About the PSTN
The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) has been in use in this country since 1876, so it’s understandably grown old and tired, and it’s becoming increasingly costly to maintain. Therefore, it needs replacing with new and modern technology, fit for the digital world we now live in.
The PSTN is simply the copper wires we currently use to make and receive telephone calls but, with technology moving forward at a rapid rate, it’s no longer necessary, or as effective, to make calls using the old, degrading system.
Instead, it’s cost-effective and more reliable to use alternative methods such as a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution or a SIP Trunking product.
As a result, the PSTN will reach end of life in December 2025 and will cease operation after then. At the end of December 2025, these fixed lines and services will be switched off and services withdrawn. If any businesses or consumers have failed to switch to alternative telephony, they will ultimately be left without service.
What do you need to do?
We’re one of a handful of providers that are actively involved in industry planning meetings regarding the PSTN Switch Off, so we’ll be sure to keep you in the loop.
If you’re currently on an ISDN contract, you don’t need to do anything at the moment. But be mindful that when your contract is up for renewal, you’ll probably need to switch to a hosted telephony solution.
In Salisbury and Mildenhall, Openreach has withdrawn services with a view to switching off the PSTN in these areas by 2023. Replacement products will be launched early in these areas to ensure that everyone is well prepared.
For everyone outside of these areas, there’ll be no new installations on the PSTN from 2023. In 2025, it’ll all be turned off.
Who is affected by the 2025 switch off?
The 2025 switch off will affect all homes and businesses currently operating on ISDN or PSTN lines, meaning consequences for anyone still relying on fixed landlines for communication. If your business has Ethernet in the First Mile, Fibre Ethernet or FTTP, your services will not be impacted.
So are landlines being phased out?
Essentially, yes. The PSTN Switch Off also means a landline switch off and analogue phone switch off. After BT Openreach stop traditional phone lines, the UK will go through a complete digital switchover in 2025. All analogue phones will cease to work in both homes and businesses.
What replacement products are available?
Traditional PBX systems will be replaced by VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), phone systems that allows you to make calls over the internet. The results are better quality calls, smaller bills, and a whole host of features. VoIP solutions are also scalable and can grow with your business.
There’s also the option of SIP Trunking which combines VoIP technology with your existing on-premise telephone system to preserve your current features, numbers, and call quality while adding the benefits of a hosted voice solution.
Your Questions Answered
Will the switch affect my partnership with PHMG?
What is the PSTN and ISDN?
Will my broadband be impacted?
Will anything else be impacted?
What do I do if I’ve got an ISDN line?
When will Openreach start withdrawing services?
What happens in 2023?
From September 2023, Openreach will issue a full ‘stop sell’ of new supply meaning there will be no new line installation for Single PSTN lines or ISDN. Customers who already have the affected Openreach products will be able to continue using them until the switch off. Consumer rights during this period will still be upheld so line transfers will be accepted providing there is no change to the installation when the line moves from one provider to another.
What happens in 2025?
Your provider will strive to migrate all PSTN services to alternative solutions before the December 2025 deadline. However, if any of your services remain on the PSTN network, then they will be withdrawn. Any businesses or consumers that fail to switch to alternative telephony will ultimately be left without service.