Is this the end of analog lines?
Analog lines or POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) have been around since 1876, when the first telephone companies started offering their services. And since then, they have been the go-to form of telephone communication for homes and businesses alike. However, in the past forty-something years, a lot has changed in the world of communications and will continue to do so.
With the help of the internet, VoIP has become the preferred option for calling and phone services since 1995. It initially came about to reduce the costs of long-distance calling for companies, but now, everyone uses this technology to call from computers, smartphones, and more.
In 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandated that all POTS lines be replaced by an alternative form of communication by August 2nd, 2022. So, what does that mean for analog line users?
Are analog lines going away?
The answer to this question is given to us by Jhovanny Rodriguez in a recent video posted on GreenLink’s channel:
“There was a monopoly in terms of all the big companies holding on to everything telecommunications. So, a law was passed for this to be de-monopolized, and that gave an opportunity for small players to be able to come in and have a piece of the pie. Big companies provided discounts in terms of minutes and things like that and at that point, they anticipated that the technology was going to evolve to make that mandate irrelevant.”
“There was a deadline, and part of that was forcing these big telecommunication companies to maintain the old POTS network right in order to keep things running, so that deadline, three years ago they said it was going to happen in August 2nd, 2022, but this is not the end. These analog lines are not going to be turned off. What will happen is the beginning of the end. There's some truth to the news because if the big companies are no longer required to maintain this infrastructure, they're going to start migrating little by little to the more digital world, the VoIP world.”
“It's expensive not only for the carriers to maintain this analog infrastructure, but it's also expensive for the consumer of the business. It is more cost-effective with more bells, whistles, and features to go to the VoIP world.”
“What I would say is you don't have to rush and feel you know forced to migrate. Contemplate and look at the reason why these companies and the carriers are moving to this technology and figure out if it's the right technology for you. If you want to move, make the switch ahead of time, not wait until the product's been discontinued.”
“There are some facts that you should really be looking at as a business to migrate away from analog lines ahead of time, and I would say that's probably the takeaway here, giving yourself enough time, giving your customers enough time to really consider what options they have and get ahead of this.”
Recommendations for the change from POTS to VoIP
As you get ready to transition to VoIP, there are some steps you should take to make the process smoother.
Gather a team in your company who will be in charge of everything VoIP, preferably your own IT department or anyone who has worked or implemented VoIP before. Also, think of how much time you have with your current analog system before you absolutely need to make the change.
Test your network
The most important requirement for a successful transition to VoIP is a good internet connection. Depending on how many people you have working at the office, how much equipment is connected to the network, and the phones you will be using, you should always calculate a certain amount of “spare internet.”
Prepare your network
To prepare your network, you must think about what kind of calls your business makes, will you use video or chat, etc. You must also invest in a good firewall or flex your current one to discern between voice and data.
Look for VoIP Providers
Explore your options before choosing a VoIP provider. Consider pricing, support, experience in the process of implementation, and the service features you will get from your new service provider, which is the most important part. As VoIP providers, at GreenLink Networks we can help you and your business migrate to the VoIP world, if you need any information on our service or products, please do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plan your budget
This step will consist of the equipment's lifecycle and setup you currently have. In most cases, some could be adapted to VoIP and for the rest, you will need to invest in new equipment for the new VoIP service. It is often cheaper to get the equipment from your own service provider because you will have more payment options. For example, you could lease equipment and have it changed if it ever fails without paying extra, or you can buy in bulk, own the equipment and take it with you if at any point in time your VoIP provider is not doing what you expect.
Get ready for porting
Porting is when you move a telephone number or several telephone numbers from one communication company to another. The process of porting in itself is fast, but preparing for the port can take some time, and you will need to provide some information and documents to your new provider so they can initiate the move of the numbers you want to keep.
Wrapping things up
If you have been in the analog line world since the beginning, it is likely these changes cause stress, and losing certain things that are essential to your business is a real possibility. One of those things are fax lines and elevator lines. If you choose the correct VoIP provider, they will certainly be able to provide a fax solution to accommodate your business transition and more. And if you follow the steps we’ve provided here, you will be setting yourself and your company for a smooth transition.
Times are changing, and analog lines are going away, but there is still time to make a change and stay afloat no matter what happens next.