The Big Switch Off 2025 is Coming!

The imminent PSTN switch-off is approaching! What implications does this hold for your business? Essentially, the complete shutdown of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is slated for 2025. Prior to this deadline, it's imperative that every existing phone line and broadband connection throughout the UK undergoes an upgrade to a fully digital service, utilising Internet Protocol (IP) over a fibre-based network. The IT Geeks team is ready to assist your business in navigating this transition, ensuring that you are well-prepared for the future of communication.

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What is the PSTN switch off?

The era of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), with its historical significance, is gradually fading as it struggles to keep up with today's communication demands. In response, a more resilient network—fibre—is taking the reins for a comprehensive upgrade.

With the imminent full switch-off of the PSTN, traditional lines such as analogue or digital phone lines, business-oriented ISDN phone systems, and outdated internet connections like ADSL and FTTC broadband are all destined for obsolescence.

Openreach is actively modernising local telephone exchanges throughout the UK, making the transition to a full-fibre network for swift, reliable, and cost-effective connectivity. Seize the opportunity to enhance your telecoms and connectivity now, ensuring your business is seamlessly prepared for the imminent all-digital future!

What is the PSTN stop sell?

The closure of the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) is scheduled for December 2025. On the 5th of September 2023, the UK-wide 'stop sell' directive will take effect. This mandates that every provider in the UK ceases the sale of traditional phone lines and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband. Additionally, no modifications can be made to your legacy telephony infrastructure. As a consequence, every business in the UK must transition to a fully digital network using Internet Protocol (IP) across a fibre-based service.

The PSTN stop sell will not only impact telephony services but also necessitate the upgrade of existing broadband connections. Furthermore, any equipment currently reliant on the PSTN network, such as alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, CCTV, and the like, will need to be upgraded to an alternative solution.

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So why is PSTN being switched off?

The aging and fragile traditional PSTN network, comprised of copper cables, is facing rapid deterioration, resulting in increased maintenance costs and operational challenges. Installed in the late 1800s, the PSTN is ill-equipped to meet the demands of 21st-century communications, especially with the escalating need for higher speeds and bandwidth as the United Kingdom steers towards a digital future. In a world where speed, accessibility, and reliability take precedence, the shift towards mobile and internet communications has become paramount. With high expectations and a reliance on digital technology, the country has made the strategic decision to phase out the outdated PSTN technology in favor of full fibre connectivity, aligning with the requirements of modern technology.

When is the switch off going to happen?

In 2025, Openreach is set to switch off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This implies that everyone in the UK, including businesses, currently reliant on PSTN-based services, must transition to a new service before this deadline.

Replacing the copper-based PSTN network, Openreach has been actively deploying fibre and is on track to replace every connection across the UK by 2025. However, given the magnitude of such a rollout, the migration to full fibre is already well underway. In numerous exchange areas, purchasing copper-based PSTN services is no longer an option.

Now is the time to ensure your business is ready for the PSTN switch-off. Do not worry, as it marks an exciting era with substantial benefits arising from a full-fibre, IP network!

IT Geeks technician provideing remote IT support talking to a client on a headset
A laptop sitting on a desk displaying a recovery progress bar on the screen

How will my business be affected?

As per reports, approximately 2.4 million businesses throughout the UK still rely on legacy telephone lines and ISDN networks, facilitated by the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). With the imminent PSTN switch-off, it's crucial to ensure your business isn't among them, as legacy systems are incompatible and won't function.

If your business presently utilizes ISDN/PSTN telephony or broadband services, the time is ripe to delve into the advantages of transitioning to fibre-based technology.

So what do I need to do?

While the complete PSTN switch-off in 2025 might appear distant, a significant number of locations in the UK will experience a stop sale on new ISDN or PSTN-based services much sooner. In fact, come September 2023, purchasing a traditional phone line across any exchange area will be no longer possible. Hence, now is the opportune moment to explore the innovative and future-proof services available for your business.

If your business currently relies on a PSTN service, the necessity arises to transition your services to an IP (VoIP) telephony solution and your broadband to a fibre-based solution. Although the PSTN switch-off compels a move to a new service, initiating the upgrade of your services and systems now enables you to leverage the benefits of hosted telephony and fibre connectivity ahead of the competition. Simultaneously, this proactive approach ensures future-proofing for your business.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Openreach is slated to close the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) in December 2025. Consequently, all phone lines for businesses in the UK will undergo a transition to a fully digital network, utilising Voice over Internet Protocol technology (VoIP) over a fibre-based service. This shift not only impacts phone lines nationwide but also entails the migration of broadband lines from standard copper to a comprehensive fibre network currently being deployed throughout the country. The rollout is progressing gradually across the UK, prompting consideration for businesses to potentially switch from PSTN to fibre and IP services before the December 2025 deadline.

The forthcoming closure of traditional PSTN lines, encompassing analogue or digital phone lines, ISDN phone systems employed by businesses, and older internet connections like ADSL and FTTC broadband, renders them all obsolete. If your business currently relies on any of these legacy connections for its phone lines or broadband, it's high time to consider an upgrade to a full fibre connection and embrace a VoIP-based phone system.

With exchange areas reaching a 75% completion milestone for the installation of fibre connections, "stop sell" notices are being issued on copper-based services. Post this phase, these services will be discontinued. To ensure uninterrupted service, businesses must proactively transition to fibre-based telecoms and internet solutions before the withdrawal process begins. Assess the services requiring migration promptly to avert last-minute disruptions or potential delays in the installation of new services. Seizing this opportunity allows businesses to harness the benefits of VoIP services sooner rather than later.

PSTN, a fundamental service employing circuit-switched copper phone lines to transmit analogue voice data, has been a staple in homes and businesses for decades. A PSTN phone number corresponds to one line and cannot serve any other purpose while a call is in progress. In contrast, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) utilises IP-based technology to facilitate calls over the internet. This approach enables faster, cost-effective, more reliable, and flexible communication, eliminating the dependence on costly and high-maintenance copper-based services.

A diverse array of VoIP business phone systems awaits, and the team at IT Geeks is ready to assist. We'll assess the unique needs of your business, explore the full spectrum of available options, and aid you in choosing the optimal system. Our extensive range of VoIP phone systems caters to businesses of all sizes, and naturally we'll provide comprehensive guidance to ensure a smooth transition to an all-IP future.

No. Openreach is currently in the process of preparing exchanges nationwide, and the transition to new, full fibre connections is actively underway. In certain exchange areas, a stop sale of legacy PSTN phone lines has been initiated. To ensure your business stays connected prior to the complete Openreach UK WLR switch-off in 2025, it is imperative to upgrade your legacy telephony and connectivity to a full fibre and hosted solution. *Please note - A stop sale of legacy PSTN phone lines has already been implemented in some exchange areas, and this rule will be applicable to all exchanges by October 2023.

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