The ‘Big Switch Off’: How businesses can prepare for the end of PSTN and ISDN

At the end of 2025, the UK will see the end of two major communication networks: Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).

Big Switch Off - Runtech

Known as the ‘Big Switch Off’, this is a significant milestone in the evolution of communication technology. However, from September 2023 BT will stop accepting new PSTN, ISDN2 and ISDN30 services. With the process of phasing out ISDN, businesses need to understand how it will impact their company and devise a transition plan. Not only will it affect your phone lines, but also EPOS machines, CCTV, faxes and more. 

Within this article, we’ve outlined an introduction to PSTN and ISDN, the benefits and impacts of the ‘Big Switch Off’ and the next steps for businesses and individuals.

An introduction to PSTN and ISDN

PSTN and ISDN have been the backbone of communication networks for many years. PSTN is the traditional phone line system that has been in use for over a century. ISDN is a digital network that was introduced in the 1980s to provide faster and more reliable communication services. However, with the rise of internet-based communication technologies such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), these networks have become outdated and expensive to maintain.

The ‘Big Switch Off’ will see the end of PSTN and ISDN services, which will be replaced by internet-based technologies such as VoIP. For businesses and individuals, this means an upgrade to their communication systems is needed to ensure they are compatible with the new technology. This may involve investing in new hardware and software, as well as upgrading internet infrastructure to ensure that it can support the new systems.

The benefits of the ‘Big Switch Off’

There are significant benefits of the ‘Big Switch Off’.

VoIP and other internet-based communication technologies are more cost-effective, flexible and scalable than traditional phone systems. They also offer a wider range of features and functionality, such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and file sharing. This means that businesses and individuals will be able to communicate more efficiently and effectively, which can lead to increased productivity and profitability.

Impacts of the ‘Big Switch Off’

However, the ‘Big Switch Off’ also presents some challenges. Businesses and individuals will need to ensure that they are prepared for the switch and that they have the necessary resources to upgrade their systems.

This may require significant investment, both in terms of time and money. There may also be some disruption to communication services during the transition period, which could impact businesses and individuals. By leaving it too late, businesses may find it challenging to switch to a new service as the demand for BT and other providers will be huge. 

Next steps...

In conclusion, the Big Switch Off 2025 represents a significant change in the way we communicate.

Businesses and individuals need to start preparing for the switch now to ensure that they are ready for the change. This may involve seeking advice and support from communication technology experts, like Runtech. Additionally, businesses may need to invest in new hardware and software to ensure it is compatible with their new system. By starting early, we can ensure a smooth transition to the new communication technologies and continue to communicate effectively in the digital age. 

To receive support on switching to a VoIP solution, please contact us.

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