Phones and internet connectivity are vital to practically every organisation. That’s why managers or owners of charities and businesses need to be aware of any changes and potential disruptions to their current service.
Cue the arrival of 2025, when Openreach is planning a full switch off for PSTN and ISDN services. Read on as we discuss why it’s happening, what it means for you, and how to minimise disruption.
What is the Openreach PSTN switch off?
PSTN stands for the Public Switched Telephone Network, often referred to as a standard telephone line. Traditionally, it was the most commonly used technology for phones which require one device, one number and one conversation per line. It’s also the kind of phone line used for dial-up connectivity in the early days of the internet.
ISDN is the slightly more advanced technology that provides digital transmission of voice and data. The main advantage is that it allows more than one channel, so you can integrate it with a PBX system where multiple employees are using the line simultaneously.
While they have both served an essential purpose in the past, they have become outdated with various emerging alternatives. They’re also costly to maintain, which is why Openreach is switching both networks off in 2025.
Will it affect my organisation?
The answer is both yes and no. Yes, Openreach’s PSTN switch off will affect everyone – including residential and business lines – because they will all be switched off. However, 2025 is also the date by which Openreach expects all phone lines to be digital.
Put simply, all users will have been moved over to Openreach – before the switch off takes place (or alternative provider with its own infrastructure such as Virgin). Most importantly, the digital services you’ll be moving to are more flexible, feature-rich and cost-effective.
However, that doesn’t mean you’re completely in the clear. Over the years, individuals and organisations may have had various other systems connected to their phone lines, including alarms, door entry systems and emergency lift lines. If you haven’t upgraded them to digital, it’s best to do so before 2025.
The benefits of VoIP over PSTN
What makes VoIP such a great alternative to the Openreach PSTN service? Read on to find out more about why making the switch to VoIP should be considered an exciting step forward for any business or charity, as opposed to a chore. Here are some of the key advantages VoIP offers over traditional PSTN lines:
Unlike traditional PSTN-based services that charge on a per-call basis, VoIP providers typically offer flat-rate monthly pricing. This makes the service far more cost-effective than PSTN, especially for organisations with large call volumes. VoIP also puts an end to the sky-high prices associated with long-distance and international communications. For organisations looking to reduce their monthly communications expenses, the BT PSTN switch off is an exciting opportunity.
VoIP empowers users with the flexibility to make and receive calls from any location with a reliable internet connection. This flexibility is especially useful for remote work and telecommuting, as it enables employees to use the same number from any device.
With an increasing number of employees working from home or embracing a hybrid model, this flexibility is paramount for modern businesses and charities. It also supports the use of smartphones, tablets and other portable devices, along with traditional desktop computers.
VoIP raises the bar with a wide range of advanced features, including voicemail to email transcription, call recording, automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR) and more. These features enhance employee productivity and improve the overall customer experience.
Easy to scale
VoIP systems are highly scalable, a feature that allows organisations to easily adapt to changing needs. As your business or charity grows, simply upgrade your VoIP plan without the need for major hardware changes or investments.
VoIP technology promises best-in-class call quality. Calls are transmitted via strong internet connections, which eliminates issues like static, dropped calls and interference that can affect traditional PSTN lines. To maximise performance and get the most out of your VoIP service after the PSTN switch off, we recommend backing it with a high-speed broadband connection.
From customer relationship management (CRM) software to industry-specific applications, VoIP systems can seamlessly integrate with existing systems. This streamlines operations within your organisation and minimises disruptions to productivity.
A next-generation solution
VoIP is more than just a replacement for PSTN following the BT 2025 switch off. It’s an innovation-driven communications solution that meets the evolving needs of modern organisations. Along with basic voice calls, the service supports video conferencing, instant messaging and the latest collaboration tools.
This bolsters communication within your team and improves relationships with clients. For business and charities, transitioning to VoIP not only prepares organisations for the Openreach PSTN switch off but sets them up to thrive in an increasingly digital landscape.
Preparing for the BT PSTN switch off
As well as minimising reliance on your traditional phone line by upgrading the services linked to it, you can prepare for Openreach’s PSTN switch off by switching to alternative communication technology over the next four years.
With so many benefits on offer, why wait until the 2025 PSTN switch off to make the switch to VoIP? Transition today and start enjoying your service within a matter of weeks. Industry-leading providers have the knowledge and expertise to make the transition as smooth and fast as possible. This minimises disruption to both employees and customers.