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The Sunset of Analog Lines
By Shane Stark
Analog is a thing of the past. Agree or disagree, changes are coming. Let's take a look at a few aspects of the analog to digital trend.
There are several aspects to carriers phasing out analog lines:
- They "grandfathered’ all of the analog circuits, essentially telling everyone that you can keep what you have, but you can’t order new lines.
- Recently AT&T local hit businesses with a tariff increase on analog lines which added substantially to their spend.
- There is another tariff hike slotted for December 1st.
- You’ll see telcos contracting for shorter terms and at a smaller discount.
- Several major analog carriers have petitioned the FCC to name an end date for providing service over analog transmission.
- We believe over the next two or three years, the analog sunset will be mandated. Much like when the telcos pulled analog wireless transmissions off the towers.
This phasing out will affect many types of companies, but specifically railroads, utility companies and pipelines.
I’m not sure if this is good or bad, but it’s a necessary evil.
The end of analog lines is bad for the end user; to them change is pain. If the affected companies don’t plan a graceful exit from these analog lines, they will be in a rush to find a quick fix to their network needs. It’s never good to rush into something unplanned.
The change is a good thing because of the patches companies have had to use to continue the performance of their lines. Telcos don’t train new employees on analog repair, so end users have to fix problems themselves. Replacement parts often can no longer be obtained, so telcos consolidate spans into central offices. This increases the mileage and adds potential fail points to the circuits.
After the end of the analog era and once the new solutions are in place, the good should outweigh the bad. If handled properly the new network can become a cost advantage very quickly.
Obviously homework needs to be done to find the best fit for each company's transition needs. If you need help with that, there are many ways to get the perfect solution.
Will the sunset of analog lines affect your company? We would love to hear from you and your plans to move away from them gracefully.
Shane Stark, director of operations, Carrier Access, Inc. , is based in the Des Moines, Iowa, area. His company focuses on making telecom simple, using strategic partnership and life cycle management to deliver a comprehensive communications offering. Their mission is to help businesses grow by offering them access to the innovative, cost-effective communication services they require to compete in today’s global marketplace. Stark is a member of the 2012-13 Channel Partners Advisory Board.