In 2017, BT Openreach announced that it would be switching off the old analogue public switched telephone network (PSTN) in 2025 and moving to a fully digital network. Every phone line in the UK will be digital, routing calls over IP (Internet Protocol) rather than the traditional PSTN. If you didn’t know, you’re not alone. In March 2021, a study by Taking Care that surveyed a representative sample of more than 2,000 UK adults, found that 91% were unaware that all phone lines would be digital by the end of 2025.
But what exactly does this mean, and why is it happening?
The copper wire telephone network has served homes and businesses since 1876, but times are changing. The past few years have seen dramatic leaps in technology, from smartphones and apps to the cloud and IoT. However, most people don’t understand that the current infrastructure is increasingly unable to support the demands of modern communications. Those telephone cables strung above our heads, and copper cables buried beneath our feet? Some of this has been there since the 19th century! As people move to mobile and internet communications, traditional technologies cannot possibly keep up.
According to BT: “It’s time to embrace the boundless possibilities of digital and move away from PSTN.”
Everyone, including homes and businesses that currently use PSTN-based services, will need to migrate to another service before 2025. While 2025 may seem a while away, from December 2023, you will be unable to purchase any new PSTN-based service. Some locations have already stopped selling, and many more will be affected sooner than this.
If you want to ensure continuity of service and keep your phone number, you need to start thinking about making the switch now.
So if we can’t have our traditional phone line, what’s the alternative?
The move to digital isn’t just because the old service is… well… old. It’s because digital is just so much better. VoIP allows for complete flexibility and scalability. Even in its most basic form, it will enable you to take calls on any device, wherever you are, using the same number.
But I’ve heard bad things about VoIP!
Once upon a time, VoIP was a questionable choice, as it entirely relies on a stable internet connection to deliver faultless calls. However, with the rollout of fibre, the speed of most internet connections is enough to obliterate those initial concerns. VoIP is a straightforward system requiring far less hardware than legacy systems. It’s cheaper than a traditional PSTN line, too!
Is switching over likely to cause problems for my business?
Moving over to VoIP is a seamless process that won’t leave you without your business phone for days. You can ensure a quick and easy deployment by acting now (before huge demand kicks in!). You will be able to keep your existing number and even take on several others for a minimal cost. VoIP is straightforward and can be deployed on several devices, from a desktop phone to your mobile, laptop, or tablet. And with hundreds of thousands of other businesses relying solely on VoIP to deliver high-quality business calls, you can be assured that you’ll be pleased you made the switch.
Our feature-rich VoIP solution enables teams to connect and collaborate in the ways that work best for them, through voice, video, instant messaging, call recording, online meetings, screen sharing, and much more. If you’d like to have a demo, just get in touch!