As of September 5, 2023, BT Openreach initiated a nationwide stop-sell of single and multi-line PSTN and ISDN lines, marking a significant milestone in the transition to newer technologies and signaling the beginning of the phase-out process. The full PSTN switch-off is scheduled for 2025.
For over a century, the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) has been the backbone of phone calls in the UK. This event signifies a monumental shift into a new era in telecoms, with digital services—particularly Internet Protocol (IP) or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems—now taking centre stage.
The term "stop-sell" means that you are not able to purchase any new services or modify any existing services that rely on ISDN or PSTN, but can continue using pre-existing legacy PSTN services until the complete switch-off in 2025.
To put it simply, the PSTN, a complex infrastructure of telephone lines, satellite links, and switching centers, has been outpaced by the capabilities of internet calls, video conferencing, and collaborative online tools. All organisations across the UK now need to migrate to alternative solutions, with many already having made the switch to VoIP technology, allowing their users to make phone calls and transmit data over an internet connection.
With the PSTN switch-off deadline looming, the urgency to adopt IP telephony is clear. Businesses need to act to ensure a seamless transition and avoid disruptions. The year 2025 may still seem distant, but in reality, it's less than two years away. Businesses that delay the adoption of IP telephony may face challenges beyond just losing the ability to make calls. Alarm systems and emergency points of contact often tied to PSTN will also become inoperable without the necessary upgrades.
Transitioning to VoIP future-proofs businesses, providing advanced features, scalability, and significant cost savings. VoIP enhances flexibility and mobility, allowing employees to communicate from anywhere with an internet connection. It is a key enabler of modern work models, supporting remote and hybrid work and improves collaboration. Moreover, VoIP ensures reliability, redundancy, and aligns with the trend of unified communication, integrating various channels into a cohesive platform.
As you gear up for the impending switch-off, it’s important to consider the following key steps to ensure your business is well-prepared:
• Check your devices: Identify systems reliant on PSTN lines for a smooth transition.
• Review your connectivity: Ensure your internet connection is robust for optimal VoIP performance.
• Evaluate your hardware: Consider your hardware needs for a more digital-centric infrastructure.
• Select your solution: Choose a VoIP solution tailored to your business requirements.
• Involve your employees: Prioritise training to ensure a smooth transition and enthusiastic adoption.
• Embrace the change: View the PSTN switch-off as an opportunity for digital transformation, opening doors for innovation.
Since BT's first announcement, many years back now, TIEVA has been at the forefront, enabling businesses to successfully transition to IP services. Recognising the unique needs of each business, TIEVA provides a diverse range of reliable, high-performance connectivity services. We work in close partnership with industry-leading VoIP and UC technology providers, such as 8x8, Avaya, and RingCentral, to be able to offer a solution that matches your exact needs and ensures a smooth and efficient transition.
As the countdown to the PSTN switch-off accelerates, businesses that act promptly and embrace this change will navigate the transformation with ease. They will emerge stronger, ready to leverage the many benefits offered by these digital solutions.
Let TIEVA be your guide, unlocking new possibilities and ensuring continued success in the digital era.