Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

Hey there!

I thought I might be one of the last holdouts on having a landline telephone as well as a mobile phone, but it turns out I’m not.

Not even close.

But the term “landline” is changing, from what was POTS (plain old telephone service) to VOIP (voice over internet protocol).


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Raw YouTube Captioning

hey there it’s David H Lawrence the 17th
and I I’m sure that somewhere near you
you have one of these a mobile phone I’m
not so sure whether or not near you is
one of these a landline phone I thought
that I was one of the last people in the
world that had one of these beauties at
the very least one of the last people in
the world that had a Potts version of a
landline and I’ll get to that in just a
second P OTS and I found out that it’s
not as bad as I thought but it’s heading
in that direction and by bad I mean
change getting rid of something that is
something I’m used to not necessarily
bad but it just is what it is so that is
a chart of that was put together by
statista about the change of how many
mobile phones there are versus how many
landlines there are and it goes from
like around just past 2000 to the
present and you can I don’t even need to
share the numbers with you you can see
that there’s been a definite cross
happened around 2017 2018 where there
are now far more mobile phones than
there are landlines in our business it
feels like there’s even less landlines
than there are than there are mobile
phones but this is this is the general
population and by the way this chart was
commissioned by or created because of a
study commissioned by the CDC the
Centers for Disease Control and the
reason that they commissioned this study
is because they were concerned that
people would not be able to dial 911
during medical emergencies because
mobile phones weren’t capable of getting
the 911 system that’s changing it’s
almost completely changed over so that
you can do that with your phone not only
via a voice call but also via text
so everything’s kind of changing but
we’re losing a lot by giving up our
landlines we have a I have a fondness
for the quality and the stability of a
Potts landline and by the way Potts
stands for plain old telephone system as
opposed to VoIP or VoIP which is voice
over Internet Protocol potts is analog
it’s over copper wires it’s kind of hard
to hack and voice over IP is digital and
it’s not so hard to hack and it’s
becoming almost impossible to get pots
lines pots lines were the old like the
hundred twenty plus year old telephone
system that you would dial up you know
Martha and mount pilot and get through
to somebody over a copper wire and there
were many many copper wires going to the
phone company central office and then
you’d go out from there today it’s all
being done over the same lines that your
internet is provided to you over that
your television is provided to you over
your telephone is provided to you over
and even my phone I had to give up my
pots line if I wanted to get better
internet service in my condo because
there were as a limited number of lines
so I did reluctantly but the idea that
some people have never heard of a
landline younger people and some people
like me are kind of sad that landlines
are going by the wayside the problem is
mobile phones don’t sound as good as
landlines voice over IP sounds pretty
good it actually sounds almost
studio-quality not quite but it can
sound really really good in fact when
voice over IP was first created it kind
of startled people remember Vonage
remember when when voice over IP was
like declared illegal by some countries
because it got around their their phone
tariff regulations and the government
started losing money because people
weren’t using the regular phone system
they were making Skype calls and that’s
voice over IP for all intents and
but the problem is because more and more
people are using it the standards and
the quality of voice over IP is
gradually dropping and what I was about
to complete my thought with was when
voice over IP was first introduced it
was so much better than that
classic telephone quality that you hear
when you listen to the caller talk on a
talk-show that kind of very narrow range
frequency response between here’s a
geeky thing 300 Hertz and 3000 that’s
the that’s the frequency range of a
telephone of an old telephone but voice
over IP is filled with digital dropouts
and glitches and heterodyning and
fuzzing and god knows what it’ll get
better over time the technology will get
better over time but I just I really
miss the idea that that Potts lines are
getting harder and harder the phone
company doesn’t want to put them in the
phone company doesn’t want you to have
them so there you go I I don’t know
whether I I made any point here
whatsoever I guess I’m just you know sad
that that chart we just saw is such a
direct crossover and buh-bye to pots
lines within the next decade or so I
don’t know I don’t know what’s gonna
happen there who knows you still have a
pots line let me know in the comments
below do you still treasure your pots
line do you know how quality oriented it
is and how stable it is and how if your
internet goes out your pots line
telephone won’t go out right that’s
that’s an issue so leave me a comment
below if you’re watching this on YouTube
pop over to vo – go go comm that’s where
the commentary is saying and moderated
and there’s no haters or trolls and we
make all of our phone calls on pots
lines no we don’t combine you you come
you’re good you and if you’d like to
subscribe I don’t know if you’d like to
subscribe to my youtube channel go ahead
and click on my head there if there’s no
head look for a subscribe button click
on that if you want to see my latest
episode go ahead and click on that frame
and YouTube will play it for you I’m
David H Lawrence xvii I thank you so
much for watching
I’ll talk to you tomorrow click.

