Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. What is FCC 19-72?
  3. The Evolution of POTS
  4. Key Implications of FCC 19-72
  5. Challenges and Opportunities
  6. What Do I Need to Do Now?
  7. Conclusion

POTS FCC 19-72 Introduction

Back in October of 2021, the team at Macronet Services¬†posted an article called ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs Time to Act on Copper Replacement‚ÄĚ. ¬†This article summarizes the FCC Memorandum and Opinion Order FCC 19-72¬†and what it means for your business. ¬†It also summarizes the types of devices and systems that rely on POTs lines as well as some of the alternatives that are available in the marketplace to prepare your business for when POTs service is no longer available at your business locations.

What is FCC 19-72?

This order enacts forbearance for carriers from their obligations to provide new copper communications services, including POTS lines to businesses as of July 26, 2022 (some notices use August 2, 2022 as the date). ¬†Although the order grants relief to carriers ‚Äúfrom outdated and burdensome phone industry regulations‚ÄĚ, it does not mean that carriers must¬†decommission their more than 38 million POTS lines that remain in service by August 2, 2022.

What is does mean is that businesses need to quickly act to inventory their copper services and have a plan to move the POTS lines to next generation gateway devices that will enable devices that reply on POTS services (i.e. Alarm lines, POS systems, elevator lines, SCADA, Fax, and other devices) in the event that their current supplier does discontinue their POTS offering at one or more sites.

Many carriers have already notified their customers of their intent to terminate the POTS service offering in some or all geographies and are implementing price increases of up to 150% in effort to incentivize their customers to make the move to next generation solutions.  The faster their customers move, the faster the carriers can decommission costly and aging copper infrastructure that they were once committed by the FCC to service.

The newer POTs replacement products require the installation of a gateway device that will be installed at your current 66-block and connect to a wired or wireless internet link.  The gateway will then enable the POTs signal to reach a PSTN (public switched telephone network) gateway to terminate the signal.  Some of the gateway devices also include a back-up power supply and some suppliers require an additional device for uninterruptible power.

The Evolution of POTs

Plain Old Telephone Service, often referred to as POTS, has been a cornerstone of communication for decades. However, as digital networks and internet-based communication solutions have gained prominence, the utility of POTS has waned. FCC 19-72 acknowledges this shift and presents a strategic approach to modernize telephony services while safeguarding the interests of both consumers and service providers.

Key Implications of POTS & FCC 19-72

  1. Phasing Out Legacy Infrastructure: FCC 19-72 outlines a gradual phase-out of outdated POTS infrastructure, paving the way for more efficient and advanced communication technologies.
  2. Promotion of Next-Gen Services: The framework encourages the adoption of next-generation communication services, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which offer enhanced features and cost-effectiveness.
  3. Ensuring Accessibility: FCC 19-72 emphasizes the importance of maintaining accessibility to communication services, particularly for underserved and rural communities, as the transition occurs.

Challenges and Opportunities With POTS & FCC 19-72

The transition from POTS to modern communication systems presents a set of challenges and opportunities:

Challenges:

  • Legacy Equipment: The integration of newer technologies might pose compatibility issues with existing legacy equipment.
  • Consumer Education: Ensuring that consumers are well-informed about the changes and how they might impact their services can be a challenge.
  • Reliability Concerns: POTS has a reputation for its reliability during power outages, which new technologies must match or exceed.

Opportunities:

  • Innovative Services: Next-gen services offer a range of innovative features such as video calling, integration with other digital services, and enhanced security.
  • Cost Savings: Internet-based communication solutions can often lead to cost savings for both service providers and consumers.
  • Environmental Impact: The reduction in reliance on traditional infrastructure could have positive environmental implications.

What do I need to do now?

First, download the POTS Replacement Guide For 2023 for the most up to date replacement information:


The team at Macronet Services represents over 300 services providers, a long list of whom are offering POTs replacement products.  We will work with your IT team to audit and inventory the copper services that are in use across your organization and to source the suitable supplier(s) who will be a good fit to meet your current and future needs.

When considering the suitable supplier(s) we will analyze which suppliers are currently providing network connectivity for your business today, design new solutions for each site, generate competitive quotes, and guide your team through the selection process.  Further, we will work with your team to complete the necessary implementation forms and manage the conversion project.  Our goal is to define a comprehensive strategy that meets the needs for your business in the short term and to ensure that the selection aligns with your long-term network strategy.

 

Contact Us

The team at Macronet Services is ready to help.  Contact us anytime for a conversation about your network needs and a free assessment.