Lee Hunwick, Head of Unified Communications at Daisy discusses the future and advises on the next big tech challenge for organisations.
If you don’t know already, you need to.
Throughout the UK, the process has begun to phase out the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN). If you haven’t fully integrated an alternative by December 2025, your phones will stop ringing, your alarm systems, lifts and other vital facilities may stop dead, and your customers might be cut off from contacting you.
Starting with pockets of the UK, BT Openreach has begun the phased shutdown that will culminate in a complete discontinuation of service. By this point, we will all be using internet-based telephony.
Switching isn’t an option, it’s a requirement. As we approach the cut-off point, the demand for lines to be switched will increase, causing BT to drive up both the cost and lead times. My advice is to act sooner rather than later as it will cost less and help you to avoid unnecessary disruption to service. Closer to the time, we can expect that the process for transferring your lines into a cloud or hybrid environment is likely to increase from weeks to months.
Despite the impending end of service, there are other reasons to switch. Legacy Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) lines are less cost-effective than modern cloud-based alternatives. SIP trunking is a comparatively cheaper option, with lower call costs and you will gain peace of mind from the knowledge that your system is future-proofed.
Migrating your whole system is a daunting task, but fortunately there are some ways to make your life easier. Up until the PSTN lines are deactivated, you have the option of initiating a phased migration over time. This kind of hybrid approach enables you to avoid disruption of service by keeping your legacy estate operational while systematically transferring parts of your organisation over to an internet-based system.
My advice to you:
Before you act, it’s important for you to gain visibility of the devices and systems in your network that will be impacted by this switch off. Only once you have the full picture of everything in your organisation that relies on technologies reaching end of life will you be in a position to plan your migration. This is much bigger than just your phone lines. Affected systems can be categorised into three areas:
- Telephony systems
- Single Analogue Exchange Lines
Telephony systems affected are those with ISDN2, ISDN30 and PSTN multiline technologies. Broadband that relies on ADSL2 will also stop working. Finally, the areas which you might not expect to be linked to this are those that use a Single Analogue Exchange Line. This can include a huge range of systems, ranging from lift lines and help point systems to security cameras and alarms.
Once you have carried out a company-wide audit to identify these risk points, your second step is to find a virtual alternative, followed by creating your migration strategy. Then comes the migration itself.
If you have questions, you can reach out at Lee.Hunwick@daisyuk.tech or find out all you need to know at daisyuk.tech/pstn-switch-off including our unique Asset Audit that can help uncover all you need to know.