What does the BIG BT SWITCH OFF mean for your business?

How will the BIG BT SWITCH OFF affect your business? And what to do about it!

Topics: Hosted telephony

January 2021

The BT 2025 switch off

Over the next four years the UK’s telecoms networks will undergo massive change with the Big BT switch off, shutting down BT’s traditional phone lines in favour of internet-based systems.

BT announced its big switch off in November 2017, stating it would not provide ISDN and PSTN services in the UK past December 2025, swapping all its business customers to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) solutions. And, as of September 2023, BT will no longer sell ISDN or PSTN. Known as a Stop Sell order, it means from that date you will no longer be able to purchase or upgrade any new, or existing, PSTN or ISDN services. The final switch off of these services will occur in December 2025.

After the switch off, all PSTN and ISDN service will cease to operate and there will be no maintenance available on any of these types of circuits.

Who is affected by the Big switch off?

As a result of the switch off over 16 million telephone lines will need to be transferred to IP-based networks which support broadband-based call services.  This will affect over two million UK businesses, with the biggest impact felt by those with a substantial use of landline telephones, alarm systems and other telemetry based services using PSTN lines.

Why is the BT switch off happening?

The PSTN has been in place for many decades and generally consists of copper telephone lines, fibre optic cables, microwave transmission links, satellites, undersea telephone cables and mobile networks. The PSTN is reaching the end of its life and becoming increasingly difficult and costly to maintain.

Over the last decade there has also been a huge reduction in customers actually using PSTN and ISDN services because they’ve already migrated to new IP telephony solutions. Today, there are plenty of other methods of voice and data transmission available that are cheaper, faster and more reliable.

X.COMM provides a range of solutions and you can find out more by calling 03333 447 092 or emailing sales@xcomm.co.uk.

So what’s next for telecommunications?

It might sound like there’s a lot involved and a hassle you can do without, but these changes will be of great benefit to UK businesses. A business-grade hosted telephone service using VoIP revolutionises business communications. Advantages include reduced costs, excellent voice quality, flexibility and scalability and powerful functionality.

Start planning for the big switch now

So, if you’re a business whose voice and/or data transmission will be affected by the BT 2025 switch off, it makes business sense to start planning the transition now, well before the cut-off.   

As part of this transition from legacy systems to an internet service, upgrading your current legacy hardware, including PBX’s, may also be something to consider. Many older phone systems in offices today will need to be either replaced, upgraded or have additional components added to them to allow them to continue working over new IP Telephony lines.

Guidance from the X.COMM experts

The X.COMM team are experts in the field, providing Hosted Telephony services for many high profile customers and call centres. We have a whole range of solutions to meet the needs of all businesses. So why not take advantage of the ultimate telecommunications solutions and embrace this change before the final countdown begins. It’s definitely a change for the better.

Contact X.COMM to find out more on 03333 447 092 or email us at sales@xcomm.co.uk.

Useful Glossary

ISDN – Integrated Service Digital Network, is the first iteration of high-speed internet. The service enables businesses to send data, such as voice calls or images, through their phone lines using the internet.

PBX – Private Branch Exchange (Telephone system)

PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network is the classic analogue telephone system – the system that enables landline connectivity. It generally consists of copper telephone lines, fibre optic cables, microwave transmission links, satellites, undersea telephone cables and mobile networks.

SIP – Session Initiation Protocol is a method of transmitting VoIP calls

VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol is a method of data transmission allowing voice communications to be sent over the internet.