An Era Draws to A Close - Say Goodbye to Copper Telephone Lines
HOT OFF THE PRESS . . . The FCC has issued Order 10-72A1 that mandates that all POTS lines in the US be replaced with an alternative service by August 2, 2022.
Is the copper telephone line infrastructure in the United States going away? The answer is YES. As these copper lines become increasingly harder to maintain and support, there will be both cost increases as well as a general lack of support. Also, the FCC has mandated that they would like for major providers to sunset copper POTS lines beginning in August 2022. Telephone lines (POTS), DSL, TDM PRI and many other services delivered over copper lines will no longer be available.
The process has already begun. During the past couple of years, Verizon has transitioned thousands of customers from its copper network to its fiber network. Recently, Verizon has asked the FCC for permission to retire copper in numerous areas of New York. AT&T has plans to speed up the end of traditional landline phone service in Illinois. CenturyLink, Windstream and all the major carriers are following suite.
The current process allows an incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) 180 days’ notice for businesses and 90 days for residential customers that their services will change. The ILEC must demonstrate that they can supply identical services using a different delivery technology. What does that mean to your business? Changes will have to be made. For example: if you have a TDM PRI, that service will be canceled and a new PRI service will be installed. IE. the new PRI service would be delivered via fiber using SIP with a PRI handoff. The change from one delivery service to another must be a planned switchover and there will be some downtime.
It’s difficult to say precisely when traditional copper phone line service will disappear in the United States. However, it is clear that ILECs are putting substantial resources into newer technologies like wireless, fiber, and SIP to delivers services to your business.
The demise of copper lines is not all bad news. Now would be a good time to engage ChoiceTel. We specialize in cost reduction and contract negotiation. ChoiceTel can identify older services, recommend new, less expensive services, provide guidance on competitive rates, and negotiate with carriers on your behalf.