Are you ready for the ISDN switch-off? Here’s what to do

Almost a decade ago, BT announced they would completely shut off their ISDN and PSTN services by December 2025. Now, that time is approaching.

Next year, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will be switched off by BT Openreach. This is the analogue copper cable telephone network that’s been in use since 1876. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s time for a change!

However, the PSTN switch-off means that everyone – including businesses – currently using PSTN-based services will need to move to another service before then.

What’s replacing it?

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which is a solution that transmits voice calls and data using an internet connection. VoIP core networks are set to replace all the legacy PSTN services.

To ensure your services are not disrupted, you will need to upgrade to a digital line that supports VoIP, which provides better call quality, fewer faults and is environment-friendly.

Are you ready?

Research by Cavell suggests that more than 20% of businesses are in danger of being left behind. Should this happen, affected organisations will be forced into an emergency migration and left to manage the impact of all the uncertainty that an unplanned migration entails.

Here’s what to do

If you’re still stuck in the Stone Age, relying on soon-to-be-defunct ISDN phone lines, it’s time to take action. There are a few things you can do right now to get started on your journey to next-gen telecoms.

Audit your current telecoms systems

What do you have in place right now? It’s time to audit and assess your current communications set-up so you fully understand what you’re currently using and what needs to be updated.

Remember to check those easily forgotten details like alarm systems, door entry systems, lift emergency lines, payment terminals and cash machines can all be using old PSTN phone lines. These are known as ‘special services’.

Every single one of your ISDN connections will need to be replaced with an IP alternative.

Find out when your legacy contracts end

Check to see when your local communications exchange is due to be issued with a ‘Stop Sell’ notice. The term ‘Stop Sell’ is used by Openreach to signify stopping the sale of certain Openreach products. This is different from product withdrawal. Under Stop Sell, any end customer who already has the product will be able to continue using it until it is withdrawn.

Do your contracts expire before or after the ‘Stop Sell’ date? A service still in contract after that date will continue to work, but you won’t be able to renew any agreements that expire. It is also worth noting that if your contract expires after the ‘Stop Sell’, but before the 2025 switch-off, you have no choice but to explore a next-gen alternative as your current service will no longer be available.

Define your future telecoms strategy

Meet with your stakeholders to determine your current and future business communications requirements. Does your company plan to increase the use of hybrid working and work from home? Will more of your team be working remotely? Do you have international expansion plans?

Answering these strategic questions will help you understand what your upgrade needs to achieve and help to future-proof your business communications.

Assess the potential of next-gen technology

With your communications strategy defined, you can now look into how newer technology can help you meet those goals. It’s a good idea to take advantage of the ISDN switch-off to migrate to the best digital telecommunications package for your business. Seize the opportunity to change!

Speak to a telecoms partner

We’re here to support you on this project. If you have any questions about the PTSN switch-off, get in touch today and we’ll help you to start mapping out your digital journey. We’ll help you navigate the various upgrade options, selecting the best solutions for your strategic goals.

Remember: the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the benefits of an all-new digital communications system.

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