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Get up-to-date with what's happening with the 2025 PSTN Switch Off

The PSTN Switch Off is a drum we’ve been banging for a couple of years now and we’re not about to stop anytime soon. In fact, it’s now less than five years before the PSTN gets switched off for good. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that having the ability to work from anywhere and conduct business remotely is vital to sustaining a successful company.

What is the PSTN?

The PSTN is the Public Switched Telephone Network and it’s been in use since the 1800’s. In other words, it’s well overdue a revamp! In 2025, the revamp will be complete and the legacy telephone network will cease to operate. However, if you still want a phone line by 2025, you’ll have to switch to hosted voice, or VoIP, which uses the internet to make your phone calls rather than the traditional copper wires. Switching to VoIP will ensure crystal clear call signal, less environmental degradation, added reliability and greater scope for mobility.

What’s happened so far?

You mean aside from a global pandemic? Quite a lot actually! BT Group and Openreach first announced its intention to switch off the PSTN network in 2025 back in November 2017. Following that announcement, Openreach began holding industry workshops in September 2018 to consult with industry leaders about the upcoming changes. We’ve been involved in these workshops from the beginning and, therefore, are best placed to advise you about the future of your telecoms.

Although 2020 was a year to forget for many people, it was an important one in terms of the 2025 Switch Off. Openreach announced it was accelerating plans to move away from its PSTN services and onto a new internet network. As a result, this means that more than 118 UK exchange locations will receive over 75% coverage of FTTP by June 2021 making the switch to VoIP even easier for businesses in those areas.

One city in particular had an interesting 2020. Salisbury entered a ‘Stop Sell’ on Tuesday 1 December 2020 meaning that, ever since, businesses in Salisbury have been unable to order any new analogue or ISDN phone lines. They’ve also been unable to add new phone lines or channels to existing installations. Although at first glance that might seem harsh, over 22,000 businesses and homes in Salisbury are full fibre enabled, making the city arguably best placed in the country to migrate to VoIP telephony.

What happens next?

Well, this is where things get even more interesting! Despite 2020 being a busy year, there’s plenty yet to come. As aforementioned, more than 118 UK exchanges will receive 75% of FTTP coverage by June 2021. Following that, around 169 exchanges will follow in Salisbury’s footsteps and enter a ‘Stop Sell’ later this year.

Then, in 2023, the whole of the UK will enter a ‘Stop Sell’ meaning that in two years’ time you’ll no longer be able to order new analogue or ISDN phone lines or add new phone lines or channels to your services.

What should I do?

Well, it’s simple really – start assessing your telecoms! There’s plenty of advantages of VoIP which could help your business now, never mind in two years’ time. Hosted voice telephony allows your business to seamlessly work remotely while ensuring that you’ll never miss a call – you’ll be able to switch from your desk phone to your mobile phone at the touch of a button and pass on that efficiency throughout your business and deploy the same functionality to your workforce.

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