Skip to main content

Atlantech Online Blog » Latest Articles

POTS in a Box: A New Era in Telecommunications

POTS in a Box: A New Era in Telecommunications

Atlantech Online is constantly in the marketplace speaking with prospects in business and government about their telecommunications services. When presenting our VoIP solutions, it is not uncommon to be asked “when switching to VoIP, what should I do about my POTS services?” 

Introducing POTS in a Box

POTS in a Box is a new, innovative service offered by Atlantech Online. POTS in a Box is an LTE device equipped with a SIM card, capable of providing analog services via analog connections on legacy RJ-11 ports, supporting traditional communication needs like modem and fax transmissions, telemetry for meter readings, point-of-sale systems, and connections to security and fire alarms, as well as elevators. 

One reason why people ask about their POTS services is because they have retained their traditional POTS service for resiliency should the power go out. With POTS they’re provided with power from the ILEC central office and don’t require anything from their side to work. So, when migrating to VoIP, there are concerns about losing backup should the power go out. The good news is that we at Atlantech Online have thought about how to address that.  

Our POTS in a Box hardware can come with an optional battery backup so that any fire, alarm, safety, or elevator lines can continue operating until power is restored. As battery backup has minimal function, LTE cellular radios are built into the current solution. They’re specifically designed to be a low-power draw to extend the life of the internal battery backup.

Shifting Away from Copper Networks

Copper networks, which are outdated and increasingly unreliable, are also costly to maintain. They lack support for modern IP connectivity, and when they do offer it, such as with Ethernet over copper services, it's typically too slow. As a result, over the past 20 years, we have switched our customers to faster, more reliable fiber-based services. This shift is so widespread that the ILECs, backed by their regulator the FCC, has now initiated the total phase-out of copper-based services. However, fiber services come with their own challenges. Unlike copper, they need power at their endpoints to function.

This shift affects many older devices that depend on copper connections. For example, office buildings use copper-connected alarm systems, including door and fire alarms, all linked to a central alarm panel. These systems have historically used analog lines for reliability in emergencies. With the decline of copper, there's a need for new ways to maintain these critical connections.

LTE technology, which powers POTS in a Box, offers a promising solution for these devices.

ReadyNet's LTE520S 4G-LTE Wireless N Router
ReadyNet's LTE520S 4G-LTE Wireless N Router

Meanwhile, analog line costs are soaring. The FCC's announcement of the copper network phase-out has led to slow adoption of new technologies by businesses, largely due to the difficulty in disrupting essential services like emergency lines. To encourage the transition, phone companies are raising prices for analog lines, where they haven’t already been retired. The cost for a single line can now range in the hundreds to thousands of dollars a month, signaling that it's time to upgrade from these legacy services.

Local Regulatory Considerations

Transitioning to POTS in a Box does require attention to local regulations. Each municipality has its own fire codes that must be adhered to. Implementing POTS in a Box without due diligence could lead to fines or other penalties during audits. Therefore, it's crucial that any POTS in a Box solution complies with local fire code requirements and undergoes the necessary certification processes.

Advantages of POTS in a Box

The transition to POTS in a Box is not merely a regulatory or economic response but also offers numerous benefits. These LTE-based solutions do not depend on traditional telephone facilities and are often more resilient during adverse weather conditions. The cellular networks they utilize can often be restored more quickly than wired networks in case of outages. Additionally, the transmission of signals for alarms and similar devices is often faster than traditional POTS lines. From a cost perspective, these solutions are generally more economical, both in terms of installation and ongoing service charges.

POTS in a Box represents a significant evolution in telecommunications, addressing the challenges posed by the obsolescence of copper networks and offering enhanced reliability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Its ability to integrate with both legacy and modern systems makes it an essential solution in today's rapidly changing telecommunication landscape. Contact Atlantech Online today and speak to one our telecom specialists about how to replace your POTS and analog services with POTS in a Box. 

Tom Collins
Post by Tom Collins
December 14, 2023
Tom is the Director of Enterprise Sales & Marketing for Atlantech Online. He has over 20 years of professional experience in the Internet Service Provider industry and is known for translating technology into positive results for business. A native of Washington, DC, a graduate from University of Maryland (degrees in Government & Politics and Secondary Education), Tom is also a five-time Ironman finisher.