A friend asked me a good question: Does a POTS phone use the same wiring as U-Verse VOIP? The answer is, it depends. Outside your house, no it doesn’t. But that’s not your problem. Outside, that’s AT&T’s problem.
Inside is where it matters to you. And inside the house, a POTS phone–the old-fashioned landline phone we’ve been using for well over a century–uses the same wiring as U-Verse VOIP. I’ve probably answered your question but I can elaborate if you’d like.
The residential gateway does the job of translating the signal between old-school POTS phones and the VOIP system. When I got U-Verse, my installer simply spliced a new cable from the gateway into my existing wiring so all of my jacks continued working.
So even though U-Verse is VOIP, there’s no need for VOIP phones. The same common and inexpensive phones that work with traditional home landline service work with U-Verse too. The only caveat is that if you have any rotary phones left over from the 1950s, 60s or 70s–I have a couple because they’re indestructible–they won’t be able to dial out.