Author: factastudio

Plain Old Telephone Service 101:

What is POTS? Have you heard of it or come across the term before? If you were born before the 90’s there’s a big chance POTS was a part of your everyday life. POTS stands for Plain Old Telephone Service and was the phone line technology most of us grew up with at home. POTS was the most common and fastest way for people to be connected between the late 1800s and 1980s, way before the age of the internet and it still exists today. Many existing POTS lines are found in those ‘plain old’ cables and wires you can still see dangling over our streets and neighborhoods.

Maybe you remember those old dial telephones with their curly cords. You’d plug in the phone line into the phone jack in your wall, make sure you’ve got a dial tone and then manually enter the number to connect the call.

Has Technology Changed?

The technology hasn’t changed much since then. It’s still a couple of copper wires twisted together, either running overhead or buried underground, that carry your audible voice from your home phone to your sweet grandparents in Wisconsin. That’s it. Point A to point B. For decades it met the basic needs of communication, but in the last thirty years or so things have changed. The invention of the internet and the rise of the cellular phone have ushered in not only a greater ease and convenience into our day to day lives, but more comprehensive solutions to our ever changing needs.

Plain Old Telephone Service lines are now becoming a thing of the past, and have also becoming increasingly more expensive due to lower customer demand and other inexpensive alternative options such as wireless and digital. Most businesses and companies have moved away from POTS for many reasons besides the cost. This outdated service is not compatible with vital needs such as high speed capabilities and emergency networks.

Elevators and Blue Light Emergency Systems

Why Cellular Connections Work Best

Phone line connections are critical in the case of an emergency. They ensure that uninterrupted contact is established between the distressed party and responders. In fact, the very idea of effective rescue deployment hinges upon the dependability of these phone connections.

Now that traditional analog copper phone lines (otherwise known as plain old phone lines) are being phased out, companies are looking at security solutions that utilize alternate communication methods. Two modern technologies of note are cellular and VoIP (Voice over internet protocol) lines.  But which solution is best for a two-way communication in elevator panels and blue light emergency systems?

The Differences Between VoIP & Cellular Lines

Both lines involve the formatting of audio into signals that are carried along to a receiving party before reverting to audible form. This, however, may be the only real similarity between the two.

VoIP lines work via the internet and have become popular due to their substantially lower cost compared to traditional lines. Additionally, VoIP lines are often marketed and sold by internet service providers as part of a bundle package deal.

The major difference between cellular and VoIP lies in the way that data signals are transmitted. VoIP functions using a packet-switched network while cellular lines work with a circuit-switched network. In circuit networks, a line is protected from extraneous traffic while remaining open.

However, VoIPs send data through public and private networks (the same way the internet works) in smaller fragmented data packets which may lead to possible distortions and inconsistencies caused by surrounding traffic and diverging traffic routes. Security is yet another issue.

Non-encrypted data packages from VoIP may be hijacked by malicious internet users or subjected to distributed-denial-of-service (DDoS), which occurs when a line is deliberately overloaded with disruptive requests that jam its connection.

When a malicious caller distorts the quality of a call (call-tempering) by attempting to add noise packets to the line or delay data packets from reaching its intended target, VoIP lines are particularly vulnerable. Under these circumstances, VoIP calls can become uninterpretable.  As explained, VoIP lines may leave distressed parties more vulnerable within a compromised location.

On the contrary, cellular phone lines connect callers through a dedicated line managed by telecommunication companies, which ensures data consistency

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Time-Sensitivity in Security Systems

Elevator, alarm system, or blue light emergencies involve time-sensitive activation of assistance. On top of risks in security breaches, VoIP lines may contain echoes and frequency distortions that can delay the transmission of a call and rescue efforts.

Another thing to consider is the presence of a backup power source. VoIP lines are dependent on running power in sustaining the internet online, which means that a blackout may compromise the safety of your security system by taking the VoIP offline. This does not occur with cellular lines, which continue to offer emergency call options during power outages.

Therefore, it is important for business owners to consider the replacement of old landlines with cellular lines for an effective and reliable solution for their security systems.

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. Give us a call at 844-900-0599 to see what we can do for you today!

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 as 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. Give us a call at 844-900-0599 to see what we can do for you today!

What is POTS?

Plain Old Telephone Service Lines Explained

In an era where more businesses are relying on modern telephone systems like VoIP, the term POTS probably isn’t thrown around a lot. But in laymen’s terms, POTS, or “plain old telephone service” lines, are the traditional landline phone system that relies on physical copper wires for service.

So What is POTS?

POTS networks were created to facilitate voice communication since the late 1800’s, and is the analog “landline” phone system that most of us grew up with at home.

The Transition Away from POTS

With modern technology progressing and the high cost of maintaining copper lines, these traditional land lines are becoming less and less common among consumers.

Many major carriers have decided to shut off copper POTS lines in an effort to eliminate copper POTS lines by 2020. Service fees have been steadily increasing over the years, and some services have been terminated. According to the FCC, there are still more than 36 million POTS lines in the United States and the average cost for a line is $65 per month.

However, many POTS lines are still in use for numerous reasons:

  • It provides access to 911 emergency services for elevators, fire panels, alarm systems, etc.
  • It is used in most businesses as modems, fax, out of band management application and phones.

Alternate solutions will be necessary to implement to replace all of the copper lines soon.

What Can I Do If  I Need to Replace My POTS Line?

You’re at the right place. At POTS Replacement, we replace the telephone company with a wireless connection that will be better, faster, and more reliable. We provide all of the equipment, service and support to replace your out-of-date copper POTS line. Some benefits of working with us include:

  • Fire Marshall approved equipment in all 50 states
  • Simple rate plans
  • Real time, central station monitoring
  • An online portal to manage your services
  • Easy self-installation options and a dedicated installation team for more complex installs
  • All hardware and service is guaranteed and warrantied for the life of the term