YeaLink Phone

PSTN Switch Off

Starting September 5th, 2023

YeaLink Phone

PSTN Switch Off

Starting September 5th, 2023

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Gear up for the impending PSTN switch off!

Started September 2023, and is completing December 2025, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will cease. Before this, all UK legacy phone lines and broadband connections must shift to fully digital, IP-based service on a fibre network. Trust Focus Group to lead your business through this transformation and embrace the communication future.

What is the PSTN Switch Off?

The PSTN switch off refers to the discontinuation of the legacy Public Switched Telephone Network, which has become inadequate for the demands of modern communication. This network is being replaced and upgraded with a more robust and advanced alternative: fibre-optic technology.

Traditional PSTN lines, including analogue and digital phone lines, as well as ISDN phone systems commonly used by businesses, along with older internet connections like ADSL and FTTC broadband, will all become obsolete once the complete switch off of the PSTN is executed.

In the UK, Openreach is currently in the process of upgrading local telephone exchanges to transition to a full-fibre network. This upgrade aims to provide fast, dependable, and cost-efficient connectivity. It’s essential for businesses to embrace this evolution in telecoms and connectivity to ensure they are well-connected and prepared for a fully digital future.

By December 2025, the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) will be deactivated. Starting on September 5th, 2023, a ‘stop sell’ regulation will be enforced nationwide in the UK. This mandates that all service providers cease the sale of traditional phone lines and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband. Simultaneously, no modifications can be made to existing legacy telephony infrastructure.

In response to this, businesses across the UK will be required to transition to a fully digital network that operates via Internet Protocol (IP) over a fibre-optic-based service.

The impact of the PSTN ‘stop sell’ is not limited to telephony services alone. It will necessitate an upgrade to your current broadband connection. Moreover, any devices or systems reliant on the PSTN network—such as alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, and CCTV—will also need to be adapted to alternative solutions to ensure seamless functionality.

PSTN Switch Off and the Now of Voice Services

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    Why is the Switch Off happening?

    The decision to switch off the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) stems from several reasons. The traditional PSTN network, constructed using copper cables, is undergoing rapid deterioration and has reached a point of fragility.

    Maintaining this aging infrastructure has become increasingly expensive and challenging. Originally established in the late 1800s, the PSTN infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle the communication demands of the 21st century.

    In today’s digital landscape, the requirements for higher speeds and greater bandwidth have surged as the United Kingdom progresses toward a fully digital future. The shift towards mobile and internet-based communication has become dominant, with paramount emphasis on speed, accessibility, and reliability. These expectations are notably high, and digital technology provides the solutions needed to meet these demands effectively.

    To address this evolving technological landscape, the country has chosen to phase out the outdated PSTN technology in favour of embracing full-fibre connectivity. This transition is crucial to align with the requirements of modern technology and ensure that the nation can adequately support the speed, accessibility, and reliability demanded by today’s communication needs.

    When is the Switch Off happening?

    The PSTN switch off is scheduled to take place in 2025, orchestrated by Openreach. This forthcoming change signifies that individuals and businesses throughout the UK that currently rely on PSTN-based services will be required to transition to a new service prior to this deadline.

    In lieu of the existing copper-based PSTN network, Openreach has been actively engaged in deploying fibre-optic infrastructure. The initiative is progressing according to plan, with the aim of replacing all connections across the UK by 2025. However, it’s important to recognise that a project of this magnitude necessitates time and effort; as a result, the transition to full-fibre connectivity is already well underway. In fact, in various exchange areas, the option to procure copper-based PSTN services is no longer available.

    Therefore, this is an opportune moment for businesses to ensure their readiness for the impending PSTN switch off. While this transition represents a significant change, it’s worth noting that the benefits of embracing a full-fibre, IP network are substantial and offer an array of exciting possibilities.

    Stay Connected Anywhere, Anytime

    A modern business phone system ensures constant connectivity. Regardless of your team’s location—whether in the office, working remotely, or on the move—you can effortlessly make calls, establish connections, and foster collaboration. The full suite of phone system tools and features are readily accessible at your fingertips, allowing seamless communication no matter where your business operations take you.

    Enhanced Flexibility and Cost-Efficiency

    Embracing Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology through the PSTN switch off introduces a realm of advantages. VoIP operates over the internet, enabling you to make free or highly cost-effective calls. This transition also grants your business a newfound flexibility. You can manage calls from various devices and locations, ensuring that you remain responsive at all times. The result? Uninterrupted communication and the capacity to attend to calls regardless of your whereabouts, ensuring that important calls are never missed.

    Comprehensive Feature Set

    Embracing a modern business phone system offers access to a wide array of communication tools. The versatility of call features is virtually limitless. From proficient call management options like call handling, voicemail-to-email functionality, collaborative call distribution, and automated attendants to dynamic features such as live call boards, real-time analytics, and call recording, the possibilities are expansive. This system can be tailored to align precisely with the specific needs of your business, amplifying its operational efficiency.

