If you're a business owner in the UK, hopefully you should have now heard about the BT copper switch off happening in 2025. This is a nationwide plan to phase out traditional copper-based phone and broadband services and replace them with newer fibre-based technology.
While you may think that 2025 is still a little while away, it's important to prepare now for the transition to avoid any potential disruptions to your business operations. It’s one of those things where the sooner you prepare for it the better off you’ll be… you don’t want to be part of the last-minute rush to try and move your number before the switch-off or left trying to book an engineer to install the updated broadband service. You may have to wait a long time without any internet!
In this simplified article, we'll explain what the BT copper switch off is, why it's happening, and what steps you can take to prepare for the transition. We'll also discuss how the switch off will impact professional services (in the construction sector specifically) and offer tips for ensuring continuity of service.
Our goal is to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions about your telecommunications services, and to help you make a smooth transition to fibre broadband and VoIP services – with no use of any tech jargon! If you’re looking for more tech jargon, check out our other article The BT switch off – Is your business ready, which looks at more of the specifics.
Why is the BT copper switch off happening?
Traditional copper-based phone lines have been in use for over a century. In recent decades as internet access became available access was via the existing copper network, but this has its limitations. Traditional lines are struggling to keep up with the demand for faster and more reliable internet access. In recent years, fibre optic broadband has emerged as the new standard for internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more bandwidth than copper-based services. Also, it doesn’t make much sense to be running a UK network with both analogue and digital networks side by side, with analogue lines becoming ever more expensive to maintain too.
The BT copper switch off is a nationwide plan to phase out traditional copper-based services (PSTN and ISDN) by 2025 and replace them with fibre optic technology. This is necessary to meet the ever-increasing demand from businesses and make sure they have access to the latest technology.
The switch to fibre optic broadband will make way for new digital technology such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). This change will modernise the UK's telecommunications infrastructure and help meet the demands of today's businesses. By making the switch, you can future proof your business and enjoy the benefits of a faster, more reliable business internet connection and the latest VoIP telephony solution.
Benefits of the BT copper switch off
While the BT copper switch off may seem like a daunting change, it offers many benefits for businesses. Moving away from traditional analogue phone lines (solid copper lines) to fibre optic broadband (thin glass or plastic fibres) allows for more data to be transmitted, at higher speeds, and over longer distances. With fibre optic broadband, you can enjoy:
Faster internet speeds
Fibre optic broadband offers much faster internet speeds than traditional copper broadband. This means that businesses can work more efficiently, download and upload files quicker, and communicate with clients and suppliers more easily.
Fibre optic broadband is more reliable than copper broadband, which means that businesses can avoid costly downtime and stay connected with clients, suppliers, and employees.
Fibre optic broadband provides better connectivity than copper broadband, which means that businesses can communicate more easily and collaborate with clients and suppliers in real-time.
The switch to fibre optic broadband future-proofs your business by providing access to the latest technology and services. This means that you can stay competitive and adapt to changes in the market more easily.
By preparing for the BT copper switch off and switching to fibre optic broadband, businesses can enjoy these benefits now, and won’t have the stress of dealing with lines being ceased in 2025.
September 2023 – A Major Milestone
Since 2017, when the BT switch off was first announced, great progress has been made in preparation to migrate the UK to the latest fibre technology and work towards the December 2025 switch off deadline.
An important date has been set when any new analogue service orders will not be permitted or offered. This milestone date is September 2023. This means no new ADSL or FTTC broadbands will be installed or Analogue, ISDN2 or ISDN30 lines. In addition to no new circuits, it will mean no changes or additions to any existing services you currently have. As an example, if you need extra line capacity, no additional ISDN channels will be available after September 2023.
How will the BT switch off impact professional services in the construction sector?
Telecommunications services are essential for businesses in the construction sector, including architects, engineers, and project managers. These professionals rely on phone and broadband services to communicate with clients, suppliers, and employees, share designs and plans, and manage projects.
The switch off, from copper to fibre optic broadband, will have a significant impact on professional services in the construction sector. While the switch promises faster and more reliable internet speeds, do not leave upgrading to 2025 as this may lead to disruption of communications and internet access which in turn would lead to delays in project timelines.
Architects, engineers, and project managers must be aware of the potential impact of the switch off on their operations. If the switch off causes any disruption to critical phases of construction projects, it could lead to costly delays, impacting both time and budgets. As such, professional services in the construction sector need to prepare for the switch off to ensure continuity of service and avoid unnecessary delays and costs as we get nearer to 2025.
Preparing for the BT switch off
Preparing for the BT copper switch off is essential to ensure that your business can continue to operate smoothly without any disruptions to your phone or broadband services. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for the switch:
Check when the switch off is happening in your area: The switch off will happen gradually across the UK, so it's important to check when it will affect your area. Also don’t forget to consider the Stop Sell in September 2023.
Research and select a broadband provider: You'll need to find a broadband provider that offers fibre optic broadband along with great customer support and service.
Check if your existing hardware is compatible with fibre broadband: If your existing hardware isn't compatible with fibre broadband, you'll need to upgrade it.
Make a list of all your telephone numbers: When the switch off occurs all telephone numbers on analogue and ISDN lines will cease to work. Prepare now by collating a list of all your current numbers and Direct Dial Numbers (DDI) get them ported on to IP now.
By taking these steps, you can prepare your business for the BT copper switch off and ensure a smooth transition to fibre optic broadband and avoid losing telephone service on the switch off day. If you need any assistance with any of the points above, give us a call, we’re happy to help.
Making the switch
In conclusion, the BT copper switch off is a major change that will have a significant impact on businesses across the UK. While the switch to fibre optic broadband offers many benefits, it's important to prepare for the switch to ensure a smooth transition.
Our team of experts has the knowledge and experience to help you identify areas of your business that rely on telephony and broadband services, review contracts with existing providers, upgrade hardware and software, and train employees on the new technology. With the help of PS Tech’s IT experts, you can prepare for the switch off and ensure that your business can continue to operate smoothly and efficiently.
If you have any questions or need assistance with the switch off, don't hesitate to contact us. Our team of experts is here to help you every step of the way and ensure that your business is prepared for the BT copper switch off.