Last year, there was a huge shift in the world of legacy telecom. In August of 2022, carriers were granted permission by the FCC to no longer support copper POTS lines and other copper-based telecommunications services. This ruling led to carriers rushing to get their customers migrated off POTS and to accomplish that, customers saw their bills rise astronomically. One of our customers cited their bill increasing from $7,200 to $28,000 without any added services. Most of the clients we’re speaking to are seeing an increase around 400-500%.
Even though this ruling went into effect last year, some customers are still using traditional POTS lines from carriers. If they haven’t already, carriers will eventually want to stop supporting these lines. This is when they start to raise the cost to force the customer to a new technology. As you can see, some customers have already noticed this.
So, what’s the solution?
Enter: POTS Replacement.
Why Are We Still Using POTS?
For years, many companies have been moving away from analog lines for voice. With more modern technologies such as SIP trunking and UCaaS (Unified Communications as a Service), we have been seeing a decline in POTS deployments for years. That said, there are fundamental services that have historically been supported by POTS lines, including fire alarms, elevator lines, faxing services, POS (point of sale) systems, etc. Some companies require POTS lines for these services for safety and compliance reasons.
For the most part, when we sell POTS replacement, it’s supporting those specialty services. We see alarm and elevator lines most often. For voice, these companies are taking advantage of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) offerings.
What is POTS Replacement?
POTS Replacement is the solution to these astronomical POTS lines prices, and is being offered by carriers, aggregators, and MSPs (Managed Service Providers). It uses a device and internet connectivity (DIA, broadband, 4G/5G, LTE) to deliver the same services that we’ve been using POTS for all these years: faxing, alarm lines, elevator phones, etc.
Here are a few benefits included with most POTS Replacement solutions:
- Up to 24-hour battery backup (still works when the power goes out)
- Have LTE backup and SIM card slots built in for extra redundancy
- Helps meet compliances standards for HIPAA and PCI
- Meets National Fire Safety Standards
- Can be attached to an SD-WAN device for redundancy
- Includes E911 calling
Not only is POTS Replacement saving our customers tens of thousands of dollars, but it’s also giving them a more redundant service with additional features built in.
Two Different Approaches to POTS Replacement
When the market sees a huge disruption like the FCC ruling we talked about earlier in this article, it causes panic. IT managers rush to find a solution to the problem and often don’t take the time to evaluate options like they would usually do under less pressure. We saw a similar rush to UCaaS when the Covid pandemic started.
As Trusted Advisors, we need to be armed with the information our clients are looking for, and we also need to give them all the options on the table. We’re here to make their lives easier, after all!
In terms of deployment, here are your customers’ options:
- All in: Switch all of their POTS lines over to POTS replacement from the beginning. This works well if they are in the unique scenario where all their lines are coming out of contract soon and simultaneously. Since this doesn’t happen often, we can also look at option 2.
- The Stop Gap Measure: Some of our providers can switch customers from their current POTS line carrier to traditional POTS lines with the new provider. The new provider can (to an extent) shield the customer from rising costs for up to 24 months while they work on a plan to migrate them to POTS replacement.
Why Should I Care About Selling POTS Replacement?
If you have customers who are using POTS lines for anything, this is a conversation that needs to take place sooner rather than later. POTS Replacement is one of those rare technologies that makes sense for almost any customer that has a physical location with alarms, elevators, or faxing. If you can help them deal with or get ahead of their bills skyrocketing, you’ll be the hero, and they’ll likely come back for more.
We all want to take care of our customers, but it doesn’t hurt to make some money while we do it, right?
One of the engineers on my team, Peter Callowhill, helped one of our Trusted Advisors on the West coast sell a POTS Replacement deal with one of AVANT’s providers for $105k MRR (Monthly Recurring Revenue). It also happened to have $500k+ SPIFF attached to it. This one deal changed that Trusted Advisor’s life.
Of course, not every win is life-altering, but we’ve seen several “smaller” wins around $36k MRR, $43k MRR, and more. Our team has even gotten comments like, “You guys changed my life and paid for my kid’s college,” from our Trusted Advisors.
We think everyone can get in on this technology and make a significant amount of money from it. Reach out to our team to learn more or get us in front of your clients to talk about POTS Replacement.