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The Death of the Fax Machine

The Death of the Fax Machine

We have finally consigned our fax machine to the annals of history. We haven’t received a fax for a very long time so we have taken the decision to scrap the fax!

Once an essential piece of office equipment, after a computer it was one of the first pieces of equipment we bought,  but now it has been relegated to the technology junk heap in the dark office cupboard behind the toilet paper and Christmas decorations.

However reports of it’s death may be premature in the wider world. Japan continues to be a heavy fax consumer, probably to do with their complex characters that are easier to hand write, purchasing almost 1.2m basic fax machines in 2014. So an obsolete technology continues to exist in pockets, keeping fax vendors in business, as well as remaining a part of multi-functional devices such as “All-in-One” printers?

The fax’s persistence is also due to its huge presence in the medical and medical insurance world where manual forms are still dominant and require live signatures, so combined with an aging population and heavy regulation, fax continues to have a stronghold in the medical world.

The evolution of fax has also helped keep fax around longer. Transmission rates over twisted pair gave way to internet speeds and digital lines, however in large parts of the world twisted pair still reigns. The advent of services like eFax only served to extend fax life. Faxes could be delivered in PDF format, reduce the amount of paper used, and contribute to electronic filing. However, it still couldn’t eliminate the paper waste of the old ‘sign on paper’ mentality.

Nonetheless, fax remains on its technology deathbed waiting for terminal status. So no more standing by the fax machine to guard that confidential document, or numerous redials to get a connection, or phone calls to see if the fax has arrived or whether their fax machine is switched on!

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This post is necessarily brief and is for general guidance only and does not constitute advice. You should always ask for specific advice based upon your own circumstances.

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