A point-of-presence (POP) is the physical location where two or more types of communication devices establish a connection. A traditional example of a point-of-presence is found with the local telephone switch, which acts as the connection facility between local telephone lines and long distance services. In recent years, the term has been applied to connection points between users and the Internet, as well as between users and wireless devices.
In all its incarnations, the point-of-presence supplies the necessary link that makes the exchange of communications functions possible. With a local telephone switch, the POP allows end users to initiate a telephone call, with the signal routing through the local phone switch and jumping onto the long distance link to that local switch. Thanks to the POP, the signal is able to reach its destination, where a return signal confirms the successful connection and allows voice communication to take place.