The big BT Switch off 2025-what this means for your business

BT announced in 2015 their decision to switch off ISDN and PSTN services completely by 2025, including stopping any orders for these services in 2020.

This means a complete deactivation of the ISDN and PSTN lines, so if your business has these services, then they will no longer be operational by 2025.

Communications technology is now moving into a completely new era of online capability but what does this mean for your business?

ISDN & PSTN is going? What’s the impact for my business?

BT have made this decision based on significant cost savings and an increase of functionality.

Primarily, smaller businesses will be affected, particularly those with fax and landline telephones. There is an estimated 2 million business potentially affected by this decision. Therefore, if this is you, then you will need to start making plans for alternative solutions for your data transmission in order to maintain your communications systems.

Why are BT making this decision to eliminate ISDN & PSTN?

Launched in 1986, Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) is a circuit-switched telephone network system where voice and data services are delivered over digital lines. In it’s time it was progressive and allowed the migration of outdated landline tech to digital and boasted the fastest internet connection at 128kbps. Data was sent quicker than before, with barely any distortions compared to the older system.

PSTN (Public Switch Phone Network) is the old classic Analogue system whereby information was transmitted through copper lines.

We are now in the era of new broadband internet access like WAN and DSL, meaning ISDN and PSTN is outdated, and whilst BT has invested in this infrastructure being upgraded, its network remains unchanged.

What is ISDN being replaced with?

BT have made considerable investments in VoIP (Voice Over IP) which allows them to converge all their services to IP meaning they can meet the demands of businesses into the future better.

VoIP is a modern, progressive technology which many larger businesses have already made the change to already. It’s not run on copper lines-these will now be redundant-all you need is an Internet connection!

What are the benefits of VoIP?

  • Cost benefits: your business will see a reduction to line rental as fewer physical lines will be required.
  • Fixable & Scaleable: If your business has a cloud based telephone system paired with a SIP line, VoIP will allow for easy transference of calls between offices and locations and you will be able to use your work line anywhere in the country, plus seeing who in your teams are available to make or receive calls!
  • New lines quicker: VoIP allows for provision of new lines faster than ever before

How does my business prepare for the BT Switch off?

2025 is when officially the network will be switch off and reductant. So, you have time to prepare, but don’t delay. If your phone contract is up for renewal, then now would be the time to switchover and start exploring the VoIP options.

Consider these actions:

  • Spec out what your business needs
  • Gather options from communications specialists
  • Is your internet connection currently good enough to support VoIP? (Whilst VoIP doesn’t use much data-not even as much as a video), you will still need the bandwidth to deliver the Voice over the IP system on top of everything else your internet is used for.

Bandwidth does depend on your business needs, and 5Mbps down and 2Mbps up is really the minimum of a small office so really you should seek advice from Communication specialists to understand your business needs and the quality of service you will need. Its essential that you get the right spec as you would not want an intermittent service with poor audio for your business!

Your phone system may already support VoIP, if not, now may be the time to consider changing over your entire phone system and think about a cloud based telephony service which would allow you to manage your phone system via an on line control panel hosted in the cloud.

The cost benefits of VoIP are undeniable in terms of calls and line rentals which will allow your business to increase your functionality and save on overall telecoms costs.

If you need to talk through your options regarding the BT Switch off and need advice on switching over from your ISDN system, then contact the team at NIX!

Call us: 0844 318 5000

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