What is the BT switch off?

In short, in December 2025 BT will switch off traditional analogue phone lines and move to a fully digital network. This change will affect both residential and business phone lines.

The switch off could affect more than just your landline phone and internet connection. Any equipment such as alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, CCTV, fax machines or anything else that currently uses the PSTN or ISDN lines will also stop working.

What’s happening now?

BT are currently phasing out the legacy analogue and ISDN lines area by area. This means in certain exchange areas throughout the UK, you will no longer be able to order new analogue or ISDN services.

Why are BT doing this?

The current network is now old and as with most things is difficult and no longer cost effective to maintain. It is also increasingly difficult for the traditional technology to meet the ever growing demands of modern communications.

What does this mean for your business?

In December 2025, anyone still on the PSTN or ISDN lines will be left without connectivity… so your business could be in big trouble if you don’t plan ahead for this massive change.

In some areas as of now, you wont be able to purchase new PSTN or ISDN lines, so if your contract is up for renewal you will need to move over to the new IP technology.

Equipment that previously connected to a wall socket will now have to connect direct to the router. For some, this will also mean the purchase of new equipment that is compatible with the new IP system.

What options are available to my business?

For internet

If a full fibre connection is not yet available in your area then your broadband can be changed to SOGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access or SOGEA is, simply put, a standalone broadband connection without the addition of a separate unused phone line).

If a full fibre connection is available for your area then your broadband and voice services can be switched to the new IP technology now.

(To see more on our business internet service click here)

For voice

For businesses wanting to keep their existing PBX system (for example, Panasonic, Mitel, Avaya, Alcatel) along with their current phone numbers, the ISDN lines will need to be ceased and the numbers moved (or ported) to SIP trunks.

For those that don’t want an on-site PBX system, a VoIP system (Hosted telephony or cloud based system) will be needed. To keep existing numbers they will need to be moved (ported) to the new system.

What should I do now?

Don’t procrastinate! If everyone leaves it until the last minute the shear workload for BT may result in delays. The switch your business needs to make to digital services may not happen in time meaning you will be without voice and internet connectivity.

BT will not be changing their deadline, the onus is on you. Start making an inventory of your technology that currently uses the old PSTN and ISDN phone lines. As for your broadband and phone systems switch now or plan to switch as soon as you can.

Here to help

We’re helping businesses prepare for the BT switch off. We offer a flexible choice of VoIP phone systems, new broadband connections and SIP trunks if you want to keep your existing PBX system.

We also provide buying advice for your next phone system in our guide, Choosing a New Cloud Phone System.

If you’re still unsure about your options or what to do, please get in touch.

March 15, 2022 — Kevin Turner
Tags: Telephony