PSTN Switch Off UK: Everything you need to know

What is the PSTN switch-off?

The PSTN switch-off is coming! But what is it?

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is the traditional analogue telephone system that has been used globally for over a century. It provides infrastructure and services for public telecommunications using copper cables underground. PSTN supports multiple products businesses have, such as ISDN lines (ISDN2 and ISDN30). 

So why is it being switched off?

However, now it is unable to meet the demands of modern communication and is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain with higher running costs. Openreach announced in 2017 that they planned to switch off all PSTN analogue lines by 2025. Doing so will take the UK through a digital transformation, where people now use mobile and internet communications instead. By September 2023, you will no longer be able to buy traditional analogue telephone services. 

What is replacing PSTN? 

Replacing the copper PSTN network will be fibre. Fibre offers a more resilient and faster connection and will replace every analogue connection throughout the UK by December 2025. Everyone in the UK, including businesses, must upgrade to a new fibre service before the traditional PSTN is no longer supported.

If your business is currently using either PSTN services, now is the time to start exploring the benefits of upgrading to fibre-based technology. Some digital alternatives are listed below. 

How can your business prepare for the switch-off in 2025? 

  1. Assess current phone systems: Companies should evaluate their existing phone systems to see if they depend on PSTN and whether they are prepared for the switch-off.
  2. Upgrade to digital alternatives: VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the main digital communication technology that will replace PSTN. No longer will you need costly, old-fashioned analogue phone lines in your workplaces. All you need is an internet connection to make it work. Additionally, there are other alternatives such as hosted PBX, SIP (Session Initiation Protocol), or cloud communications. These options provide a more modern and flexible system with advanced capabilities including virtual meetings, integrated communications, and enhanced call quality.
  3. Plan for network upgrades: Businesses transitioning to digital alternatives may have to modify existing network infrastructure. This may include routers and firewalls. This is to ensure compatibility with new technology.
  4. Update emergency systems: Companies should verify that their emergency systems, such as fire alarms, medical alert systems, and security systems, are digitally connected. This is to ensure that they continue to work after PSTN services are turned off.
  5. Notify employees and clients: Companies must notify their employees and customers of the switch-off and any adjustments to telephone services. This includes updating contact information, such as phone numbers, and making customers aware of substitute communication channels.
  6. Seek professional support: To ensure a smooth transition to digital communications and minimise disruption to operations, businesses should seek the expertise of telecommunications professionals. This is something Mother Technologies is more than able to support. 

Making these upgrades sooner rather than later will give your organisation plenty of time to migrate to the new systems and learn how to maximise their abilities.

Benefits of switching to VoIP from a PSTN or ISDN system

Cost Savings: VoIP offers lower network infrastructure costs. These reduced costs come from many areas. For example, inexpensive monthly or annual plans, low international calling rates, free calls between employees, no maintenance contracts and more.

Scalability: VoIP can easily expand with your company at a reasonable cost because you can simply add or remove new phone lines as your needs change.

Functionality: VoIP is much more than just making phone calls. Your system may have capabilities like instant messaging and video calling and much more.

Who will the 2025 analogue switch-off affect?

The switch-off will affect everyone at home and work. This is because it involves the termination of the old phone network. It also involves the termination of any non-voice services connected to PSTN or ISDN lines.

Need to know more?

Want to learn more about how this will affect your company?