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The PSTN Switch Off - What does this mean for your business?

PSTN switch off, the future

The PSTN Switch Off

What is it? How will it impact Your Business?

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is the traditional telecommunications network that allows for voice communication using analogue signals. In simple terms, the PSTN is like a vast network of wires and switching stations that connect different telephones together. When you make a call, your voice is converted into electrical signals that travel through the PSTN, allowing you to communicate with someone else on the network.

Why is the PSTN being switched off?

The utilisation of the PSTN has been gradually declining over the last decade as we have seen a massive move towards digital technologies. There are several reasons for this shift:

  1. Advancements in Technology: Digital technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) offers numerous advantages over the traditional analogue PSTN. VoIP allows for more efficient use of network resources, provides additional features like video calling and instant messaging, and integrates well with other digital services.

  2. Cost Efficiency: Maintaining and upgrading the aging infrastructure of the PSTN can be expensive. Digital networks require less physical infrastructure and can be more cost-effective to operate and maintain.

  3. Flexibility and Scalability: Digital networks provide more flexibility and scalability in terms of adding new services and accommodating increasing demand. They can adapt to changing user needs and offer greater customisation options.

  4. Integration with Internet Services: As more communication services move to the internet, having a unified network that can seamlessly integrate voice, data, and multimedia services becomes increasingly important. Digital technologies make it easier to integrate voice communication with other internet-based services.

  5. Global Trends: Many countries and telecommunication operators are embracing digital technologies and transitioning to all-IP networks. This global trend is driven by the need for improved efficiency, reduced costs, and the increasing demand for innovative communication services.

When Will the PSTN be switched off?

Work is well on its way and BT Openreach will stop the PSTN, and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) service in 2025. At this point, all traditional PSTN lines, such as analogue or digital phone lines, ISDN phone systems used by businesses and older internet connections such as ADSL and FTTC broadband, will become obsolete. Openreach is updating local telephone exchanges across the UK with a full-fibre network to provide fast, dependable, and cost-effective connectivity.

PSTN Switch Over

What Does this Mean for Your Business?

According to reports, over two million businesses across the UK still operate on PSTN or ISDN, most of which are small and medium enterprises. Some larger organisations have also yet to make the switch. Approximately 33% of large corporations still rely on analogue for a portion of their communications processes.

If your business still relies on PSTN and ISDN services, e.g. landline telephones, old PBXs etc, the upcoming switch off from PSTN and ISDN services will have a significant impact on your operations. It is crucial to assess how this change will affect communication between your staff, clients/customers, partners, and vendors. You will need to devise alternative strategies and solutions to cope with the transition and ensure seamless communication in the future.

What do You Need to do?

Now is the time to futureproof your business and join the switchover movement to IP and cloud-based technology. The best alternative for any business on an ISDN network is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems. Powered by the IP, VoIP allows voice and video data to be seamlessly transmitted over the internet so that you can benefit from a cost-effective, flexible, and mobile communication infrastructure.

Next Steps

If this all sounds quite daunting, don’t worry, it isn’t as scary as it sounds. But as a doctor would say “ignoring it won’t make it go away.”

Once you’ve taken the next step, you will find that this will ultimately have a positive impact on your business, as the available alternatives are more cost efficient, flexible and scalable, allowing you to deal with new communication solutions that will enhance the services you provide today.

We at CloudComm know that businesses must continually assess everything about their business and their customers. Standing still equals going backwards. The PSTN/ISDN switch off is another example of how technology is continually changing and the impacts on businesses.

Whatever it is, we are here to help, so why not get in touch? After all, as winner of the SME Northern Enterprise Award for Cloud Communication MSP of the Year 2023, it's proven, we know what we're talking about!


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