Why You Need A Fax Machine
Posted on 5th July 2023 at 14:51
This content will be shown in the summary onOf all the equipment hires you might make, fax machine rental might surprise some. The demise of these devices has oft been predicted, but may be premature. the main blog page. Click on this text to edit it.
Most people will have heard the famous phrase: “The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”, which paraphrases the response by Mark Twain to inaccurate reports in 1897 suggesting he was either dead or gravely ill.
Predictably, it has been reused many times, often to do with things rather than people that are still with us despite many predictions to the contrary. It might now be applied to fax machines.
Back in the 1980s, when fax machines were used as a prime means of communication and the transmission of important documents, few would have imagined they might have a limited future. Indeed, in those days before the internet and email, they were depicted in the Back To The Future film series as something that was still part of the future, along with hoverboards and flying cars.
The development of email and the ability to send documents electronically with downloadable files has transformed the situation.
It uses less (or no) paper, does not depend on the machine at the other end being switched on, and enables the document to be stored safely. It can still be printed off if need be, but does not have to be, which is useful if the item is confidential or sensitive data.
Because of this, one might ask why fax machine rental is still a thing. The question was posed by the BBC at the beginning of November last year and for a good reason: Telecoms regulator Ofcom had revealed it was considering removing the Universal Service Obligation (USO) that required licensed telecoms operators (BT, plus K-Com in Hull) to provide fax services.
With the NHS no longer buying fax machines, the system being retired by the footballing authorities for conducting transfers and a general move towards newer forms of technology such as VoIP and email, this really did seem like the death knell, and Ofcom confirmed its plans in January this year.
It may have long been game over for football transfers, but does this mean the final whistle has blown on faxes? Not yet. We may be into stoppage time, but Ofcom’s January press release said the end of faxes could still be two years away, noting that the change “does not mean that fax services will stop working immediately.”
The statement concluded: “Current users of fax will need to look for alternatives (such as email) ahead of their telephony networks being migrated to IP - the timescales for this will depend on their telephony provider, but is expected to be before the end of 2025.”
This means if you still need a fax now, hiring one makes sense to keep you equipped in the meantime as you manage the transition to internet protocol services. This can give you some extra time to plan for and invest in new systems and make your customers and business partners familiar with them. It will equally buy time for any partners who use faxes to do likewise.
Eventually, reports of Mark Twain’s death were entirely accurate. So it will be with fax machines, but not just yet.
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