The UK’s old-fashioned, copper-based telephone and broadband infrastructure is officially being retired by BT in December 2025. The old analogue infrastructure is being replaced by full-fibre broadband and 5G mobile networks. Much of the digital network is already live, with more network infrastructure being extended and upgraded across the UK to meet the 2025 deadline.
The new digital infrastructure has the capability to carry the communications services that businesses and consumers demand now, as well as the future tech and applications yet to be created. Businesses must make sure they are in a position to connect this new super-fast and ‘future ready’ infrastructure.
Many organisations have already started to make the transition from traditional phone lines for calls and switched to digital broadband solutions that offer both voice and data. In fact, nearly half of UK business now use VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) solutions. For SMEs, this brings new opportunities in terms of flexibility, scalability and its ability to integrate with existing and new technology. It is also significantly cheaper than using old copper PSTN lines for voice calls and offers much greater reliability with ultra-fast connectivity.
Get Your Business Ready For The Change
It is clear that businesses need to connect to the upgraded super-fast telecommunications infrastructure to maximise efficiency and compete successfully. However, they won’t be able to do this using legacy analogue services.
Previously, organisations would use a traditional copper line to connect to their service provider for voice services and overlay it with a separate ADSL or FTTC service for data. This dual-line and service option is being withdrawn from the market and being replaced by SoGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access) and FTTP (Fibre-to-the-premises) services, which offer dedicated, single line supply for broadband connections.
Single line broadband services remove the need for separate phone lines for voice. Instead, voice services can be enabled using virtual phone lines, also known as SIP (Session Initiation Protocol ) Trunks. These services form part of a hosted VoIP (Voice over IP) solution or as a digital alternative to traditional copper phone lines. So a single line broadband connection replaces multiple phone lines, on which multiple virtual phone lines can be added. This unlocks the potential for scalability beyond that of traditional copper infrastructure. Combined with a modern hosted phone system, your business will have the ability to access superior line and call management capabilities.
SoGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access) Explained
Definition: SOGEA is a dedicated digital data line that provides a fast internet broadband connection without the need for a separate copper PSTN phone line.
Whilst it is a mostly fibre-optic connection from the exchange to the street cabinet, the final section to your premises uses a copper line, it offers reliable internet connectivity in geographic areas where full-fibre lines (FTTP/Leased Lines) are unavailable. All copper wiring is being phased out and will eventually be replaced by full-fibre, known now as Fibre To The Premises (FTTP).
SOGEA brings a number of advantages from day one:
- Cost effective: lower everyday running costs as you are only paying for a single connection for voice and data.
- Consolidates connectivity services: you only need one line for your broadband. It is simple to order, install and fix.
- A solution for the long-term: SOGEA replaces end of life analogue copper lines, getting you ready for the next evolutions of connectivity to FTTP.
- Simple migration: migration is easy, with short downtimes from your existing connectivity services.
FTTP (Fibre-to-the-premises) Explained:
Definition: FTTP is a pure fibre connection that uses fibre-optic cable all the way from the local exchange through to your business premises. It removes the need for legacy copper wires which are susceptible to theft and degradation.
Key advantages include:
- High bandwidth with speeds of up to 1Gb: No more worrying about using bandwidth-intensive applications or streaming in 4k. Fast upload and download speeds giving you the ability to manage high volumes of data, with multiple users across a variety of platforms.
- Reliable: Ability to browse the internet and manage data without buffering or interruptions. Unlike copper wires, fibre is less susceptible to interference and signal degradation.
- Flexible and future ready: Flexible nature of the services allow you to innovate, grow and scale as required with a single order solution. The bandwidth removes any barriers for your business to take advantage of new Cloud-based services and applications.
- Cost effective: lower deployment and everyday running costs as you are only paying for a single connection for voice and data.
Don’t Wait – Switch Away From Analogue Now
In a world where cloud based business applications, collaboration and remote working are on the rise, business demand for greater broadband capacity for voice and data is only growing. Migrating to SoGEA or FTTP for connectivity will only support an organisation’s ability to manage its IT and Telecoms operations more effectively. It also makes it much easier and faster for colleagues or customers to be in touch with each other and have reliable access to the information they need, wherever they are working.
The benefits of digital connectivity over analogue go far beyond reliability and speed. Digital drives agile working and ensures business continuity for the office and for remote workers.
Be ahead and consider upgrading and migrating to digital broadband connectivity now. There is no commercial or operational advantage to waiting until 2025. The technology is already here and, as discussed earlier, ready to be taken advantage of.
Note: SoGEA offers similar connectivity to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) without the need for an underlying voice access (PSTN) product, offering speeds up to 80Mbps. SoGEA has wide availability with coverage in over 28 million UK premises.
Excalibur Communications has over 20 years of experience working with business telecoms. If you would like to review or discuss your company’s broadband connectivity options, please contact us on 01793 438881.