What is the PSTN switch-off?
The PSTN switch-off is happening, and it’s happening now.
Openreach can no longer support the ageing Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which means that ISDN and PSTN services are being switched off by December 2025. However, in some parts of the country, services are already being impacted. Yes, really. The services impacted are ISDN30, ISDN2, and PSTN Multi-Lines. The switching off of traditional copper telephone lines will see the withdrawal of both PSTN and ISDN telephone systems, with fibre optic-based Internet telephony taking their place. You need to be taking action now.
What are the ‘replacement’ future-proof technologies available?
Businesses currently relying on single analogue exchange lines or ISDN for their calls or broadband will need to migrate to a single-order, fibre-only alternative like Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA). SOGEA allows voice, broadband and other services to be delivered together. However, it goes beyond just voice and data; it affects other systems such as door entry systems, fax machines, PDQ handheld payment devices, care home alarms like Redcare, emergency alarms, lift lines, and help point systems. Daisy’s Asset Audit can help identify the live assets on your estate and where they are.
|Technology affected||Replacement products|
|ISDN / Multi-Line||SIP, Microsoft Teams, OnlineUC Gamma or OnlineUC Mitel|
|Single Analogue Exchange Lines + Broadband Circuit||Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) / Fibre to the Premises (FTTP)|
|Single Analogue Exchange Lines + voice||PhoneLine+ and supporting data service|
What is Daisy’s Asset Audit?
Daisy’s Asset Audit is a service that identifies and reviews your current WLR estate, whether the assets are with Daisy, another provider, or a mixed estate. The Asset Audit provides you with information about your lines in terms of install address, last active call, connectivity details, exchange details and any other notes relevant to the asset. Whatever stage you’re currently at, Daisy’s specialist team can help you assess your needs and manage a seamless migration that works for you, your staff and your customers.
Book your asset audit today
- Full billing review (whether Daisy or third party suppliers)
- Output – standard data detail, identifying each asset and key information (excluding connected third party technology)
- Free of charge for existing Daisy customers
- Full review to identify the third party technology on each asset
- Output – advanced data detail, identifying the third party technology connected and location
- Chargeable service
Benefits of future-proofing with Daisy
IP connectivity costs less than ISDN. Free internal calls and lower line rental costs for multi-sites. Also, no expensive call-forwarding costs are required should you relocate or need to divert calls in the event of a disaster.
Business-grade resilience for your telephony during peak hours or in an emergency.
Allows you to directly connect to the platform to make external calls.
Ideal if you are moving and want to keep your existing numbers. Scale up lines during busy periods and back down again afterwards. You can split calls at any time. You are always in control.
With more than 20 years’ experience as a business communications provider, we understand the challenges businesses face when transitioning to SIP.
Do you know how the PSTN Switch-off will affect you?
Act now to ensure your smooth transition away from legacy technology
Your questions answered…
Stop-sell applies at a premises level where that premise has access to an available FTTP product. Where a premise has access to FTTP there will be no new supply of other products, CP transfers, working line takeovers, addition of broadband to voice lines, or bandwidth modifications.
- If a premise has GEA-FTTP available to order, then only GEA-FTTP is available to that premise and instantly become within the scope of stop-sell.
- If a premise does not have GEA-FTTP available, SOGFAST, SOGEA, GEA-FTTC, SOTAP (where no fibre is available), MPF and WLR (only until September 2023) will be available.
The same stop-sell principles will apply for the fibre exchanges in Salisbury and Mildenhall. Openreach plans to modernise its network to support the delivery of telephone services using Internet protocol (IP) technology, and to upgrade its copper lines to fibre. As part of this, it will undertake two trials:
The Salisbury trial (Dec 2020) will test the processes for migrating customers to fibre services and, ultimately, withdrawing legacy copper services.
The Mildenhall trial (May 2021) will test the processes for withdrawing Wholesale Line Rental (WLR), and migrating customers from legacy copper services to fibre – which will support the delivery of telephone services over broadband connections. MPF and SOTAP will be available in a fibre area if there is no spare fibre capacity.
As part of the FTTP exchange upgrade programme, any premises enabled for FTTP should have migrated to an FTTP solution, this also includes any premises connected to SOGEA.
Yes. Openreach has confirmed that this will most likely become a continual advancement as more and more FTTP is rolled out and are expected to release these details on a quarterly basis.
The PSTN supports a number of Openreach products: WLR3 analogue, ISDN2, ISDN30, LLU SMPF, SLU SMPF, Narrowband Line Share and Classic products. These products are generically referred to, as part of the industry programme, as WLR products. When the analogue network closes in 2025 these products will no longer be available.
In some circumstances where the customer is not in an exchange area that is impacted by the FTTP Exchange Upgrade stop-sell, they can migrate to LLU MPF (only where there is no FTTP availability).
