Are you ready for the BIG switch off?

The biggest change in the telecoms industry for over 30 years is coming in 2025, BT announced in 2015 they will be switching off PSTN and ISDN in 2025. But surely that doesn’t affect you right? Actually, you’d be surprised to hear this will affect EVERYONE, there are 14 million phone lines currently in the UK and every one of those will be switched off. So whether you are a business or residential customer you will be affected in some way by this change.

What is PSTN/ISDN and how do I know I have it?

A PSTN line very simply is a telephone line, you may use this at home or at work to make or receive calls, however, most users now use them to purely carry their broadband services. Usually, you can find a small square box with a number on nearby your router.

An ISDN line is primarily used for telephone calls; these lines are generally used in businesses that require the ability to make and receive multiple calls. IDSN lines can vary depending on business size but if you have boxes onsite which look like the below you are using ISDN services.

What will happen to my telephones?

If you are currently using ISDN/PSTN telephone lines now it’s time to consider moving these services over to a VoIP (Voice over IP) phone system. These phone systems use the internet to make and receive calls. VoIP phone systems offer much more flexibility, benefit from reduced operating costs and offer a variety of options for your business such as deskphones, softphones, mobile and MS Teams Integration.

Will my broadband be affected?

If your current broadband is ADSL or FTTC it uses analogue services and will need to be migrated to a different product by 2025, but there is no need to panic! There are broadband solutions available such as SOGEA or FTTP which are available and much faster and more reliable than traditional services.

Openreach aims to have FTTP installed to 25 million premises by 2026.

Any other services I need to think about?

Any services using analogue services such as alarms, door entry systems, CCTV, EPOS machines and faxes will also be affected by this change.

It’s worth contacting your supplier of these and asking for their advice on moving them to IP-based solutions.

What can I do now?

Our advice would be to plan ahead. Don’t get caught up in the rush that will happen once the date gets closer. Many businesses will make irrational decisions and end up with a contract and solution they are not happy with. This is an essential change but also a great opportunity for you and your business to transform the way you work going forward. Many businesses have changed their working style since the pandemic and now would be a good time to review this as a whole.

Don’t sign any new contracts for PSTN/ISDN services, the current plan is to stop installing or adding ISDN lines by 2023 so don’t get caught signing up to something which won’t be expandable going forward. No providers should be signing you up to long contracts for services that will be redundant in a few years.

Audit what you have, get a list of everything you use for your business and work out what needs upgrading. If you’re finding it confusing ask for help, the team at RPS are here to help you understand the products you currently have and advise on how to migrate these going forward.