22 Responses to Do You Still Have A Landline? Is It POTS? Wait, What’s POTS?

  1. Craig Bruenell June 5, 2019 at 12:51 am #

    I still have a POTS line. I like that it works during blackouts, but 99% of the calls are telemarketing. I want to get rid of it, but my wife wants to keep it.

  2. Mike Russo June 5, 2019 at 2:39 am #

    THANK YOU! Yes, I still have a POTS line, and in my bedroom I have a rotary phone that I’ve had since college. I like the sound of a real bell when the phone rings, the sound quality of the conversations is better than either of our cell phones, and there are no dead zones with a POTS. The only thing that’s a drag with it is that if you have a blackout (like we recently did), the battery backup dies if the event goes on longer than 24 hours, so you lose the landline. I’m gonna hang onto this for as long as I can.

  3. Terri DeKett June 5, 2019 at 4:10 am #

    I still have a pots line. I am retired from the phone company. I installed, repaired residential lines as well as maintained the cable (not cable tv, telephone cable). I will keep it as long as I can. Cell service in my area is sketchy.

    • Tricia December 2, 2020 at 2:40 pm #

      We have been trying to get the old POTS line up and running back in our home. The providers in our area no longer will use the wiring, they want us to go to fiberoptics which we do not want to do. We have the old wiring, because we used to have a phone. Is there a way we can manually install this our selves some how to get it working and pay another service? Any thoughts would be appreciated from someone who may know a little about the old pots systems. :)
      you can email me if you like –

  4. Lisa Swaim June 5, 2019 at 6:33 am #

    I no longer have a POTS line. However I believe that if I hooked up a phone to it I would still be able to call 911 if necessary.

  5. Mike McGonegal June 5, 2019 at 6:55 am #

    Move to rural NH – POTS lines are still the rage! :) I love ours as the call quality is far better than Verizon and, like Craig said, it works during blackouts. If they ever install fiber on our road, I want to see if we can keep the copper for the phone line…

  6. Veleka Gray June 5, 2019 at 7:01 am #

    I love my landline! It’s very expensive, for some absurd reason, but I’m not worried about ELF exposure or radiation when using it.

  7. David Wandelt June 5, 2019 at 8:39 am #

    I worked for AT&T bell labs for years. Yes, I very much still have a landline, but it is VoIP, not POTS. Honestly, I’m not even sure POTS is available in this relatively new house.

    • Bob McCoy June 5, 2019 at 10:24 am #

      When we first moved into this house we had three POTS lines, one for us, one for the kids, and one for the computer (I was doing web development in the late 90s).Over the years we dropped two of the lines. Then about 10 years ago we switched the remaining POTS line over to Vonage because my daughter was living in the UK and we could call her for free. We still have the Vonage “land line” because these days I have a bedside Merlin unit that periodically interrogates my heart pacemaker and phones the mother ship. If a future version of the Merlin unit is network friendly, the land line could finally be retired.

  8. Patience Martin June 5, 2019 at 8:55 am #

    Yes, I still have it. During a weeklong power outage, it was a wonderful way to stay connected to the outside world. I don’t want to give it up, but my phone company is phasing them out. :(

  9. Chris Buckner June 5, 2019 at 8:58 am #

    My wife and I can’t decide on whether to keep our land line or not. Our only cable provider is also our phone and internet provider, and if you take one item away from the package (cable, phone, or internet) the price jumps up considerably for each part taken away. I don’t know how companies can get away with that. Anyway, thanks for the video David.

  10. Heather L August June 5, 2019 at 9:22 am #

    We decided to get rid of our landline because the only people who seemed to have it were people who called infrequently and telemarketers. The other reason to have it was for faxes which I got infrequently. But the bill for $50/month for this line came very frequently. And at the time, that was the major consideration. We each had cells and internet. It didn’t seem necessary.

    What I miss most was when the power went out (storms happen in Colorado) The only phone that stayed on was the hard-wired rotory phone in the basement. Not even a teltone. Rotory. (Go baby boomers!) The wireless handheld landline phones would go out if the power to the base was lost. But the OLD phone downstairs stayed on. Who knows, we may get it hooked up again. Telco doesn’t know about it and I see no reason to enlighten them.

  11. Jim June 5, 2019 at 10:54 am #

    When my ISP started offering internet and phone for $40 a month it was a no brainer to drop the POTS line. The interesting thing is the internet and phone line both use AT&T infrastructure. Even though I’m billed by my ISP my modem is actually an AT&T modem If there was a problem it’s AT&T who would come out to fix it.

