Are you prepared for the big PSTN switch off?Michael Curran
In December 2025 the UK’s legacy PSTN circuits will be turned off for good. The big PSTN switch off (it may be more accurate to call it the big switchover) is a major milestone in the modernisation of the country’s communications infrastructure. The new world will be one of voice over IP (VoIP).
Over the next 2 years OpenReach will be serving notice to exchanges up and down the country. Any existing PSTN or ISDN fixed line customers – there are around 3 million of them in the UK – will need to have migrated by the end of 2025 before the PSTN switch off.
Despite that, there are some things that we can talk about. First, it was great to see some consistent So, if not PSTN then what? For most homes and offices, the path of least resistance will be SoGEA (single order Generic Ethernet Access). Historically, you needed to have a conventional phone line connected to the property to deliver broadband services. SoGEA doesn’t utilise a phone line, but it does use the same fibre/copper network – just without the wholesale line rental (WLR) bit.
The good news is that SoGEA delivers the same data rates as fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), with the same quality of service and geographic availability. Of course, if you’re moving from a phone-dependent system to SoGEA you will need to have a voice service (VoIP) in place if you want to continue making and receiving calls. Oh, one more thing. When you switch over, make sure your port your old phone number across or it will be irretrievably lost!
What’s in it for me?
The upgrade isn’t just an excuse to hike connectivity prices. In fact, the opposite is true. Customers will only need to pay for a broadband data connection, without the landline costs. Even with VoIP layered on top of the broadband it still works out cheaper than the old data and WLR setup.
The switchover should also make life simpler, as you will only have one service provider to deal with – no more shopping around for the best broadband deal whilst being tied to a landline contract with another supplier. You should also see some quality-of-service improvements as there will be no interference from the accompanying phone line.
No comms blog would be complete without at least some reference to hybrid working. SoGEA provides the kind of quality and reliability that are essential if homeworkers are to enjoy the same excellent user-experience they would expect from a centralised office location. It’s easy to install, easy to manage and is compatible with UCaaS and other hosted telephony solutions
The PSTN switch off is inevitable, so it makes sense to migrate sooner rather than later. Many exchanges stopped selling PSTN services in the summer of 2021 and no exchange will be allowed to offer PSTN services to new customers from September 2023.
If you have any questions about how the PSTN switch-off will affect you, get in touch on the form below, we will be happy to help.