What is the BT 2025 switch off? The UK’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) are no longer meeting the needs of a digital world. And so, the UK’s traditional copped-based network will be terminated at the end of 2025. This means that every phoneline in the UK will be moved to a modern network that uses Internet Protocol (IP) across a fibre-based service. Simply put, voice communications and calls will be made via the internet.
BT announced the 2025 switch off a couple of years back, to help transition the UK to a fully digital network. Essentially, ISDN and PSTN are 20th century technology that can’t keep up with the demands of 21st century communications.
This article will help you understand why the 2025 PSTN switch off is happening, and how best to prepare your business.
Why is the 2025 switch off happening?
PSTN has been the infrastructure for the telecommunications system in the UK since 1876. And so, unsurprisingly, it is old and costly to maintain. The digital shift and technological advancements all around us have overtaken traditional methods of communication. From mobile devices and collaboration apps to the cloud and Internet of Things (IoT), the 2025 PSTN switch off will help pave the way for a fully digital network which can meet the demands of the new digital era.
Is the 2025 PSTN switch off a global wave of change?
Yes. It’s not just the UK making this shift. The switch to digital is happening on a global scale – and fast. As modern communication methods develop and consumer behaviour changes, network and comms providers across the world are moving with the times from analogue to digital.
Estonia and the Netherlands have completed the move to fully digital networks and have decommissioned their PSTN networks. Germany, Japan, and Sweden have begun the change and are ahead of us on the journey. The 2025 switch off will bring the UK up to speed with these countries.
What are the advantages of digital networks and VoIP?
So, the 2025 PSTN switch off is all about a move from analogue to digital. But what are the benefits in this change? Here are some of the benefits of moving to a digital-first phone network. It enables you to:
- Make and take calls on any device from wherever you are
- Link business applications and systems with video chat, calls and instant messaging
- Stay connected with customers and colleagues alike
- Utilise the cloud so you can access corporate systems from anywhere, on any device
- Reduce calling costs while providing access to advanced features and clearer voice quality
- Discover flexible and scalable cloud voice options to suit your business needs
The 2025 switch off is years away. Why do we need to prepare now?
Ready or not, the 2025 switch off is happening. This shift to a digital network could potentially be a big process for your business and home. Therefore, it’s important to be future-fit and ready. After the PSTN switch off, businesses will be reliant on the internet to make calls. But this doesn’t just mean phone services – it includes all other services that currently use the old phone network too. This means things like EPOS machines, alarms, CCTV, fax machines and entry systems. And so, you need to ensure your broadband connectivity is fast and reliable enough to handle the additional demand.
We’ve discussed the endless benefits of digital networks, so why wait? Many businesses have already successfully transitioned their telecommunications to digital, and are harnessing the power and benefits of a cloud-based phone system. So, you could consider your preparation for the 2025 switch off as a way to get ahead.
Convinced? What next?…
Four top tips to help prepare your busines
1. Is your business’s connectivity up to the job? Fast, robust and reliable internet connectivity is paramount now more than ever before. Cloud-based applications and digital voice services demand high-bandwidth, low latency, and high-quality internet connectivity to provide clear voice and video calls.
How to prepare for the 2025 switch off: The switch off presents a perfect opportunity to review your internet connectivity. Will your current broadband connection handle the new demands of VoIP?
2. Check all services that currently use the old phone network – It’s not just phone calls that use your voice line, it’s services such as alarms, door entry systems, CCTV, lift emergency lines and so on. Making the move to digital will affect all services using your old PSTN phone line.
How to prepare for the 2025 switch off: Narrow down all of the services running off your PSTN and ISDN lines. Some devices you can simply switch to an IP mode but in other cases you may have to contact your provider to upgrade to an IP equivalent.
3. Embrace the change. Digital networks, cloud-based systems and internet voice services will provide your business with the opportunity to upgrade the way you communicate and enable you to work more efficiently. For example, advanced features will make remote working and collaboration easier than ever, and you’ll be able to integrate mobile devices and apps.
How to prepare for the 2025 switch off: Begin decision making. There is lots to decide on, from extensive ranges of IP devices and apps to collaboration platforms, voice line services, and phone numbers. If you wait, it might be too late.
4. Familiarise yourself and train employees. Once you have made your decisions, it’s important to communicate the change out to your workforce. The better informed your employees are, the more likely your business will reap the benefits of your new systems.
How to prepare for the 2025 switch off: Most digital services come with comprehensive user guides and support materials. Utilise these resources and get your teams ahead of the competition.
Transition your comms to the cloud
Making the change sooner rather than later will give your business plenty of time to transition to the new systems. Be future ready for the PSTN switch off with digital cloud-based phone systems, and enable your teams to work anywhere with communications services that follow them wherever they go.
848 is a cloud IT provider and BT Wholesale Partner delivering integrated IT and communications solutions. We have the experience and expertise to fast track your business to cloud calling and better broadband capabilities. Our specialist communications and connectivity experts will provide you with a fast and reliable internet connection and give you the flexibility you need to grow.
Get ready for the BT 2025 PSTN switch off with 848.
Kate is a Marketing Executive researching and writing about emerging technologies and the cloud on a daily basis. She creates informative and educational content assets such as blog posts, articles and resources using strategic messaging to illustrate how a modern IT landscape can deliver real business value.