Openreach 2025 Switch Off: How To Prepare Your Business
The introduction of analogue phones many decades ago did wonders for keeping everyone connected. But, like everything, technology evolves, and what was once state-of-the-art telecom has become inefficient and more costly to maintain.
With that, Openreach plans to switch off its Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) in a few short years. In addition, old broadband lines such as FTTC and ADSL will also become obsolete.
What does that mean for businesses? In short, it’s excellent news for utilising better services and reliable connectivity. But what about the logistics of the Openreach switch off?
Will your telecoms suddenly drop off? Do you need to switch services? If you have questions like this or want to find out how to prepare for the changes, this post delves into the details.
What is the 2025 switch off?
Openreach announced in 2020 that they expect all phone lines to be digital by 2025. This plan means switching off its older PSTN and ISDN lines. This network runs via copper connections, and over the past few years, Openreach has been upgrading lines to fibre – with its trial city, Salisbury, becoming the first to be switched off later this year. Subsequently, other cities will follow suit, with everyone transferred to digital lines by the end of 2025.
Will it affect my business phone lines?
As part of the switching process, Openreach plans to move everyone over to digital lines meaning you shouldn’t notice any interruptions in the service. However, if your business has other installations that are routed to the phone line – for example, alarm systems or emergency lift lines – these will need to be upgraded separately.
What alternatives are available?
You may be concerned that the 2025 switch off will impact the cost of future connectivity. At present, consumers can purchase services for an affordable line rental and call package alongside broadband deals. But the worry is that fibre technology will increase this cost, especially as calls are routed through internet connectivity.
Openreach has introduced some broadband packages to replace the existing ones, and each is designed to meet the needs of domestic and business users. More information will be available as the new service launches. But there may also be options for lower bandwidth packages for those that only require voice capabilities rather than a complete comms solution.
Another efficient and affordable solution for businesses is making the switch to VoIP services in preparation for 2025. VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is a phone technology that enables you to make and receive calls using an internet connection. This telecom solution has numerous benefits for businesses. Plus, a big selling point is its affordability compared to traditional Internet and call packages from providers like Openreach.
How do I prepare my business for the switchover?
Switching services doesn’t have to be complicated. But it’s better to research and select the right phone solution sooner rather than later. If you want more freedom and flexibility within your company comms, check out the following steps to prepare your business.
Check your current contract expiry date
While the 2025 switchover is a couple of years away, there’s no time like the present. Start by looking at your current contract and its expiry date. Then, with this in mind, consider other options, such as VoIP services, before committing to the renewal. Getting in early means beating the rush (and potential price hike when demand rises), taking your time to choose the best deal, and avoiding disruption further down the line.
Choose a suitable telecoms replacement
There are a few alternatives to your traditional landline services, most notably VoIP or SIP systems. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a great option for businesses of varying sizes, including small companies. It doesn’t need hardware installed and runs straight from your internet connection. In comparison, SIP or Session Initiation Protocol may benefit larger companies that want to keep an existing phone system and have appropriate IT support to implement it.
Setting up new telephony services
Switching to a new service isn’t as complicated as you first think. However, there are several aspects to think about when choosing this service. First, looking at your current business requirements provides a foundation for the level of service you’ll need from a new system.
Researching providers will open up numerous products suitable to your company’s needs. It may all sound confusing. But speaking with professionals guides you through the process.
Initially, the service provider will assess your current requirements and provide an on-site audit if needed. After this analysis, you’ll be presented with a range of suitable options that ensure all your services remain up and running. Anything that is affected by the 2025 switch off is also highlighted to ensure everything is covered.
Some new telecom systems may require new handsets or equipment. For example, if you opt for VoIP, your current equipment will need to connect to a router. If this is not possible, then opting for VoIP equipment ensures you have the right handsets ready to link to this service.
This can be purchased from various companies. However, some VoIP providers also offer business-grade handsets within a service package.
Do I need a broadband connection?
To access services such as VoIP connectivity, you need a stable broadband connection. With the changeover, this won’t be an issue. Fibre internet is faster and more capable than current copper connectivity, and the higher speed, the better call quality you’ll get.
What are the benefits of the Openreach switch off?
Switching over to a new telephony system brings a host of benefits, particularly for businesses choosing VoIP services. Some examples include:
When you make the transition, you’re likely to receive more cost-effective packages compared to your previous ISDN connection. You’ll save money on line rental, and you pay a set fee per user rather than how many minutes you’ve used. As the network requires less physical maintenance, long-term costs will also stay lower and more competitive as the market widens. These cost savings can be utilised now instead of waiting until the 2025 switchover, so you can enjoy the benefits sooner.
Flexible working options
Unlike being tied to a desk and dedicated phone line, VoIP services enable users to have more flexibility within the work environment. The phone number is not fixed to a location, and transferring calls outside of the office is simple – making it ideal for hybrid businesses.
Scalable telecoms solution
Unlike traditional phone services, VoIP systems make adding team members to the network easy. This provides businesses with an affordable way to scale as the company grows. In addition, it’s also simple to remove users when required.
There’s nothing worse than poor call quality, especially when your company relies heavily on this communication method. However, with VoIP, you’ll notice a clear difference and improvement in the clarity of the calls you make and receive. With the switch to stronger fibre broadband, this will also ensure stable and consistent call quality levels.
As VoIP services rely on the internet instead of phone lines, you typically have a more reliable connection. In addition, as long as there’s strong broadband in your location, your phone calls will connect wherever you need them.
Fast connection speeds
With the switch over to full fibre coming soon, connection speeds will be significantly faster than standard connectivity. This improvement will likely enhance business productivity and save costs within IT and telecoms areas.
Improved collaboration and communication
VoIP not only integrates within your company easily to enhance call quality – it also brings a unified solution with other systems. In addition, this service provides numerous features such as call forwarding, call holding and auto attendant, plus much more. Streamlining communication enables better communication within teams, which boosts productivity overall.
Future-proofing your business
Rather than waiting for the Openreach switch, implementing a new telecoms system now has cost benefits and future-proofs your business operations. While the transition is hoped to be smooth over the next few years, switching ahead of time eliminates potential disruptions.
Get ready for the switchover with our VoIP services
Getting ahead of the 2025 switchover is a great way to take advantage of the benefits of alternative telecom services such as VoIP. If you’re researching options, be sure to consider VS Group. We provide a specialist solution for businesses looking to enhance their communications.
Our VoIP packages provide a reliable and cost-effective solution, tailored to your business needs. As your business grows, your service scales with you, making it easy to add team members to your network as required.
Want to find out more about our VoIP services? Schedule a virtual meeting with our pros to discuss your requirements. Alternatively, call or drop us an email to learn more about our VoIP business solutions.