Back in 2017 BT Openreach announced their plans to switch off its old analogue (PSTN) and digital (ISDN) networks by the end of 2025. The services at the time were used by millions of homeowners and businesses throughout the UK, however, it was and is costly and difficult to maintain because a lot of the infrastructure has been in place for over a 100 years and would not support future needs and modern technologies.
The move away from analogue and digital legacy products also coincides with the demand for fibre optic (High Speed Digital Technology) that delivers greater volumes of faster, more reliable voice, video and data services. As the uptake in digital continues to grow, demand for traditional PSTN and ISDN services has reduced considerably as more businesses make the switch. Continuing to run both services side by side indefinitely wasn’t a viable long term option, which is why Openreach announced an agreed timeline to switch off their PSTN and ISDN networks at the end of 2025 with a stop sell of these products from 2023.
This timeline provided them the time to install the required fibre optic infrastructure throughout the UK. It subsequently gave businesses the advanced notice and opportunity to maximise their investment in any existing technology such as telephone systems and peripherals prior to making the required switch by the end of 2025.
How might this affect you?
The PSTN (public switched telephone network) has predominately helped us to make and receive telephone calls throughout the UK and worldwide.
To access and use the PSTN you’ll either have analogue trunk lines, ISDN circuits or a mixture of both installed within your premises. For telephony purposes these lines are usually connected to a telephone system (PBX). You may also have analogue lines for other purposes like for; sending faxes, broadband services, card machine transactions, your fire alarm system and reporting lift emergencies.
When the PSTN network shuts down in 2025, not only will these analogue lines and ISDN circuits shut down too, but everything connected to them will cease to work as well. If your business still relies on this technology, you’ll have no way of making or receiving calls. Fax and card machines will no longer work and you’ll lose access to the internet too.
Soon you will also be unable to purchase new lines, since Openreach has adopted a phrased approach to stop selling new analogue and ISDN connections. This started initially at exchange level in 2020 and has since then expanded nationally. From September 2023 this will apply throughout the whole of the UK.
What can you do about it?
For peace of mind, you need to assess what you have in place currently to understand whether your business will be affected or not. If you have already upgraded to a cloud telephony solution, these changes may not affect you at all.
Once you know, you can start to investigate what your options are. Obviously, the longer you leave it, the less time you have to work out all your options and you could be forced into to making a quick decision that could cost you more money.
Some changes may only require a short period of time to deliberate and implement – a matter of a week or two. For instance, moving a broadband circuit off an analogue line.
However, if you currently have a telephone system connected to ISDN circuits there are more options available (e.g. SIP Trunks or cloud telephony), so it will take longer to collect the necessary information to help you make an informed decision.
The good news is, if you haven’t already made the switch to the latest technology, there are some fantastic benefits as well as significant savings, so it should be well worth the time and effort.
How can we help?
The telecom industry is full of acronyms and if you are not involved in the industry on a day to day basis it is easy to get lost trying to make sense of it all. This makes it difficult if you’re leading a project to bring positive technology changes to deliver long term benefits to your business, customers and staff.
ANT Telecom can help support you through this change. We are an experienced team of account managers and engineers and offer very personalized one-to-one support. Once you’ve been assigned an account manager, they’ll support you by providing all the information you require.
Your account manager will work with you to understand what you have in place, discuss your various options, make recommendations and provide necessary quotes to help you make an informed decision on how you should best proceed.
We partner all the leading telecom providers and supply services from Openreach, 8 x 8, BT, Vodafone, O2, Avaya, Virgin to name but a few. This helps us provide plenty of options and allows you to facilitate all your telecom requirements (telecoms, broadband and mobile) through ANT Telecom.