BT ISDN Switch Off: The evolution of telecommunication

The great BT ISDN Switch Off is gathering pace as we move towards the end of analogue telecommunications in the UK in 2025.

By that time, all telephone lines supplied by BT, as well as many other UK telecoms providers, will be all-IP and serviced via a broadband connection, rather than the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

The move is part of an industry-wide effort to transition all UK telecommunications equipment to digital lines, and a reflection of the changing way in which business and consumers already make calls.

“VoIP, Skype, WhatsApp and more lately the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Teams are being increasingly used to communicate,” BT said in July 2020.

“These new apps offer converged telephony, better quality, HD voice and many other additional features. And as we look ahead to the Internet of Things, this will help bring a seamless integration between devices and networks.”

 

What does this mean for customers?

The aim is to minimise any negative impact on customers, although as analogue lines are switched off, domestic users will need to connect their telephone via their modem instead of directly to the telephone socket on their wall.

For business users, there are more implications. The PSTN switch-off includes ISDN lines, which provide combined voice and high-speed internet services, and were installed in many business premises and homes before ADSL became available.

After 2025, businesses will need to move to an alternative technology. Some ‘Special Services‘ equipment that requires a telephone line may also stop working, including:

  • Fire alarms
  • Security alarms
  • Personal alarms (e.g. fall detectors for the elderly)

While some equipment may be compatible with all-IP connections after an upgrade (or simply by connecting it via a modem instead of directly to the wall), older devices may need to be replaced.

 

How to get ready for ISDN switch-off day

If you have any concerns about your telephony equipment or ISDN lines, contact hebs Group today on 0151 2360707 and our telecoms team can help you decide what you need to do about it.

We can install IP telephone lines where required and make sure your broadband connection is sufficient to carry your data and voice traffic without any problems.

Business users are more likely to have unique needs and you may have relatively old infrastructure in place that has not needed updating until now.

We can get everything up to date for you, so there is no risk of business interruption when Openreach flick the ‘off’ switch in the coming years.

 

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