All You Need to Know About the PSTN Switch Off

PSTN Switch Off

You may have already heard about the PSTN Switch Off coming in December 2025, but if you haven’t, don’t worry as there is still time for your business to prepare! With so many acronyms it can be hard to understand what exactly is going on, and how this will affect your business. That’s why we have put together a guide on everything you need to know about the PSTN Switch Off and how you can switch over to a VoIP system in the meantime. Here it is. 

Key Terms and Acronyms

PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network

ISDN – Integrated Services Digital Network

PBX – Private Branch Exchange

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol

FFTC – Fibre to the Cabinet

FTTP – Fibre to the Premises

SoGEA – Single Order Generic Ethernet Access

What is the PSTN switch off then?

Essentially, all landline telephones and broadband connectivity are moving away from a network of copper lines to a wireless solution. This network of copper lines is known as PSTN or in some areas which are slightly more advanced, (but still outdated) the ISDN network. The rollout has already begun with some networks having already being made obsolete and will be completed by December 2025. 

So why is the switch off happening and what will replace the PSTN and ISDN?

In short, because technology is evolving and the needs of businesses outstrip what the PSTN and ISDN is currently able to support. Businesses no longer just use telephone calls both internally and externally, instead utilising modern software such as video calls or instant messaging services. The copper lines originally designed to support telecommunications do not have the speed or bandwidth to cope with the demanding changes to how the modern business world operates. You may have already witnessed the rollout of fibre optic cables in your local area. These are designed to support the ever-changing needs of businesses, and also consume far less space in our landscape than the copper lines and telecommunication towers at present. Fibre optics are often installed underneath roads which are less affected by adverse weather conditions.

What telecommunication services are affected by the switch off?

  • ADSL Broadband – this is a ‘legacy’ broadband technology connected by a single fixed phone line to the PSTN.
  • FTTC – also connected to the PSTN via copper lines.
  • Analogue lines and call service providers – basically any other solution still relying on physical copper lines. 
  • Door entry systems
  • Emergency lines
  • Alarm systems
  • ATMs
  • Lifts
  • CCTV
  • Point of sale tills
  • Fax machines

Where is the switch off currently up to?

Currently no new PSTN or ISDN services are able to be added or purchased in the UK, but businesses with this solution are currently still able to utilise them if their area still provides them. It’s better not to leave this to chance if you cannot find information about the switch off in your area and switch to a VoIP service as soon as possible. BT Openreach have advised customers will be contacted four weeks prior to the switch off in their area but consider that many businesses will leave this as long as possible and providers may not be able to switch over your telecommunications as quickly. 

As of Winter 2023, London and the North West have already been switched to digital services via Openreach, but the next phases for the switch over are as follows:

  • Spring 2024 – the South East, West Midlands, East Anglia and Wales
  • Summer 2024 – the North East, South West and Scotland

What are the benefits of the switchover?

There are many benefits of the PSTN switch off. Predominantly, in that it offers an opportunity to embrace new technologies to support your business and reach your customers! Other benefits include:

  • Less interference to connectivity and calls in adverse weather conditions
  • Reduced costs as many VoIP services offer all in one solutions or pay as you go services
  • Increased accessibility on a global scale
  • Easy scalability with less reliance on package deals
  • Enhanced digital services

Another benefit is that you are probably already using VoIP technology – at least in your personal life! VoIP services are essentially the same technology as Google Meets, WhatsApp calls or Skype. Social media integrations like Facebook Messenger can also be integrated into your website, allowing you to communicate with your customers wherever you are in the world.

Do you need any help navigating the PSTN switch off or seeing what options are available to you? The One Solution can help. Contact us today here.

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