The Big Digital Switchover

The sun is setting on the copper-wire telephone network across the U.S. – learn how your business could be affected, and what you need to do next.

What’s happening?

From August this year, telephone network providers will no longer be legally obliged to support the last parts of the old copper-wire telephone network across the U.S..

Most of the network has already been retired, and the remaining 36 million-or-so Americans will be affected by this change in legislation. Some network providers are taking the opportunity to turn off their copper-based networks entirely.

The FCC has mandated this action to speed up the switchover to internet-based alternatives, which run on a separate fiber network. When you switch, you’ll be upgrading from an analog service to a digital one.

The FCC issued this order (#19-72A1) in 2019.

When is it happening?

The switchover to digital services is ongoing.

You may have received a letter from your existing network provider encouraging you to switch (and they’re doing other things to encourage switching too, like making analog services more expensive). If your network provider is among those turning off their copper-based networks, this letter may include a deadline – and this deadline can vary.

If you’re unsure if you’re affected, a quick phone call to your network provider should confirm one way or the other, plus any important dates.

What do I need to do?

Depending on your network provider, you may need to move to an internet-based telephone service in order to ensure continuous telephone service.

If your business uses copper telephone lines, switching to an internet-based alternative can help ensure the continuity of your business phone service (and any other services that rely on phone lines, like fax machines, alarm systems or elevators).

Don’t worry if you don’t have a fiber internet connection in your area – you can make use of wireless internet alternatives. It’s your network provider’s responsibility to ensure you have either a fiber or wireless connection available to you.

how to switch

Switching: step-by-step

We can refer you to a number of internet-based service providers, to help ensure your business telephone service continues uninterrupted. There is no cost for this.

1. You need to select and sign up for a new internet-based telephone system provider, including a suitable monthly plan.

2. You’ll receive a welcome email with contact details for your new provider’s Implementation Team.

3. Together with the Implementation Team, you’ll go through a training session where you learn how to use the new system, set up users and call trees, and carry out testing to make sure you’ve got them right.

4. Your new provider will make a request to transfer your existing phone numbers – this process usually takes around 7-10 days.

5. You’ll get a follow-up call from your new provider once the transfer is complete, to ensure everything is working as it should.

Why is this good news?

There are lots of benefits to switching to an internet-based telephone service.

Cost effective

It’s a single communications solution, with low monthly subscriptions and minimal upfront costs. Pay only for the services you need and add new services in moments, only when you need them.

Flexible and scalable

You only pay for the number of users you need – and can add extra users quickly, as and when your business grows.

Goes everywhere you do

Freed from the limits of an on-premises telephone system, your team can keep in touch everywhere – with no fuss, and on any device. At the office, on the road, at home… and even at the beach.

Simple and easy

You’ll be able to maintain the system yourself – no IT experts required. And since it uses your existing internet connection, you won’t need to install any new wiring or equipment.

We’ve partnered with three established names to offer you a preferential rate on their services.


A leader in the 2021 Garnet Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications, RingCentral is a seamless solution to unleash the power of cloud business communications.

  • Call analytics
  • 24/7 support
  • Video meetings up to 100 people
  • Unlimited audio conferencing
  • 100+ countries included
  • Unlimited internet faxing
  • Integration with Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Slack and others


A feature-rich cloud PBX for businesses of all sizes, all-in-one collaboration from desktop and mobile devices with voice, video, private messaging, and team chat.

  • Call analytics
  • 24/7 support
  • Video meetings up to 500 people
  • Unlimited audio conferencing
  • 14 countries included
  • Unlimited internet faxing
  • Integration with Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Slack and others


Simple, secure, and built for flexible work, GoToConnect has meetings and messaging built right in.

  • Call analytics
  • 24/7 support
  • Video meetings up to 150 people
  • Unlimited audio conferencing
  • 50+ countries included
  • Unlimited internet faxing
  • Integration with Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Slack and others

Get started

Speak to one of our experts and let’s get the ball rolling.

It’s free, no-obligation, and you could save a significant sum over the headline price by taking advantage of our preferential rates.

We’ll also explore how you can maximize the effectiveness of your new system with PHMG’s support.

Where do PHMG come in?

We optimize your system. Here’s how.
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Exclusive music
Our talented composers will compose an exclusive music track based on your brand’s unique characteristics, and which replaces the silence or beeps when callers are queueing, holding or transferring.
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Creative scriptwriting
We’ll craft engaged messages that communicate important information about your business, like offers and new product releases, to break up the music and keep people holding on.
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Professional voice artistry
We work with hundreds of professional voice artists around the globe, and we’ll identify the right one to represent your brand.
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Auto Attendant
We can put in place an automated answering service that ensures every call gets picked up at the first ring, with a consistent greeting and list of numbered options.
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Effective call routing
We can work with you to create an effective telephone tree that ensures every caller reaches the right person at the first time of asking.
Lady using mobile
Standardized voicemail prompts
Available for both landlines and cellphones, these standardized prompts are professionally voiced so they’re clear, consistent and appropriate.
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Out-of-hours message
Once you’ve closed for the day, this production will ensure your phone doesn’t ring out – instead informing callers when you reopen, and where they can get information in the meantime.

Over 32,000 clients can’t be wrong.

Enhances your image

You’ll project a professional and consistent image that reassures your callers you’re somebody they can trust.

Generates extra revenue

Communicating important messages about your business’s products and services can introduce valuable cross-selling opportunities.

Reinforces your brand values

Your choice of music, voice artistry and script can subtly communicate what your brand stands for and believes in.

Minimizes missed opportunities

Never miss a new business inquiry just because it came out of hours, or while you were busy on another call.

Prevents complaints

Engaging messaging can slash the perceived time spent holding – meaning callers are more likely to stay on the line – and reduce the likelihood of callers reaching the wrong person or department.

Reduces up-front costs

Our subscription-based pricing model leaves your marketing budget on your balance sheet and helps you plan for the future.
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Our expertise in action

How we helped Ramos Center

This well-respected healthcare provider has locations along Florida’s Gulf Coast, and specializes in pain management and cancer care.

Learn how we helped them maximize the opportunities offered by their new RingCentral telephone system – improving call flows, messaging and patient outcomes in the process.

Physiotherapist giving shoulder therapy to a woman