You can migrate over to a Single Order broadband product. The voice service will stop working and effectively becomes redundant in this instance. Voice service will become an optional add-on to your broadband service. Download our quick-read, all-you-need-to-know guide about SOGEA >>
You can keep your current phone number if you inform your service provider at point of sale or when the migration order is placed, but you will need to take out an OTT IP Voice service (to run parallel with your Single Order Broadband product) and indicate that you wish to port the number onto the new IP Voice service otherwise you will lose the number once the service migrates away from the existing WLR or MPF service.
The 2025 WLR withdrawal date is not something that can be pushed back, this was defined as a necessity due to the BT Group PSTN network infrastructure reaching its end of life. This also means it is crucial that the other key dates leading up to the 2025 withdrawal date also do not get pushed back. This will of course be continued to be monitored as per updates directly from Openreach and Ofcom.
Daisy Corporate Services will work alongside you to ensure all of your services migrate/are upgraded to the new solution. At present there is no bulk order option in place, but all orders can be placed.
Yes, your ATA will convert your analogue signals to digital IP Voice but, in order to use this, you must have an IP Voice product over the top of your new Single Order broadband to transmit the calls.
Yes, if you are already on an FTTC enabled router then it will be compatible as SOGEA is built upon the same foundations. We are also awaiting updates from Openreach, Ofcom and market leaders in router technological specifications to confirm what will still be compatible and what hardware will become redundant.
SOGEA and FTTP orders will need to have a voice order placed alongside the migration order. These do not work like the current SIM2 orders so an OTT (over the top) voice order will need to be raised to run parallel with a significant amount of notice, in order for the number to port over to the IP Voice service.
It is imperative that you contact the vendor of these devices to confirm whether they are IP-compatible or not. If they are not, you will need to source new devices which are IP-compatible, to allow you to continue operating as a business. Otherwise, these devices will cease to work when moving to a Single Order product. If you need advice, get in touch and we can discuss your business requirements on 0344 863 3000.
Migrations between communications providers (CP) will still be available but the destination product they are migrating to will need to align with the stop-sell rules. Meaning that if the end-user (EU) is in the FTTP footprint, then they can only migrate over to FTTP.
Yes these features will be available until the stop-sell dates however, we would encourage that you arrange to migrate over to FTTP solutions with an OTT voice solution so that you are prepared and ready for when the PSTN is switched off.
Alternative copper and fibre products
Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is the fastest and most resilient all-fibre product with broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps download and 220Mbps upload and can be purchased on its own.
Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is a form of fibre optic communication delivery in which the optical fibre runs all the way from the exchange to the street cabinet and uses the existing copper network to reach the home or office. The remaining part of the access network from the cabinet to the customer is usually copper wire but could use other technologies such as wireless.
Single Order G.Fast (SOGFast) is a cutting-edge technology that delivers ultrafast speeds over existing copper lines of up to 330Mbps through a single order variant which forms part of the Openreach developing product portfolio.
Single Order GEA (SOGEA) Delivering superfast in a single order, speeds of up to 80Mbps will offer similar connectivity to FTTC without the need for an underlying Voice Access product.
Single Order Transitional Access Product (SOTAP)
Supporting non-fibre areas with speeds of up to 17Mbps. This is a new product that will deliver a copper path between your premises and the SOTAP communication provider’s (CP) exchange infrastructure, over which the SOTAP CP can provide broadband and IP Voice services. This is different from a Metallic Path Facility (MPF) because it facilitates the use of existing exchange infrastructure which currently supports LLU SMPF and therefore provides a better experience when migrating away from WLR products (with or without SMPF).
Ethernet offers a wide choice of high bandwidth, permanently-connected point-to-point services designed to help CPs extend their own networks and deliver a range of high-quality services to their customers. The Ethernet fibre network that underpins them offers unrivalled geographic coverage of the UK, embracing many out-of-town locations where manufacturing takes place and where many data centres of the future will be located.
There are a number of options, including utilising the new Single Order Transitional Access Product (SOTAP) which uses broadband rather than voice as the primary service, as well as mobile and Ethernet services.
There is no option to opt out of the FTTP trail exchanges. If you have a working WLR or MPF asset in one of the exchanges you will be impacted by the stop-sell principles and rules with the expectation that the existing bases will be migrated onto an all IP solution/alternative product by the end of the trials in December 2022.
The withdrawal of PSTN copper services has a deadline of Dec 2025. The change is happening, and you do not want to be left behind. Both hosted voice and SIP are easily scalable for any growth aspirations – Daisy Corporate Services can help you migrate your services with minimum disruption to your business. For all your voice and data solutions we can get you connected.
Interested in booking an Asset Audit?