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36 Million Phone Lines Are Being Sunset, Is Your Business Ready?

Could 19-72A1 be the "number" that causes you some of your biggest headaches in 2023 and beyond?

This is the number of the FCC order that frees telecom carriers from their obligation to maintain their plain old telephone service (POTS) infrastructure. This order also removed price caps on POTS lines.

There are an estimated 36M US POTS line in service as of 2021 so it’s likely that your business will be impacted in some way, shape or form. If your business has or supports any of the following devices, you will likely feel the impact sooner rather than later.

  • Alarms (Elevator/Fire/Security)

  • Emergency Call Boxes

  • Access Controls (Security Doors/Gates)

  • ATM Machines

  • Phone Systems

  • Modems

  • Fax Machines

  • SCADA Devices

  • Point of Sale Solutions

Organizations can also expect surging prices for POTS lines until they migrate to more modern solutions. Industry analysts expect a 300% increase in prices for POTS pricing as carriers are taking aggressive steps to move people off costly and crumbling copper infrastructure.

Another area of consideration is PCI-DSS compliance. POTS infrastructure wasn’t in scope for PCI DSS compliance as the likelihood of successful intrusion of copper infrastructure was considered minimal. As companies migrate from POTS it will pull more of their infrastructure in scope for PCI DSS compliance. Companies must carefully consider how they are migrating and managing POTS line replacements to maintain their PCI DSS compliance.

The good news is that there are straightforward solutions to help companies migrate off their outdated POTS infrastructure while maintaining critical certifications. These solutions fall under the umbrella term “POTS in a box”.

These devices translate the analog output from your modems, fax machines, alarms, etc. and convert them to digital signals that can then be sent over Wi-Fi, LAN, WAN or LTE. It unlocks a new level of failover and redundancy that hasn’t been offered in traditional POTS infrastructure along with advanced management and monitoring tools.

Companies need to prioritize their POTS migration strategy to avoid surprise price increases and avoid disruption of service for their POTS infrastructure. AT&T has publicly announced their intention to decommission 50% of its legacy copper network by 2025 and other carriers are following suit.

Ready to assess your POTS infrastructure and explore alternatives. Contact us here to get started.


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