Openreach are in the process of preparing for the withdrawal of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This is also known as the ‘ISDN switch-off’. The current telephone network will not be supported past the end of 2025.
By the end of 2025, all voice services will have to run on top of a broadband connection. Landlines are being used less and less, yet it remains costly to maintain the traditional copper phone network.
For many businesses, modern technology can provide a more cost effective solution that presents desirable options around flexibility.
What’s going to change?
Currently, many people pay line rental, which allows them to make calls via a landline phone, over the old copper network. The same network can be used for some types of internet connection. An ADSL, FTTC or GFast connection will be supplied over (at least some of) the same line. You can read more about the different types of broadband and how they are supplied in our previous post.
With a full-fibre connection, the old infrastructure is not used. Openreach’s plan to bring FTTP services to more premises therefore means that the UK will be better equipped to run voice services over a broadband connection. It also means that you won’t necessarily have to pay for line rental in addition to your broadband. Instead, after these changes, the core service will be broadband. The use of a phone system will then be an optional addition.
In order to use what is currently known as a landline after 2025, you’ll need an IP system in place. VoIP is an example of one of the alternative technologies that you may choose to opt for. This allows you to make calls by transferring data over the internet.
What’s the best way to prepare for this?
Over the next year, you should start to notice alternative solutions being announced for a broadband connection that uses neither the PSTN or fibre network. This means that if a full-fibre connection isn’t available to you yet, from next year you should be able to install an internet connection that will not be affected in 2025.
The idea of having to switch over your broadband and phone system can sound a little daunting, however there are many benefits to having a system that is combined. Cloud voice services can also bring you flexibility that simply wasn’t possible with a standard landline. We’ll talk more about this in our next post.
While we wanted to start making people aware of the future changes, ultimately, there’s still around 6 years until the ISDN switch-off. So, although there is no immediate cause for concern, if you’re looking at upgrading your phone system or connectivity solutions in the near future, it’s worth bearing all of this in mind.
At Roda, we’re committed to helping our customers feel confident that they are ready for the switch. And it’s never too early to be prepared. If you want to find out more, and start considering your options, simply give us a call.