Preparing for the big ISDN & PSTN switch-off.

Back in 2015, BT announced that the old analogue Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) would be phased out by December 2025. After this date, everyone in the UK will no longer be making calls over traditional phone lines. Instead, all calls will be routed over IP (Internet Protocol) for faster, more effective communication. 

What exactly are PSTN and ISDN?

The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) infrastructure has been in use in the UK since 1876, using copper wires to connect landlines and analogue phones.

On the other hand, ISDN utilises the traditional PSTN network to simultaneously transmit voice, video and other services.

Depending on the size of the business that you operate, you could have either ISDN2 or ISDN30 lines.

When PSTN infrastructure reaches end-of-life in December 2025, so will ISDN lines.

Why has BT made this decision?

Technology is moving at a rapid rate, and with the ability to make calls over the internet, PSTN and ISDN are no longer capable of delivering the volume of voice data with the kind of quality that organisations need.

Also, PSTN and ISDN are becoming increasingly costly to maintain, and suppliers are no longer manufacturing the parts to repair connection lines.

Therefore, the PSTN infrastructure is outdated and needs replacing with new and modern technology to fit the digital world in which we now live.

How does this affect your business?

The National Business Communications conducted a survey and found that 69.5% of UK businesses are still using landlines within their company.  This is a very shocking statistic, considering that an average of 40% of UK workers work from home.

If your business is still using ISDN, the switch-off will dramatically impact your operations and how your employees communicate with customers, partners and vendors. Therefore, you should start thinking about creating a plan to switch over your telephone system and find out when your current ISDN contract ends.

While 2025 may still seem a long way off, IT providers will no longer supply or implement ISDN lines. Don’t wait until the last minute to make a change to all-digital business communications such as cloud telephony or hosted PBX.

Will Broadband lines be affected?

In the instance that your broadband is supported on a single line, it may be affected when the switch-off happens. This will also be the case for devices such as alarm lines, payment terminals, fax machines, and security cameras.

If you own any of these devices, you’ll need to find out whether they will need to be replaced or will be compatible with your new internet line.

What’s the alternative?

For businesses that haven’t made the move to a digital solution, thinking about moving soon to digital phone lines such as a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) solution or a SIP Trunking product will be beneficial.

VoIP phone systems are cloud-based solutions that allow businesses to make calls over the internet which will effectively run over IP instead of traditional phone lines. whereas, a SIP trunk allows you to connect to a regular phone network with an integrated VoIP system.

These digital solutions are better than traditional phone lines as they:

  • Have stronger connectivity, delivering crystal clear audio and video
  • Have a friendly, end-user experience
  • Are seamlessly reliable, utilising multiple data centres
  • Are easily manageable from an admin perspective
  • Are just as secure as your internal network
  • Are fully scalable to meet the needs of growing organisations of any size
  • Are extremely cost-effective, as you pay only for what you need
  • Provide the freedom and flexibility to work in any location, supporting the modern workplace

Another benefit of moving to a digital solution is that, with the right planning, it’s fairly easy to make the transition, and you won’t need to change your number.

How can Air IT help?

The PSTN network is not only old and outdated, but it’s also unable to deliver the quality and flexibility that organisations expect. As a result, the PSTN will reach end-of-life in December 2025 and will cease operation after this date. If any businesses or consumers have failed to switch to alternative telephony, they will ultimately be left without service. That’s why it’s important that you plan to switch to a modern, internet line before this deadline.

Air IT can offer a wide range of business communication and telephony options as well as help streamline your technologies. We will work with you to understand your needs and help you to move away from the traditional phone line at a pace that best suits you.

To find out more about switching to a modern telephone system, speak with one of our experts.

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