Over recent years, you have most likely heard the phrases ‘the PSTN switch off’ or ‘the big switch off’ bounced around. For business owners, it can be overwhelming to establish exactly what this means for your telecommunications and the steps that you need to take. To help you get started, here’s a rundown of all things PSTN switch off.
What is PSTN?
PSTN (public switched telephone network) refers to the telecommunications network first introduced to the UK back in the 19th century. PSTN is primarily made up of underground copper wires; within this network, there are centralised points, or nodes. These allow communication between two points of the network, a configuration known as circuit switching. A connection, (i.e. a phone call) is made once the data has passed through the required nodes. Over time, PSTN has extended to include fibre optic, cable and wireless capabilities, reflecting the evolution of telecommunications.
What is the PSTN switch off and when it is happening?
In 2017, BT announced that in December 2025, PSTN will be switched off across the UK. By then, all phonelines will need to be moved to a fully digital network that utilises IP (Internet Protocol) across a fibre-based service. This switch off will impact every single phoneline within the UK, homes and businesses alike.
While 2025 may still seem a while away, BT already have measures in place to prepare for PSTN’s end-of life. Notably, this includes stopping the sale of traditional phone lines across the UK in September 2023. You can view a full timeline of the PSTN switch off here.
Why is the PSTN Switch Off happening?
In short, the traditional network can no longer keep up with the rapidly evolving demands of modern communications. With a seismic shift towards mobile and internet communications, the once- adept copper network has become increasingly misaligned with today’s technological demands. As technologies continue to advance, the PSTN switch off simply represents the shift from analogue to digital.
What does the PSTN switch off mean for my business?
Businesses who rely on PSTN for telephony or internet connectivity who do not migrate to a cloud-based alternative before the deadline will lose access to these services. Business communications are of course vital to operations, so failing to switch from PSTN will mean that your business will be without a functioning telephone line, internet connection, or both.
Why should my business migrate from PSTN before 2025?
Like with all business operations, it’s vital that significant changes are not left until the last minute. When it comes to the PSTN switch off, there could be a lot your business needs to do. It may well be that your business relies on the traditional network beyond your landline and broadband, such as for CCTV, alarm systems and even card readers. As such, you will need to allow for a thorough assessment of your current copper reliance, and a sufficient migration period, to ensure your services are not disrupted.
How can my business get started with the PSTN switch off?
With 20+ years’ experience in telecommunications, our expert team are best placed to guide you through a seamless transition process, ensuring that your business operations are not impacted. We know that there is not a one-size fits all package for every organisation, which is why we take the time to understand your business before advising on the best solutions for you. There are a number of routes your business can take, including the below.
PSTN switch off options:
1.Do you want to simply upgrade your business landline?
Phoneline+ could be the best solution for you.
Provided by our telecoms partner, Gamma, this service utilises VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, so you can make and receive calls using your existing broadband network. You’ll also have access to smart features including built-in analytics and multiple number management.
2. Or, are you ready to move away from your landline?
Using a singular connection, SoGEA (Single Order Generic Access) provides your business with combined telephone and broadband functionality, without the need for a telephone line. Representing hybrid connectivity, SoGEA is a great long-term solution, providing your business with future-proof connectivity and peace of mind.
3. Perhaps you’d like the best of both worlds.
Our Simple Swap Service provides businesses with PSTN migration for both phonelines and broadband. This combines Phoneline+ and SoGEA, delivering an all-in-one communications solution. What’s more, your business’s current phone number will still be operational, minimising potential service disruption.