Three Options for POTS Line Replacement

Three Options for POTS Line Replacement

What do all of these have in common?

  • Analog phone lines
  • Paging
  • Analog modem data
  • Auto-Dial Call Box (Ring down lines)
  • Machine-to-Machine
  • Vending Machine Communications
  • Fire alarms
  • ATMs
  • Point-of-Sale
  • Meter Reading
  • Emergency Call Boxes
  • Burglar alarms, fax machines, and elevators.

40 Million devices such as these that rely on the traditional, analog, phone line to function will just stop working in a little less than a year, leaving you with fewer than three options for POTS Replacement.


For years, the big telcos have been telling us they were working towards decommissioning analog lines.  Declining subscribership, aging infrastructure, and the successful lobby of the FCC to let the infrastructure disintegrate on its own created a perfect storm.  Telcos were able to take it upon themselves to set pricing structures that encouraged subscribers to migrate to their digital solutions: VoIP or Cellular/LTE and retire their analog devices.

three options for POTS Line Replacement


The Cost of POTS Lines Are Skyrocketing

Monthly subscription rates for POTS lines vary on several factors, such as the geographic location of the provider, what carrier you are using and what alternatives there are in your service area.  Right now, the average subscription fee for POTS lines is anywhere from $50-$240 per line per month.

Whereas the average subscription cost for VoIP devices per line per month is $20-$50.

This means that the average monthly subscription rate for VoIP can be 50% less than the average POTS line.


FCC Order 19-72A1 Releases Telcos from Analog Line Maintenance

In the summer of 2019, USTelecom petitioned the FCC to remove the maintenance requirement for copper analog services.  They wanted to accelerate their investment in next-generation networks and communications and broadband services, which they could not do as long as they were required to financially maintain the “last mile” of telecom as was required by the Telecommunications Act of 1934. USTelecom won the petition, and the maintenance requirement was removed.  The FCC placed a deadline on the maintenance of POTS lines for August 2, 2022, allowing all carriers to stop maintaining the POTS lines and push for replacement POTS solutions.

Three Options for Moving Forward

Telecommunications are essential to any business, whether you have a storefront with foot traffic or a purely online business.  While it is true that some consumers prefer to do everything digitally, there are still times when having that physical voice to talk to is necessary.

You may not need a PBX with all the bells and whistles.  Your analog systems still work for what your business needs.  But, as you’ve seen, that won’t last for long.  The way we see it, there are three options for POTS Replacement moving forward:

  1. Completely rip and replace your entire communications solution, including all internal and external networking, and replace all equipment with digital-enabled devices.  Sounds fun, right?
  2. Connect your analog devices to a digital system with tools such as POTS IN A BOX® which can take the analog signals from your analog devices and convert them to digital and enable them to be sent over the digital version of the PSTN.
  3. Stay where you are.  While this will work…it won’t work for long.   And you’ll still find yourself back here at the end.

Three Options for POTS Line Replacement

POTS Replacement is Easier Than You Think

It really is.  Instead of a long, disruptive total makeover of your entire system that will cost you thousands of dollars, you can be done in hours with minimal disruption and low cost to both your bottom line and your mental health.

Regardless of how your system is set up, with a full analog solution, a combination of analog and cellular or LTE, and more, the POTS IN A BOX® is an LTE/Cellular/Wi-Fi/PSTN/FirstNet-capable router that can enable many combinations of legacy analog wireline in-band Voice, M2M, Data, DTMF, Analog Data Modem Tones, Fax and Alarm System Signals. These functions – historically supported by POTS Lines – can be delivered via POTS IN A BOX® and carried over LAN or WAN internet connections such as fiber optics or cable connections.

Are you worried about the rising prices of POTS lines or what the discontinuation of analog lines can mean for your business?  As an authorized distributor for DataRemote’s POTS IN A BOX®, and with our decades of industry experience, we can help ease your mind, and your pocketbook, when it comes to your telecommunications solution.   Contact us today.


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2 thoughts on “Three Options for POTS Line Replacement

  1. The purpose for my organization to keep POTS in place is for our elevator call boxes and our emergency phones that are used if our phone system should fail. I believe these should be stand alone units separate from any device that would require a network or power from onsite facilities in the event of a downtime. This would become a patient/staff safety issue if these units were also offline when the main phone system is out of service.

    1. Hi Richard,
      Thank you for your feedback! The challenge is that POTS lines are, and will be, entirely phased out so maintaining the solution would become futile. The POTS in a BOX emulates POTS line functionality while providing some key improvements in the old functionality such as LTE failover and specialized codec navigation. The box is entirely independent of the overall phone system and many customers choose to maintain a separate PBX from their more specialized elevator call boxes and other analog data devices. Since the device is capable of sending signals over LTE or WAN internet, there are built-in failover capabilities. And with two SIM slots, it can even connect through LTE to two different networks in case one or the other would go down. On top of all of this, there is a built-in battery backup for all the PIAB devices that lasts up to 12 hours and some devices can be upgraded to include 24 hours of backup battery power. I would encourage you to reach out to our team if you have any questions on the PIAB as you continue your research!

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