FCC Sets the Ground Rules for the Shut Down

For generations, America’s analog phone lines network – the country-spanning copper-wire landline connections for the first iteration of mass telephone communication – served the population ably. Through those copper wires, you, your parents, and your grandparents dialed long-distance, “dialed down the middle,” ordered pizza, chatted with friends, called 1-800 numbers, and much more. The development of the phone system is a testament to American ingenuity, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.

With the dawn of the digital-driven 20th century, however, the traditional copper-wire landline system that you may have grown up with is rapidly changing. This “legacy network” of landlines is being replaced, bit by bit, by a universal broadband phone system. This new, digital framework will provide communities throughout the United States with the high-speed access they need for modern conveniences. On the whole, we can term this changeover from the analog phone system to the new digital framework as POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) Replacement.

This is something that companies need to be ready for. So, what exactly is this transition – and how can you prepare for it?

Out with the Old Network…

The traditional copper landline network worked well for the country for years. However, the traditional system has neither the capacity, speed, or service that more modern technology like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) can offer. Combined with the fact that a vast majority of Americans are switching to cellular phones or internet-based devices asĀ their full-time communication devices (as of 2018, only around five percent of the country was landline only – and over half of the country is cellphone-only), and you have a recipe for massive change.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) heard the groundswell of change years ago and acted on it. FCC orders – voted on in 2014 – set the groundwork for a four-year proceeding, shutting down the legacy analog phone system and moving to a brand-new, all-digital network. By 2020, the FCC intends for America to move from traditional copper landlines and into a mix of digital platforms.

An important thing to note here: this won’t mean that people will lose service. Rather, telephone companies throughout the nation now have the okay to take out the ancient copper wiring and move to a low cost, digital network for their customers. This has already happened in several places throughout the country. In 2017, for example, AT&T received permission from the state of Illinois to move their remaining traditional landline customers off the legacy network and on to digital.

…and in with the New Network

If you’re a company and enterprise that still relies on the services from the legacy landline network, it’s time get ahead of the curve, start your POTS replacement activities, and move to the convenience, service, and speed that digital systems provide. MarketSpark offers a 4G/LTE, enterprise-class solution for your POTS replacement – delivering a 100% uptime guarantee with real-time insight into every line via a customer dashboard monitoring portal. Interested in replacing those old copper lines (the ones in fire alarms, elevators, point-of-sale terminals, and elsewhere) in commercial buildings? MarketSpark delivers brand-new, super-reliable LTE Connections as a managed service. Click here to see what we can do for you today!