It would be no different if you went to your cell phone company, wanted to take your number and move it to another carrier. If you’ve ever gone through that process, for some of us, it’s been very painful. So, what we don’t want to do is get into an emergency situation and look to port the numbers. In that type of fashion, typically the carriers will require 30 to 45 days minimum to actually port those numbers out. So, we really need to plan accordingly.
  2.  Any additional any additional features or requests needed.  This holds true if there’s something else that we didn’t mention that is specific to your environment. That’s why working with folks like us at Macronet Services, we can take that into consideration. Unlike working directly with the carrier at times they may or may not be that flexible. So, our job is to go find the best POTS replacement solution for you based on your use case to make sure that your transition is 100% smooth. Sometimes customers are concerned about their legacy key systems such as telephones, fax machines, etcetera that may not work in this POTS replacement environment. Rest assured, as long as they require an analog signal, carrier access device installed will hand off analog signaling to your end devices, so you should not have any issues as the installation is completed.

Step #2:  Choose a POTS Replacement Technology:

Selecting a POTS replacement architecture which meets your needs.  Ultimately for major Life Safety environments as simple VOIP connection will not address compliance requirements.  Having the POTS lines originate and egress out of your building with analog signaling is a must no matter how it’s carried across the US voice backbone network.  

Step #3:  Implement a POTS Service Provider:

One of the last steps we have focused on with many clients is choosing the right service provider.  This might be a traditional telecommunication company, an internet service provider (ISP), or a VoIP provider.

Check if your existing telephone equipment is compatible with the new technology. In some cases, you may need to upgrade or replace your phones or adapters.

Install any required hardware or software. For example, if you’re transitioning to VoIP, you may need to install VoIP adapters or IP phones.

Configure the New System:

Set up and configure the new communication system according to your needs. This includes configuring call routing, voicemail, and any other features required.

Test the System:

Conduct thorough testing:  This is to ensure that the new system functions as expected. Test different types of calls (voice, fax, data) and verify that all features work properly.

Notify Stakeholders:

Let the business know of the new POTS Replacement service:  This should include any relevant parties, such as employees, customers, and vendors, about the transition. Provide any necessary instructions or information on how to use the new system.  Most likely nothing will change if the telephone, fax and alarms are unchanged.  

Port Phone Numbers (if necessary):

If you want to keep your existing phone numbers, work with your new service provider to port (transfer) the numbers from the old POTS service to the new system.


Provide training for users to familiarize them with the new communication system. Ensure that they understand how to use the features and address any questions or concerns.

Monitor and Troubleshoot:

Monitor the new system’s performance and be ready to troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Work closely with your service provider to address any technical challenges.

Terminate Old Service:

Once the new system is fully operational, it’s time to disconnect the old POTS service to avoid unnecessary charges.  You do not want to pay double the charges and if you ported the numbers, there is no service disruption.

Remember that the specific steps may vary depending on the technology you choose and the service provider you work with. It’s advisable to consult with professionals or the chosen service provider for guidance tailored to your specific situation.

How much does POTS Line Replacement Cost?

There are a few factors involved to understand the true cost of POTS line replacement.  

  1. Where will the device to terminate the new lines exist?
  2. What services are these lines for?  If they need to connect to the Elevator and there is not a physical connection in place, that’s a one-time cost you will need account for.
  3. Porting vs. New Lines:  If you want to keep the old telephone numbers, there is a period you will need to wait for Porting of the lines out from the existing carrier.  

Common POTS Replacement Questions:

Will the local Fire Marshall approve of this POTS line replacement for life safety services such as elevator, 

POTS Line Replacement Compliance

When we look at replacing POTS line services, one of the key questions that arises includes “are they compliant.”  Depending on the correct service the answer is yes but would require a quick assessment which Macronet Services can facilitate.  

Are POTS replacement NFPA 72 certified:  It’s pretty common and required to facilitate the regular compliance of NFPA 72 otherwise you could run the risk of your insurance policy cancelling. 

Are POTS replacement ASME A17.1B certified:  This is the safety code for Elevators which most all have some sort of copper analog line connected to it for emergency.  Hopefully nobody will ever need to “push” the call button on an elevator but if they do, you will need to make sure your call works correctly.  

UL 62368-1:  This compliance binds the two prior standards in UL-60950-1 and UL-60065.  

UL 864:  This is the compliance standard built by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent safety science company to address control units and accessories for fire alarm systems. If you are looking to have your POTS lines UL 864 compliant for building occupancy, insurance, fire marshal sign-off for telephone lines, this is needed.  This standard outlines components for the design, testing, and evaluation of control units used in fire alarm systems to ensure their reliability and effectiveness.

The challenge here is most manufacturers typically seek UL certification for their fire alarm units and accessories to demonstrate compliance with industry standards and regulations.  However, they do not specifically call out what communication method such as POTS is really certified to use, specifically the best ISPs.

UL 2054:  This standard covers a wide range of batteries, including but not limited to rechargeable batteries, non-rechargeable batteries, and lithium batteries. It addresses aspects such as electrical, mechanical, and thermal properties to ensure the safety and reliability of batteries used in portable devices, household appliances, and other applications.  Additionally, UN 38.3 Compliance is needed for the safe transportation of lithium batteries which is often used in POTS replacement technologies. 

As with any compliances, it’s always safe to continue staying updated to be sure you have the latest changes. 

Contact Us today for a FREE POTS Replacement Design and Quote for your business.