For the past 5-10 years, the phone companies that provided telephone system connectivity, via copper lines, have been eager to start abandoning support of this infrastructure in order reduce their costs associated with maintaining the copper lines they had been installing and maintaining for over 100 years. In order to do so, they needed to provide an alternative, which in the case of Verizon, is fiber (Fios). Now that Fios is so heavily installed and readily available in some areas, Verizon (and other phone companies like them) are announcing that support of the older copper or ‘analog’ services will no longer be available in some of the areas they serve. They are in the midst of rolling out transition programs (called Network Transformation) that are designed to provide the same service, for the same cost, on the same invoice,…but over fiber.
How will Verizon’s Network Transformation affect your business?
For businesses that have already moved out of analog service and deployed network / internet-based options like VoIP, this announcement means nothing, other than perhaps the business may have a few analog lines (also known as POTS lines) sitting around supporting credit card machines, modems or fax machines. Other businesses that have resisted change, and have remained served with their analog or digital phone systems connected to the phone company via analog ‘lines’ or ‘trunks’, may need to be keenly aware of Verizon’s announcement and be aware that this trend is prevalent nationwide and includes nearly all phone companies.
It is indeed costly for the phone companies to maintain multiple platforms (copper, coaxial cable, fiber….), and there are certainly advantages and cost savings that a business can capitalize on, with a move away from analog technology. There are also disadvantages associated with the loss of analog service, to include its inherent reliability and its ability to remain functional in a power loss situation, or to be only minimally impacted by an internet failure. Adjustments need to be considered by businesses to mitigate the losses mentioned.
Need to retain analog lines for your fax or credit card devices? Solution ahead!
Though the snowball is gathering mass, the ‘industry’ does provide an option for the business user to ‘kick the can’ down the road a bit more. Analog VoIP gateways are small stand-alone units that allow a business to convert from analog to VoIP connections, while keeping their analog / digital phone system. While this is indeed an option, it does introduce yet one more cog in the wheel….one more point of potential problem…..in troubleshooting issues. For many businesses, this network transformation is reaching a pinnacle that is truly going to encourage……..ok….better said……”force” a change.
Rich is the President of On Hold Marketing, a marketing focused audio studio helping businesses and practices take advantage of their telephone system’s On Hold capabilities. Prior to On Hold Marketing, Rich spent 20 years in telecommunications working for such giants as Williams Communications, NextiraOne, Bell Atlantic and Nortel Networks.