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Everything You Need to Know about the Great British Telephone Switch-off



Great British telephone switch-off

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If you haven’t already heard, a huge infrastructural change is coming to Great Britain in 2025, a change that has commonly been referred to as the Great British switch off. Even if you have heard about it, many people aren’t fully clued up about what it entails, and what will be affected, especially with the amount of misinformation and rumours floating around the internet.

So, before you start looking for an efficient PSTN replacement, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about the Great British telephone switch-off, focussing on what the switch off is, how this might affect you, and how you might prepare.

What is the Great British telephone switch-off?

As the use of mobile phones has popularised over the last decade, around 40% of the UK have stopped using landline phones. In fact, almost half of everyone under 25 don’t have a landline installed in their property at all. Though fixed-line subscriptions are falling all around the world, there are still around 33.14 billion fixed-line subscriptions in the UK alone, all of which will soon become outdated.

Unlike mobile phones, landlines are plugged into the wall, running through a physical wire network system. Whereas broadband and mobile services have innovated and developed over the years, these copper wires have remained largely unchanged. Therefore, it is these phone lines, the public switched telephone network (PSTN), that are to be switched off to make room for a new era of telephony.

In 2025, BT will be switching off the PSTN entirely, meaning landlines plugged into the wall will become redundant. This will also affect all kinds of technology that rely on a traditional phone line, including, but not limited to, emergency phones, panic alarms, door-entry systems, payment devices, and security cameras.

Instead, by 2025, every phone line in the country will need to be IP-based, meaning that it will run through the internet. In order to try and slowly phase out these soon-to-be-obsolete communications devices, products that work through both the PSTN and ISDN networks will no longer be available for purchase from September 2023.

How to prepare

The best way to prepare for the PSTN switch off in 2025 is to think of this as an opportunity to fine tune your communications. As most businesses and customers communicate over the phone, this can be a fantastic business opportunity to improve both external and internal communication.

As we begin to transition towards cloud telephony, this allows us to put in place future-proof technologies and processes that can withstand global emergencies, such as a pandemic or lockdown.

Hosting phone lines through the internet can also allow you to streamline your communications processes into a singular piece of software, known as unified communications. This can allow you to access all internal and external communications, whether by email, phone, live chat, social media, and so on, all in one place, and also seamlessly switch between the mode of communication during the conversation.

As you can see, though the thought of traditional wired landlines becoming obsolete by 2025 might be a daunting prospect, it can also be a brilliant opportunity for innovation, renovation, and transformation.

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