You may have heard already that the BT Openreach ISDN switch-off has been earmarked for 2025. Although not a cause for immediate concern, a little bit of foresight now could save you a whole lot of hassle down the line. So If you are an ISDN customer and are worried about how the ISDN shutdown will affect your business, Lake Technologies has all the information you need to weigh up your options and make the switch to VoIP.
A brief guide to the BT Openreach ISDN switch off
Back in 2015, Openreach, the division of BT that owns, operates and maintains the UK’s phone and broadband line, announced that they were making plans to phase out the public switched telephone network (PSTN) by 2025. At the time, they said: “We’re allowing for an initial five year notice period before we stop selling the products and allow for a two year migration period leading up to December 2025.”
That means that a number of services reliant on the PSTN’s copper lines will soon become obsolete. As well as the obvious implications for analogue phone systems, a number of popular broadband products – including ADSL, ADSL2+ and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) – will also be affected. As will the well-established Integrated Service Digital Network, or ISDN as most people know it.
When it first launched in 1986, ISDN was hailed for its better connections and faster speeds. However, times change and with progress, there inevitably comes a changing of the guard. In this case, the new technology set to take over following the ISDN shutdown will be Voice over Internet Protocol or VoIP. Requiring just an active internet connection and no physical line whatsoever, it is easy to see why BT has invested so heavily in this technology.
How will the ISDN switch off affect your business?
First and foremost, don’t panic. If your business uses one of the 33.1 million fixed landlines (which includes ISDN) in the UK* you have until 2023 before ISDN lines cease to be installed and 2025 until they are switched off altogether. With that said, we wouldn’t leave it too late. Now is as good a time as any to at least begin thinking about your legacy planning, especially if your business is heavily or wholly reliant on your telephone systems to succeed.
If you have bought or leased a new business telephone system over the last five years, particularly from us here at Lake Technologies, then it is highly likely that the system you are using is already a full-blown VoIP system or is VoIP-capable at the very least. Making the switch to VoIP won’t be quite as big of an upheaval for you but you should still check with your provider to ensure you are fully prepared. They can advise you on the best course of action.
If you have an ISDN phone contract that is up for renewal soon, we would recommend upgrading to a VoIP phone system. You can either use a SIP trunk, which lets you make calls over a data connection using an IP compatible phone system or move to a hosted VoIP service that gives you just a little bit more added flexibility. Both options offer cheaper call charges, additional cost-savings thanks to the lack of hardware and virtually unlimited scalability.
Contact Lake Technologies today
Lake Technologies offers full turnkey solutions for business phones and networks. From business phone systems, broadband, line rental, low-cost calls, mobile and VoIP – we always deliver the best service. To find out more about our business telephone systems, hosted VoIP and SIP trunk services, or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact us today to arrange a free consultation.
*According to Ofcom’s 2018 Communications Market Report.