The UK’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) has been the backbone of the country’s telecommunications infrastructure for many decades. However, as technology has advanced and more people have turned to digital communication methods, the PSTN has become increasingly outdated. In response, BT has announced that it will be switching off the PSTN by 2025, with a gradual phasing out process starting in 2023.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at what the PSTN switch off means and what you can do to prepare.
What is the PSTN?
The PSTN is the traditional phone network that has been used in the UK for over a century. It is the network that connects landline phones to one another, allowing people to make voice calls across the country and around the world. The PSTN is made up of copper wires that are physically connected to one another, forming a vast network of cables and exchanges that span the entire country.
What is the PSTN switch off?
The PSTN switch off is the process by which BT will be phasing out the PSTN over the next few years. This means that traditional landline phones will no longer be able to connect to the network and make voice calls. Instead, UK telecoms companies will be transitioning to a new digital network called the Internet Protocol (IP) network.
The switch off will happen gradually over a period of several years, with the first phase starting in 2023. During this phase, SiPalto will stop selling new PSTN lines and will encourage customers to switch to IP-based services. The final switch off is scheduled to take place in 2025, at which point the PSTN will be completely decommissioned.
Why is the PSTN being switched off?
The main reason for the PSTN switch off is that the technology is outdated and no longer fit for purpose. As more companies have switched to digital communication methods, such as mobile phones and Voice over IP (VoIP), the demand for traditional landline phones has declined. This means that maintaining the PSTN has become increasingly expensive and inefficient.
The move to an IP-based network will bring many benefits, including increased flexibility and resilience. IP-based services are also more cost-effective to maintain and can provide a range of additional features, such as video conferencing and messaging.
What do you need to do to prepare for the switch off?
If you currently have a landline phone that is connected to the PSTN, you will need to take action to prepare for the switch off. The exact steps you need to take will depend on your individual circumstances, but here are some things to consider:
- Speak to us – If you are unsure whether your phone is connected to the PSTN, or if you need advice on what to do next, contact us to go through your options. We will be be able to provide guidance on the steps you need to take.
- Check your equipment – If you have a traditional landline phone, you will need to replace it with a new IP-compatible device. SiPalto can provide leading IP based devices and adaptors to convert your existing equipment to IP.
- Consider your options – There are many different IP-based services available, so it’s worth considering your options before making a decision. For example, you may want to switch to a full VoIP service such as SiP Cloud.
- Plan ahead – The switch off will happen gradually over several years, but it’s still important to plan ahead. Make sure you know when the switch off is due to happen in your area and take action well in advance.
In conclusion, the PSTN switch off represents a major change in the way we communicate in the UK. While it may be a little daunting, the move to an IP-based network brings many benefits and will ensure that our telecommunications infrastructure is fit for the future.
As a leading VoIP service provider for over 13 years SiPalto are well placed to provide expert help and advice on how to transition from traditional phone lines to VoIP.
Contact us for impartial advice and how we can help you move to an all IP solution.