If you are still using a traditional landline phone for your business, you might be in for a rude awakening soon. The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which is the analogue phone network that has been in operation for decades, is being phased out by the telecoms industry. By the end of 2025, all customers will have to migrate to digital phone services, or risk losing their landline connection.
This is known as the great PSTN switch off, and it will affect millions of businesses across the UK. In this blog post, we will explain what the PSTN switch off is, why it is happening, and how you can prepare your business for the transition to digital phone services.
What is PSTN?
PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network, which is the traditional analogue phone network that uses copper wires to transmit voice and data signals. PSTN is the backbone of the landline phone system, and it has been in use since the late 19th century.
PSTN is also used to support some non-voice devices, such as alarms, faxes, EPOS machines, and card terminals. These devices rely on the analogue signals and the specific frequencies of the PSTN network to function properly.
Why is PSTN being switched off?
PSTN is becoming obsolete and difficult to maintain, as the telecoms industry shifts to more advanced and reliable digital technologies, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which uses broadband connections to deliver voice and data services.
VoIP offers many benefits over PSTN, such as:
- Better sound quality and clarity
- Lower costs and more flexible pricing plans
- More features and functionality, such as call forwarding, voicemail, conferencing, and video calling
- Easier integration with other systems and applications, such as CRM, email, and cloud services
- Greater scalability and adaptability to changing business needs
The PSTN switch off is part of the UK government’s plan to modernise the country’s telecoms infrastructure and ensure that everyone has access to fast and reliable broadband services. The telecoms industry announced the PSTN switch off in 2017, and set a deadline of 2025 for the completion of the transition to digital phone services.
How to prepare for the PSTN switch off?
If you are still using a PSTN-based phone service for your business, you will need to take action before the switch off to avoid any disruption or loss of service. Here are some steps you can take to prepare your business for the PSTN switch off:
- Contact your telecoms provider to find out the best options for upgrading your phone service and equipment to digital. You may need to switch to a VoIP-based phone system, which will require a broadband connection and compatible hardware and software. Your provider should be able to advise you on the most suitable solution for your business needs and budget.
- Check if any of your non-voice devices are compatible with digital phone lines, and if not, seek alternative solutions. Some devices may need to be replaced or upgraded, while others may be able to use mobile or wireless connections. You should consult with your device manufacturers or suppliers to find out the best options for your specific devices. Devices you should take into consideration include:
- EPOS machines
- Plan ahead and schedule your migration to digital phone services well in advance of the switch off date. This will give you enough time to test your new system, train your staff, and resolve any issues that may arise. You should also have a backup plan in case of any unforeseen problems or delays.
How can Bondgate IT help you with the PSTN switch off?
At Bondgate IT, we are your trusted technology partner that can help you with the PSTN switch off. We have over 20 years of experience in providing managed IT support, cybersecurity, cloud solutions, and communications to businesses across Darlington and the wider Tees Valley region.
We can help you with the following services:
- Assessing your current phone system and non-voice devices, and recommending the best digital solutions for your business
- Installing and configuring your new VoIP-based phone system, and ensuring that it is secure, reliable, and compliant
- Providing ongoing support and maintenance for your phone system, and resolving any issues that may occur
- Offering a range of additional features and benefits, such as call recording, call reporting, call management, and unified communications
We are committed to delivering top-notch customer service and ensuring that your business operates seamlessly with cutting-edge technology. We will work with you as a collaborative partner, and help you achieve your business goals, disrupt your markets, and achieve operational efficiency.
Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare your business for the PSTN switch off. Contact us today to find out how we can help you with the transition to digital phone services. Together, we can do great things.