The FCC order 19-72A1 has caused quite a bit of concern in the telecom industry. Many people have interpreted this order to mean that plain-old-telephony-service (POTS) lines are discontinued as of August 2022. This has been especially concerning for hoteliers. Despite the growing move toward VOIP, many hotels still require copper wire for devices that run on analog dial tone such as faxes, alarms, POS devices, and elevator lines.
However, this order actually states that carriers no longer are required to offer discounted rates to competitors for POTS line resale. Before this order, Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) had to sell their POTS lines at a discount to competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs). This allowed the CLECs to sell POTS lines at a competitive price without having to build their own infrastructure. The FCC has eliminated this requirement as of August 2, 2022.
“Upon delving deeper into the FCC ruling, we find there is a lot of exaggeration and misinformation being spread,” says GrayMatter Networks’ CEO David Maayani. “The FCC has not ordered a full-scale POTS decommissioning this year; however, it has removed the obligation of ILECs to provide POTS lines to both direct customers and wholesale customers. While POTS lines may remain available into 2022 and even 2023, prices will be deregulated and thus, may increase significantly.”
Earlier this year, AT&T announced its plan to reduce its copper footprint by 50% by 2025. Other ILECs such as Verizon, Lumen, and Windstream are ending services geographically.
“As an incentive to move away from POTS, carriers are increasing rates — I have seen prices increase as much as $1,000 per POTS line,” Maayani notes.
To help prevent price gouging, GrayMatter Networks has released Synapse, an enterprise class analog replacement solution.
“Our POTS replacement solution provides connectivity for specialty voice lines, including alarms, elevators, fire, or any old, analog services, without having to replace your existing equipment,” Maayani says. “Synapse provides a smooth transition from analog to IP-based LTE services and POTS replacement. The fully managed solution includes best-in-class Cradlepoint routers, industry leading ATAs, and a 12-hr battery backup - all in a ruggedized enclosure. When bundled with Cradlepoint and a major LTE carrier such as Verizon or AT&T, Synapse offers a solution for all your mission-critical applications.