What is POTS? POTS stands for plain old telephone service referring to the traditional analog voice transmission over copper lines. These lines have become increasingly expensive for utility companies to maintain in recent years and are steadily being abandoned.
As of August 2, 2022, the FCC Order 19-72A1 went into effect. This order effectively removed the requirement for utility providers to supply POTS lines as a form of service to residential and commercial customers. The utility providers are moving away from POTS in favor of digital forms of communication such as VoIP due to costs.
Many businesses are still utilizing the analog copper lines for various needs including 911 (red phones), emergency backup phone lines, security alarms, fire alarm systems, elevator phones, gates, intercoms, postage meters/machines, fax lines, modems, DSL-based internet access (often used as a backup to primary broadband Internet access), and rural locations. POTS lines receive power from the phone company which makes POTS well-suited for use in life safety systems where the phone line will remain in service in the event of a power outage.
POTS lines are not going away immediately but will become much more expensive. Prices are expected to skyrocket. Utility providers will need to develop alternative infrastructure for other communication services if not currently available. Customers using POTS lines for services should consider migrating to a different technology if one exists in their area.
There are many different options such as VoIP, Fiber, LTE/5G, satellite and broadband. Not all these options are suitable for fire alarm systems due to instability of the service and the need for power backup.
Are you currently using POTS lines for your fire alarm communication service? We can assist in determining the best options for monitoring services.
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