The business telephone world has been busy making updates and changes that will, if it hasn’t already, influence your business. Most, if not all, of these changes will require you to make updates to your business phones. There are four major updates that you need to be aware of. Several of these will require immediate action. We’ve broken them down for you below.
1. The End of Copper Phone Lines (POTS)
The FCC has mandated that copper POTS (Plain Old Telephone Systems) lines be replaced with an alternative service by August 2022. Many large carriers have already begun phasing these services out.
These are the copper lines used for traditional analog voice transmission. Today, traditional phones lines are not as common for residential use, but traditional POTS lines are still used in commercial businesses for fax lines, fire alarms, elevator phone lines, traditional business phones, and more.
Why are they sunsetting copper POTS lines?
The main reason is that these lines have become more difficult to maintain and support, thus making them more expensive. Plus, advancement in technology means customers can receive better features. For example, with LTE-enabled endpoints IT personnel can detect an outage almost immediately, whereas with traditional POTS they often aren’t aware until someone tries to physically use the line.
If you are still using copper POTS lines, then contact us as soon as possible. We will review all your options for switching or upgrading and help find the best solution for your company.
2. Kari’s Law
To make it easier for callers to reach 911, the FCC has implemented two statutes. The first is Kari’s Law. Kari’s Law ensures that anyone can reach a 911 call center when dialing 911 from a Multi-Line Telephone System (MLTS). This law is named in the honor of Kari Hunt, who was killed by her estranged husband in a motel room. Kari’s daughter attempted to dial 911 multiple times, but the call never went through because the motel’s phone system required you to dial “9” before securing an outbound phone line. This statute went into effect February 16, 2020, and requires anyone using a MLTS to support direct dialing 911. In addition, the system must send a notification to a central location that provides an alert that a 911 call was placed and include a callback number and location information.
3. Ray Baum’s Act
The second statute implemented by the FCC to help with 911 calls is the Ray Baum’s Act. This act emphasizes the importance of making dispatchable location information from all 911 calls available to the public safety answering point regardless of the technological platform used. In other words, this act requires that first responders have the information they need to pinpoint the location of the 911 caller to reach them as quickly as possible no matter what device they are calling from.
If your organization is not in compliance with these two statutes, you may receive penalties from the FCC. If you are unsure whether you comply, give us a call.
4. 10 Digit Dialing
As of October 24, 2021, callers in the 912 and 478 area codes switched from 7-digit to 10-digit dialing. That means you now must dial your phone number plus the 3-digit area code. Most providers have already implemented 10-digit dialing, but a few are implementing now until July 15, 2022.
Why the switch?
The reason for this switch is because “988” has been designated as the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which means that all 82 area codes that currently use “988” as their local exchange number will no longer be able to use 7-digit dialing. Beginning July 16, 2022, “988” will route calls to this lifeline. If your company uses a PBX or VoIP phone system, you may need to reprogram or update your system for 10-digit dialing. This transition must be complete by July 15, 2022. Contact us today if you still need assistance with this transition.
With new mandates and updates constantly being implemented by the FCC and other organizations it can be hard to keep up. Speros is here to help guide you through the process. We will review your current systems with you, go over your options, and implement any necessary changes. Call us today at 912-354-8900.