In short: yes. BT will be switching off its PSTN and ISDN lines in 2025 for everyone. However, BT is busy replacing their copper lines and installing the infrastructure to become fully digital. They expect to have completed by their switch-off date.
PSTN is Public Switched Telephone Network, which most would know as the common telephone line. This supports one phone with one phone number and one call at a time. ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network. This is used to allow multiple calls on one line using a PBX telephone system.
Some of the old copper cables have been in use since the 19th century, plus they are expensive to maintain. Changing over to a new digital service will future-proof how we communicate for years to come.
How will the BT switch off affect your business?
You may need a new phone system to support the change after the BT switch off, with VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) being the most obvious choice. This uses the internet to transfer the voice data between users, resulting in better quality and more reliable connections. VoIP systems are flexible and cost-effective, so you will more than likely save money by switching over too.
Many companies have already moved to VoIP or internet-based phone systems, but large numbers of smaller businesses, in particular, have yet to make the switch. VoIP has benefits such as scalability, portable, and being extremely reliable too, amongst other perks.
If faxing is still something your industry relies on, you may need to convert to digital faxing instead or see if scanning and emailing are a better fit. Moving to digital faxing offers lower running costs, better security, plus more flexibility.
Another consideration is whether you have door entry systems, alarms, or emergency phones in lifts connected to the soon out-of-date technology. These may also need to be altered or updated so they can continue to work.
How can you prepare for the change?
Firstly, you will need to find out whether you already use a VoIP system or whether you are still on a traditional line. If you are still on PSTN or ISDN, Fluent can advise you on what service is most appropriate for your company. If you are unsure, we are able to assist in discovering what service you are currently using.
While 2025 sounds a long way into the future, beating the rush to convert to digital could save difficulty further down the line. Overall, the shift to digital will save businesses money and scales with your company as it grows with ease.
For more information, take a look at our previous blog post regarding VoIP and its benefits. We have a range of products to suit small businesses to multi-national businesses. You can find out more about our telephone services here.
To discuss your options with one of our engineers to find the best solution for you, contact us today.