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2004/06/15 POTS

Plain Old Telephone Service. This acronym has been in use for quite a while, almost before there really was much else other than plain old telephone service. POTS is circuit based, and of course the newer concept is packets.

Soon enough, POTS will disappear from most of the world, and just about every phone system will be packet based. What happens to the VOIP acronym then?

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© Tony Lawrence

"What happens to the VOIP acronym then?"

Simple: it becomes PSTS (packet switched telephone service), which could be pronounced as "pissed." <Smile>

Incidentally, the use of packets to transport telephone conversations is hardly new. The concept was originally devised in the 1950's to increase the number of simultaneous conversations that could be carried on undersea phone cables. The theory was that a substantial amount of the time that a phone circuit was connected was "wasted," in that no one was actually talking. It dawned on someone that multiple conversations could be carried on a single circuit simply by giving each conversation some fraction of the real time connection -- timeslicing, as it were. To do that, bursts of speech from one converstion were transmitted, then bursts from another, and so forth. On average, the callers had no idea that they only had use of the circuit for part of the time.


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