BT’s ISDN & PSTN Digital Switch-off | Read Time: 3 mins.
BT are switching off their ISDN and PSTN telephone networks. This will start with a cease of supply from 2020. Full migration is expected by 2025 as and when contract renewals come around.
What does BT’s ISDN & PSTN switch off mean for me and my organisation?
If like approximately 45% of other UK businesses, your company has migrated to an IP based telephony solution, then you’ve no need to worry or take any action.
If you are one of the remaining 55% of UK businesses that haven’t taken any action, then now is the time to start planning with some urgency.
Failure to prepare for BT’s ISDN & PSTN switch-off could result in your business being disconnected from voice-calls and landline numbers.
What options do I have?
You will need to migrate your business phone services to an internet-based system.
Internet telephony has a few labels: VoIP, IP telephony, cloud telephony and hosted telephony to name a few.
You could simply run internet-based phone lines (SIP trunks) into your existing phone system, so long as that system is IP compatible.
The other option is to go for a hosted or cloud-based system. With this option, the only hardware required at your site is the handsets and they connect via the internet to a cloud-based phone system.
These phone system options are suitable for both small businesses within the UK as well as larger organisations.
I’m not with BT, will this still affect me?
Yes. The ISDN & PSTN switch off is being directed by Openreach who is owned by BT Group Plc.
Openreach own, manage and maintain the majority of the telephone network throughout the UK. There’s a high possibility that whilst your service is not with BT themselves, your lines will be operated by Openreach.
If you are unsure, our advice is to assume that the BT ISDN & PSTN switch off will affect you.
Bluecube can provide you with a free, no obligation, network check service. Contact our team to take advantage of this service.
What advantages does a VoIP phone line have over ISDN?
A cloud or hosted system gives you more flexibility than an on-site system.
There is no limit on the number of users you can add, you can also add features to suit individual users.
For example, a customer service person might require a phone with call recording services whilst a member of the accounts team might not.
You can also use a range of devices depending on your location or job role. A salesperson might need a desk phone for the office but a softphone (mobile app) for when they are working remotely or from home.
Moving your business numbers away from physical lines and into the cloud is simple if managed properly
The advantages for small businesses are particularly numerous. Features that were previously out of reach for small businesses suddenly become affordable. From on hold marketing to cloud-recording.
What do I need to do to switch?
Ofcom has made number portability much easier over the last few years in preparation for the IP telephony transition.
You’ll also need a fit for purpose internet connection and a good disaster recovery plan.
If your internet connection was to fail and you had no failover plan, this could leave you without phones, emails and without access to essential office systems.
Bluecube’s ultimate advice would be to make sure you get professional advice before you make any decisions.
Look at this as an opportunity to improve your communication systems and even lower costs rather than a threat.
Where can I find out more information on the switch off?
Our Digital Switch-off Preparation page covers a range of additional information. Further information will be added there as it gets announced by Openreach, BT and/or Ofcom.
Alternatively, Bluecube offers a free, no obligation demo of our Silverline IP phone system.
The Digital Switch Off Book a free demo