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Is Your Analog Phone Line Going Away August 2, 2022?

June 22nd, 2022 by admin

Man using VoIP headset with laptop computer. Cloud communications concept.

Rumors are flying. Many vendors and suppliers are claiming the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will decommission all analog phone lines (POTS) on August 2, 2022. While it is true that in 2018, the FCC did issue 19-72 Memorandum and Order to take effect on August 2, 2022, and it does deal with POTS lines, the odds are very much in your favor your POTS line will be working on August 3, 2022. While they may still be working, there are a few things you should begin to consider:

19-72 Memorandum & Order

One of the primary reasons for the 19-72 Memorandum ruling was to grant a request of forbearance by UST Telecom regarding the UNE Analog Loop Obligations and Avoided Cost Resale Obligations. These mandates were placed on ILECs (incumbent local exchange carriers) in 1996. The Avoided Cost Resale Obligations mandated ILECs discount and unbundle services to other carriers to allow them to compete. The commission granted this forbearance from these obligations citing the importance to promote broadband deployment and facilitate the transition to newer technology.

“We find that it is no longer necessary to require price cap LECs to bear these once-upon-a-time market-opening obligations that today amount to disparate regulatory burdens that frustrate the transition to advanced communication services offered over next-generation networks,” the Commission wrote on August 2, 2019.

In addition, the ruling instructed all ILECs to move from their UNE Analog Loop services to an alternative service by August 2, 2022. These lines are affected by the August 2nd date. However, this applies only to a very small percentage of the analog lines in use (less than 1%) and are mostly related to wholesalers. Most of these users have already made the switch to an alternate service.

There is no need to panic if you are still relying on analog lines for communicating with your fax, alarm system, ATM, fire alarms, etc. August 3, 2022 will be business as usual. There are, however, things you should be considering regarding your analog POTS line.

Decline of the POTS Line

POTS phone lines are declining in number of users. Because of this, carriers are putting fewer resources into maintaining and supporting those lines. Service outages will become more frequent as equipment gets older, and response times to fix issues will continue to increase.

In addition, with the forbearance granted to ILECs removing the pricing mandates, carriers will now be able to increase prices to capture as much revenue as possible before the POTS line is gone.

The FCC has not ordered a shutoff. Instead, the market will see the demise of the POTS line. In general, paying more money for a product that breaks down frequently is not a sustainable business model.

Many people have already made the decision to move away from POTS line technology and into VoIP telephone and cloud faxing solutions. As the FCC stated, their goal was to “remove regulatory burdens that frustrate the transition to advanced communication services offered over next- generation networks.”

If you are ready to look at next-generation options, please contact us.

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Posted in: Tips/Advice