    How will it affect my business?

    The impending PSTN switch off is poised to have an impact on a significant number of businesses, approximately 2.4 million in the UK alone. These businesses are currently reliant on legacy telephone lines and ISDN networks that are powered by the PSTN (public switched telephone network). As the date of the PSTN switch off draws near, it becomes imperative to ensure that your business is not among those affected, as these older systems will cease to function.

    For businesses currently utilising ISDN/PSTN telephony or broadband services, it is advisable to begin considering the advantages of transitioning to fibre-based technology. This proactive move will ensure your business remains functional and well-connected in the face of the changing telecommunications landscape.

    What should I do?

    Preparing for the full PSTN switch off in 2025 requires timely action, even though it might appear distant. However, many regions across the UK will experience a stop sale on new ISDN or PSTN-based services well before that date. Notably, as of September 2023, the option to purchase traditional phone lines will no longer be available across all exchange areas. This presents an opportunity to explore innovative and forward-looking services tailored to your business.

    If your current services are based on PSTN, it’s essential to plan the transition to an IP (VoIP) telephony solution and switch your broadband to a fibre-based solution. While the PSTN switch off mandates a change, proactively upgrading your services and systems now brings forth several advantages. This approach enables you to leverage the benefits of hosted telephony and fibre connectivity ahead of competitors, while simultaneously ensuring your business is prepared for the future. By making this transition, you position your business to stay competitive, embrace modern technology, and remain adaptable in the ever-evolving telecommunications landscape.

    Why not have a look at our own VoIP Phone System, Talk Express

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    What is the UK PSTN switch off?

    Openreach plans to shutter the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) by December 2025, propelling all UK business phone lines onto a fully digital network.

    This transition employs voice over internet protocol (VoIP) technology via fibre-based connectivity. The switch encompasses not only phone lines but also broadband, shifting from copper lines to nationwide full fibre deployment.

    The phased rollout might necessitate an early shift to fibre and IP services before the December 2025 cut-off. This pivot anticipates enhanced communication, replacing outdated systems and aligning with Openreach’s nationwide fibre upgrade initiative.

    What does the PSTN switch off mean for my business?

    Legacy PSTN lines, including analogue/digital phone lines, ISDN systems for businesses, and outdated internet connections like ADSL/FTTC broadband, are set to become obsolete.

    If your business relies on these connections, it’s imperative to transition to full fibre connections and embrace a VoIP-based phone system to stay current and efficiently communicate in the modern landscape.

    PSTN advantages and disadvantages

    While the PSTN has commendably facilitated communication since its late 1800s inception, its copper-based structure has aged, grown brittle, and proven progressively challenging to uphold. The network’s resilience is strained by 21st-century’s rapid connectivity demands, rendering it unsuitable for modern requirements.

    Which is the best business phone system?

    We offer an extensive array of VoIP business phone systems, and our team is readily available to provide assistance. We’ll carefully assess your business’s unique needs, explore the full spectrum of available options, and assist you in choosing the optimal system that aligns with your requirements.

    With a diverse selection of VoIP phone systems catering to businesses of varying sizes, our guidance will ensure a smooth transition to an all-IP future, addressing all the necessary aspects for a seamless shift.

    When do I need to upgrade my services?

    As exchange areas reach 75% fibre connection completion, “stop sell” notifications are being activated for copper-based services. Subsequently, these services will be phased out.

    Businesses are urged to transition to fibre-based telecoms and internet solutions in advance to ensure uninterrupted service. Assess your service requirements promptly to evade last-minute disruptions or potential delays in new service installations.

    Embrace the advantages of VoIP services swiftly, avoiding complications and harnessing their benefits at an earlier juncture.

    What is the difference between PSTN and VoIP?

    PSTN is a fundamental service that employs circuit-switched copper phone lines to transmit analogue voice data. Widely utilized in homes and businesses for decades, a PSTN phone number corresponds to a single line, exclusively serving call communication.

    On the other hand, VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) utilizes internet-based technology to facilitate calls, delivering swifter, more cost-effective, reliable, and adaptable communication. This technology eliminates the necessity of relying on costly and labour-intensive copper-based services.

    What is the difference between PSTN and ISDN?

    ISDN, or Integrated Services Digital Network, permits the digital conveyance of voice, video, and data via conventional PSTN phone lines. In essence, it enables simultaneous phone calls and internet access via a single port on your phone line.

    However, the move away from the PSTN will inevitably lead to the discontinuation of ISDN services as well.

    Can I keep my current phone number?

    Yes. Openreach is already busy preparing exchanges across the UK and the migration to new, full fibre connections is now well underway. In some exchange areas, a stop sale of legacy PSTN phone lines has already been implemented.

    You will need to update your legacy telephony and connectivity to a full fibre and hosted solution to ensure your business remains connected before the full Openreach UK WLR switch-off in 2025.

    *Please note – In some exchange areas, a stop sale of legacy PSTN phone lines has already been implemented & all exchanges will fall into this rule by October 2023.