Q- What are POTS lines?
A- POTS lines are the old analog telephone lines. POTS stands for Plain Old Telephone Service, which is the old, constant current, analog telephone line that is run into residential and business buildings. It consists of a single, twisted pair of wires.
Q- Do businesses still use POTS lines, and why do they need them?
A- Up until a few years ago, almost all businesses utilized POTS lines and a PBX switch for the office. Now voice over the network, or VOIP, has taken over most installations. But POTS lines have one feature that VOIP phones lack…..location information. When a customer dialed an emergency 911 call, the old POTS lines automatically transmited the calling party’s location to emergency responders, helping to direct them to the place of the call. This service does not exist for VOIP telephones, therefore businesses usually keep a couple POTS lines installed, and route emergency calls to those for automatic location identification. This location reporting is vital for first responders and emergency dispatch centers.
Q- How does POTTR report errors or status?
A- POTTR has a list of registers that report telephone line status, and these registers need to be read by SNMP software located on the Ethernet network. Almost all Ethernet networks use a SNMP monitor program to regularly scan and check all the hardware located on the network. POTTR works with any SNMP monitoring software, which can read all the POTTR registers and create a detailed status report. The SNMP program can be setup to alert IT or office administrators whenever it senses a FAIL alert with POTTR. POTTR itself is a network slave device and does not alert or email alarms, but it does report errors to SNMP monitors, which in turn can alert others to POTS line failures.