By Tanya Seda, Chief Strategy Officer
As I mentioned in a recent blog, the days are numbered for enterprises with POTS infrastructure. Carriers have already mapped out their “plain old telephone services” exit strategies to digital alternatives. Over the past two years, major carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and Lumen have announced they are sunsetting copper lines. However, a lot of enterprise services still rely upon POTS for business-critical applications: fax lines, alarms, point of sale, and elevator emergency call phones just to name a few, so enterprises really need to pay attention and get ahead of this issue. Without a POTS strategic transformation plan enterprises will be left with unreachable fax machines, elevator emergency lines, and fire alarms to protect their locations. This is where your TEM provider can provide critical assistance with the planning process through their detailed knowledge of your business’s inventory details, bills, and contracts.
To get ahead of the POTS sunsetting issue there are three main considerations:
The carriers will soon be retiring all POTS communication lines. The FCC has granted a forbearance request that removes the obligation from all telephone companies that service analog lines by August 2nd, 2022. Please see the link below for details:
FCC Forbearance Order Link:
The cost to service POTS infrastructure continues to skyrocket. Carriers have been passing this increased cost on to their customers, incentivizing them to convert to less expensive next-generation technology, but this has been slow-moving. For those who have already made the switch, they’ve shifted (or are planning to shift) to VoIP/SIP, “POTS in a Box” and UCaaS solutions.
As a TEM provider we begin our customer transformation mapping by following these key steps:
Step 1 – We will review your voice invoices and contracts and determine whether you are in a position within your contract to move your voice spend to another carrier or come up with a plan to upgrade to new technology within the bounds of the current contract.
Step 2 – Create a timeline with specific migration goals and targets.
Step 3 – Perform a network assessment of your system to confirm it is ready for next-gen technology or look at new solutions. This will also help in the decision between Premise or Cloud.
Step 4 – Outline changes for employees and prepare documentation for them indicating those changes.
Step 5 – Work with the carrier to set up a proof of concept (POC) and run tests on the new system with a specific group of users to ensure it is working as promised, particularly during busy times.
Transitioning to next-gen technology may sound like a huge move, but thousands of enterprises have made a successful transition with great benefits in the short and long term. And, not to put too fine a point on it, this is one of those transitions that have to be made! Being able to get ahead of the sunsetting of POTS will put you in the best position to get ahead of the August 2, 2022 shut-off date.