Everything You Need To Know About The PSTN and ISDN Switch Off
Traditional phone lines are being switched off across the UK, with a Stop Sell date of September 2023 and full closure in 2025. We’ve created this page to help you avoid disruption to your phone line and remain compliant with the new way of communicating
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So, what exactly is being switched off and how does it affect me?
For many years the United Kingdom has successfully operated using copper wire technology to host our phone calls. This comes in the form of ISDN & PSTN, both of which will soon be switched off entirely.
Once September 2023 rolls round (The Stop Sell) you will no longer be able to attain any new lines based on copper wire for your business, meaning the new starter you just hired isn’t going to have a phone, unless you make the move over to a VoIP System. It doesn’t just stop at your phones though it includes everything on the network such as CCTV, Security Alarms and a whole host of other devices.
When is it actually going to happen?
The Stop Sell date for the UK is September 2023. With the entire network due to be completely switched off in 2025, which will also include any phone lines that are still operating on the copper wire technology.
This will have a huge impact on business’ as their telephone lines will stop working which could also result in the loss of the business phone number. It has been reported that over one million business’ in the UK need to switch before 2025 so expect increased demand closer to the time. We would recommend switching before the rush.
Is it going to hurt my bank balance?
VoIP Phone Systems are often a lot more competitively priced in comparison to traditional copper line phones. They are hosted using internet connection only meaning you can get rid a lot of the costs associated with phone connectivity.
Why does the network even need to be switched off anyway?
The network itself was launched in the 1980’s and remained almost completely unchanged since, meaning it’s almost 40 years old!
At the time it was a breakthrough in communication allowing business’ to not only communicate with voice but it opened the floodgates to video and transmission of other data as well.
Now we’re not saying there’s anything wrong with being 40 but in this example the network is falling short of meeting the needs of business’ all these decades on, hence the need for The ISDN Switch Off. No longer can copper wire keep up with the rapid expansion of data consumption in the 21st century and as such Voice Over Internet Protocol was born.
VoIP Technology has been widely adopted for more than 10 years in the UK and will soon be the way the whole country communicates.
Ok I’m starting to get it.. But what do I need to replace it with?
You’ll need to switch over to a cloud telephone system. This is something that can be easily handled for you, using a provider such as B4BC, however the further in advance you do it, the better.
Leading up to the ISDN Switch off taking place a large number of organisations will be rushing to switch to a VoIP service in order to save their phone lines, which could easily create large delays across the country. Save yourself the hassle, get ahead of the digital stampede and get switched over as soon as you can.
Alright, what do I need to do for my business to be ready for the switch off?
BT is no longer accepting new ISDN/PSTN orders, so you’ll need to look at upgrading to a hosted PBX or VoIP system. This will bring a whole host of benefits to business’ across the UK including substantially lower upfront costs and far superior flexibility for growing organisations. It never hurts to be prepared, so speak to one of our experienced ISDN migration specialists today.
Could I lose my telephone number?
If you are still on an ISDN line when your local circuit is switched off then yes. Your number would go back into a pool of available numbers and you wouldn’t be able to retrieve it. Thankfully you have a lot of time to avoid that happening by making the switch before the cut off date and porting your numbers to a VoIP Service. This may sound a little confusing but all of this can be handled in house by our experienced telecommunication specialist.
What happens if my broadband goes down?
As with all technology there is going to be a time when it’s not performing exactly how you want it to and this goes for ISDN/PSTN lines too! Thankfully with cloud based phones you can protect yourself from these outages with 4G/5G back up routers, keeping your team operational 24/7 365.
A huge improvement on the days of having to wait for an engineer, finding out the problem is off site and having to wait days for it to be rectified. The ISDN Switch Off isn’t something to be viewed in a negative light it is a pivotal innovation in the telecommunication space.
Can I make changes to my existing set up?
Unfortunately if you are still on ISDN or PSTN lines you will not be able to add any new lines to your system. The whole of the UK is in a Stop Sell in line with the ISDN Switch Off in 2025.
Ok so the ISDN Switch Off is looming do I do if I don’t have fibre in my area?
We get this question a lot and thankfully for you, we have many cost affective solutions to work around this. As a reseller of broadband we have access to wholesale broadband providers that you simply can not find yourself as a business. We have helped hundreds of businesses overcome a hurdle they previously thought just wasn’t possible and we’re on standby to do the same for you. As with everything ISDN Switch Off, the sooner it’s done, the better.
Why “I’m just going to wait” isn’t the best idea..
We get it, you’re busy.. phoning providers up and down the country to sort out your telephones probably isn’t high on your list of things to do, if you’re not aware of the potential impacts. But at the moment none of us really have a choice if we want to protect our phone lines from the ISDN Switch Off.
Whilst you do still have time if you leave it to the last minute you may find you’re competing for engineers and facing higher prices. Hopefully this has covered everything you need to know but if you did require further information click here.