What is POTS?

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POTS stands for “plain old telephone service.” It refers to analog telephone service carried over traditional landlines. These lines are cooper and based on the Bell Telephone system. Homes and businesses alike can use landline phones to connect via POTS to a central office and other long distance facilities.

How does POTS work?

Plain old telephone services utilizes insulated pairs of twisted copper wires to carry signals to and from the caller. POTS is centralized at local call centers. The analog phone user needs specific signaling equipment in his/her home in order to use plain old telephone service. The user needs:

  • A ringer to signal incoming calls
  • Number buttons or a rotary dial
  • A telephone receiver

Benefits of plain old telephone service

POTS provides “plain old” analog phone service – using basically the same technology your grandmother’s landline phone service used. Despite this, it remains “the basic form of home and small business service connect to telephone network around the globe.

Plain old telephone service provides useful aid during emergency situations. Depending on the service, users could access emergency personnel and family members, even during the event of a power outage.

POTS includes typical call progress tones such as dial tones and ringing signals. Since POTS entered the computer age, analog phones have utilized features such as call waiting, voice mail and caller ID.