  12. Darla Middlebrook June 5, 2019 at 4:40 pm #

    I still use a landline with a push button phone that looks a lot like the old rotary phone. Had a hard time getting a new piece for it when I checked in at the local phone store. Asked for a new receiver cord for the landline and received a blank look and “what’s a receiver cord?” question from the clerk. Aaarrrgghh!

    • Nanny December 8, 2020 at 2:59 am #


  13. Stuart Gauffi June 6, 2019 at 5:43 am #

    Our area converted to VOIP a few years ago, but I still have the landline–AND a ROTARY desktop phone. Just can’t part with that battleship of an instrument…

  14. Mary Zajac June 6, 2019 at 8:43 am #


    We have 3 rotary dial (old style) phones, 1 touch tone style (same as rotary style), 1 trimline touch tone phone, one Sony touchtone wall phone, an AT & T cordless phone and a princess touch tone phone. One of the rotary phones is a classic black color and has a wire hook up. It is not a working phone (but we love it). We also have 2 iPhone 6S and a flip phone! Not giving up my landline!!

  15. ed waldorph June 7, 2019 at 6:33 am #

    As much as I hate to say it, POTS is dead. The last vestiges are the wires from your home to a pedestal and then on to a Central Office (CO) Switch. From there it’s anybody’s guess. It could be fiber, microwave or VOIP. The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is a mere shadow of its former self.

    Even the CO Sometimes called an Exchange isn’t what it used to be. I don’t think there are any busbar switches left in the country. In fact, now many Exchanges (the first two numbers in your phone number,) are virtual and multiples exist in one office.

    For those of you who have an old POTS line in your home that you no longer use, it is as useless as (insert your favorite euphemism here.) You can connect an old phone to it but it would be dead as a door nail. Your old phones can only work if they are connected to a switch in the CO and are getting an electrical signal—that’s why they work when your power goes out.

    Even if the telco left your line connected (doubtful) your phone is useless unless the switch senses you picked up the receiver and then sends you a Dial Tone. But the phone company only does that if you pay for it—handsomely.

    The old rotary phones were Pulse Dial, unlike TouchTone that used Dual Tone Multi Frequency (DTMF) signals. All a pulse dial phone could send the switch was an On/Off signal (How ironic. They were digital before it was cool.) They were both still analog signals, though. All the way to the person you called—unless it was long distance; then likely it went microwave.

    Taking the receiver off hook (phones used to have those, too,) would interrupt the circuit and tell the switch you wanted to call someone.

    The switch would look for an available line (called trunking) and if it found one, would send a tone to you (dial tone) letting you know you could make a call. (You will note that cellphones don’t have dial tones.) You would then rotate the phone dial and it would make and break the circuit in rapid succession, until it had sent the number you selected on the dial. If you were fast enough, you could dial a number with the switch hook.

    • Nanny December 8, 2020 at 3:20 am #

      Nope. We still have a POTS line, a separate fiber optic line for internet, cell phones, and satellite for tv.. Tech was surprised to find out that we had the POTS. When he asked why, I told him that our cellphones were for family and friends only. No businesses, creditors, not even our doctors have cell numbers. They have the landline. Because of that, telemarketers only call the landline, and I have tons of fun with the fools. POTS dead? I think not!!!

  16. Tobi Czumak June 9, 2019 at 8:50 pm #

    Still got a POTS line and an old desk phone (in case of power outage or internet failure) — love it and will never give it up LOL How dare they tell me they won’t service this someday soon!!!! Hmmmmph!

  17. Doug Fairbanks June 18, 2019 at 4:27 pm #

    I still have a landline but it’s not POTS it’s VOIP bundled with my tv and internet. Fiber is taking over and more copper circuits are being decommissioned every year. I was talking with some of my radio engineering friends and here in Indy, copper is supposed to be completely gone in the metro by end of 2020. ISDN lines are pretty much gone as well. So it will be fiber or wireless.

  18. Patricia Napolitano July 5, 2019 at 2:23 pm #

    I have a POTS line. I have a cell phone, of course, which I use when I hear it ring (usually its buried in my purse) and when I keep it charged and when I can find it (sometimes when it’s not on the charger or in my purse I might leave it where I am when I hang up). Cell phone is great for checking email and directions etc. i use it when I travel, but I don’t know if I could adapt to just cell phone. I guess I could learn to keep it charged, etc. I think the problem is my smartphone is smarter than me.

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