The old technology you associate with phone and fax systems will soon be obsolete. The future digital business landscape will become fully digital in 2025 when BY switches off the old PSTN and ISDN phone lines. That means no more copper wires and instead a VoIP system, aka Voice over Internet Protocol.
This means the old copper wired phone lines are out and a fibre optic digital future is in.
What’s the history of PSTN & ISDN?
Public Switch Phone Network (PSTN) has a long history dating back for centuries. In fact the technology was invented way back in the 1800s. The technology used copper wires to transmit information and was the basis for phone and faxes. Even today PSTN technology is still used by close to 100m homes worldwide.
ISDN, or Integrated Service Digital Network, was the next evolution of PSTN. It was established in the 90s and allowed internet connections for homes and businesses. Estimates show there are still up to 70% of businesses in the UK still using landline telephone systems.
Why is ISDN being switched off in 2025?
As part of moving forward to new technologies, and in part as a way of cutting expenditure, BT announced it would be switching off PSTN AND ISDN in December 2025.
The decision will affect 14 million people using traditional phone lines, however BT say that new digital services will be the way forward for the future.
So at the time of writing it gives those businesses and homes using traditional telephone technology just under 3 years to migrate to new technology. The switch can affect more than just a landline phone too, things such as EPOS machines, business door entry systems, fax machines, CCTV, and alarms, can all be linked to the phone system.
Will your business be impacted by the switch-off?
It’s possible that your business will face some impact by the switch off in 2025, how big of an impact will vary from business to business and the type of tech they are currently using. It has been estimated that the 2025 switch off will impact around 2 million businesses in the UK. The good news is there is still time to start planning and implementing changes now.
Additional research shows that many large corporations have already incorporated VoIP technology, but over 40% of SME businesses still use analogue telephony. The shift will have a bigger impact on those businesses that particularly rely on telecoms, fax, data and the internet, so forward planning is essential.
What are the advantages of the switch?
While this upheaval might seem like a lot of hassle for businesses, there are at least some upsides to the switch.
Modern technologies should be more cost effective in the long run, and the rise of cloud technologies and data services have made businesses more efficient. There is an increase in smart devices used by businesses as part of the IoT (internet of things). The switch to digital will future proof the services needed for this and more emerging technology. For BT themselves there will be a huge outlay to upgrade the network butthe long term costs will be reduced due to much lower maintenance costs involved with fibre.
How do businesses make the switch to digital?
It’s important to conduct an audit and analysis of your current systems and find out what will be affected by the 2025 switch off. This could mean changing payment terminals, switching alarms, and door entry systems, lift emergency lines, cash machines and more. Anything that uses an old PSTN line.
Seek advice from your special service provider on upgrading to IP technology.
Beginning the switch
It may seem like a challenge to embrace this new change in new technology but working with an IT support company can help make the transition run smoothly. 2025 is not far away and now is a good time to start planning and implementing changes so there is no negative effect on your business.
Businesses that decide to go with a system like VoIP can expect to boost cost savings and team productivity over the long term.
Are you ready to take the leap?
About EC-MSP, your IT partner
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