Perhaps the biggest change in the communications industry of late has been the move away from public switch telephone network (PSTN) services toward VoIP phone solutions. The Federal Communication Commission noted that between 2008 and 2011, the number of VoIP subscriptions increased at a compound annual growth rate of 19 percent, while PSTN subscriptions declined at roughly 9 percent per year.
The recent trend in telephone communications has many businesses looking to the FCC to oversee a widespread transition from the use of plain old telephone service (POTS) infrastructure to an entirely IP based system.
In a letter sent to FCC Secretary Marlene H. Dortch on January 28, Tom Giovanetti, president of The Institute for Policy Innovation, argued that the FCC needs to help in the transition from PSTN to IP based networks.
“We ask that the FCC reform legacy regulations that are based on assumptions about a communications marketplace that no longer exists; and we specifically urge the FCC to respond positively to a proposal of test-case migrations away from the PSTN and onto IP networks,” Giovanetti wrote in the letter. “We have seen the future, and it is not circuit switched. The migration of communications and data services to internet protocol (IP) is well-known, well-understood, and non-controversial. Transition to IP results in lower costs both to providers and consumers, and provides consumers with more services and more flexibility. The communications marketplace has spoken, and it is speaking every day, and it says that the PSTN is on the way out.”
Leveraging PBX for Business
In a recent article for Search Unified Communications, contributor Gina Narcisi explained that even though more enterprises are adopting IP phone services at higher rates than ever before, there are still businesses that are reluctant to leave their legacy phone networks.
While switching to IP based communication solutions is not yet a requirement, this could be the case moving forward. The PSTN needs to have a subscriber base that is able to cover costs associated with offering this service. However, as more businesses and residents switch to IP phone options such as virtual PBX or a hosted system, PSTN service providers lose more of their subscriber base. In a recent TMCnet article, contributor Steve Anderson explored the idea of whether PSTN can survive in an increasingly VoIP world, noting some of the major benefits that are causing higher numbers of business to adopt VoIP.
“VoIP’s rapid maturation and improvement in overall service and capability – not to mention its outstanding prospects for cost savings and its potential for adding extra services – have taken a lot of the hesitation out of enterprise users’ part, and opened the floodgates for adopting the services.”
While the idea of a widespread switch from PSTN to IP phone is not solidified at this point, now is an ideal time for businesses to make a switch in phone services. If the FCC does oversee a switch, it can be expected that market prices of VoIP will fluctuate. AccessDirect’s VoIP phone solutions are an attractive option for businesses of all sizes looking to take advantage of significant savings before the market is altered.