POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) & LOCAL SERVICE
POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) is the voice-grade telephone service that uses a conventional analog signal to transfer either voice or data signals. It has been available almost since the introduction of the public telephone system in the late 19th century, in a form mostly unchanged to the normal user.
When compared with a digital phone line, a POTS line’s limited ability to perform only one function at a time (ie. place a call or carry data) means the service is very basic and doesn’t offer much flexibility, and the transfer speeds are also considerably slower. However, due to the wide availability of POTS, newer forms of analog communications devices, such as modems and fax machines, are designed to use POTS to transmit digital information. DSL Internet access, for instance, is an analog service which utilizes POTS lines as a means to carry digital signals. Businesses that have a PBX or Key System also utilize POTS lines as their connection to the telephone network (PSTN).
While POTS provides limited features, low bandwidth and no mobile capabilities, it does provide greater reliability than other telephony systems, such as mobile phones or VoIP. That is why traditional analog POTS is still necessary for alarm lines and other analog devices, like credit card machines. Because POTS lines are backed up by a large bank of batteries in the Central Office and, in some cases, an additional electric generator, they are designed with continuity of service in mind and, therefore, more likely to survive a wide scale power outage. For Disaster Recovery, POTS lines can be the last line of defense for dial tone. So, don’t overlook POTS in your Telecommunications plan.
Local Voice T1 provides local calling area access with up to 24 channels (ie. lines) of utilization. They also usually include a free regional calling area within each state, known as a LATA (Local Access Transport Area). For example in South Florida, the free calling area is LATA 460, which is comprised of all area codes originating from Sebastian Inlet to Key West, including 954/754/561/305/786/772. Depending on the region and providers available, the Local Voice T1s can be provisioned as fully integrated circuits, carrying local voice, switched or dedicated long distance voice, and fractional Dedicated Internet Access.