fbpx

What Is The ISDN Switch-Off?

In just a few years, we will see a huge shift in the way businesses and consumers makes phone calls in the UK. Known as the big ISDN switch-off, in 2025 the PSTN network reaches end-of-life and will be fully switched off to make room for a digital future. 

The official switch-off will happen in 2025- so for business continuity, it is vital that businesses prepare and make sure they are set up with new technologies in time. With a few years to go, let’s take a look at what the ISDN Switch off is, and what you and your business need to do to prepare for the switch off. 

What-is-the-ISDN-switch-off

What Are ISDN Lines?

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network.

BT introduced ISDN to the UK in 1987, to replace old analogue landlines and add features that were not available with the classic telephone system. The ISDN lines provide sound quality by using digital transmission, to make voice calls over data networks, video conferencing as well as faxing or even printing from your computer.

ISDN is a telephone technology used to provide digital data transmission through existing copper wire telephony systems. Its speed runs at up to 144kbps, and are therefore struggling with the increase in demand we have seen over the last years. For that reason, ISDN lines are now reaching their end-of-life, which takes us to the ISDN switch off. 

What Are PSTN Lines?

PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network

The PSTN network is the technology that provides infrastructure and services for public telecommunications. Using copper cabling underground, PSTN has provided the nation with a connection since the 1800s!

You can see why we are now looking for an upgrade, right?

Therefore, we are not just looking forward to one switch off in 2025- it will actually be 2! Both The ISDN and PSTN network is being fully switched off in 2025. As the two technologies works hand in hand, it will affect a lot of both businesses and consumers in the coming years. 

For a full breakdown of the PSTN switch off, read on in our blog here. As the PSTN network is being switched off, new technology is waiting to take its place. FTTP broadband will be replacing all existing lines, and there are no less than amazing speeds coming with that upgrade! Find out more about FTTP and all its benefits here.

What Is The ISDN Switch-off?

PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network

The PSTN network is the technology that provides infrastructure and services for public telecommunications. Using copper cabling underground, PSTN has provided the nation with a connection since the 1800s!

You can see why we are now looking for an upgrade, right?

Therefore, we are not just looking forward to one switch off in 2025- it will actually be 2! Both The ISDN and PSTN network is being fully switched off in 2025. As the two technologies works hand in hand, it will affect a lot of both businesses and consumers in the coming years. 

For a full breakdown of the PSTN switch off, read on in our blog here. As the PSTN network is being switched off, new technology is waiting to take its place. FTTP broadband will be replacing all existing lines, and there are no less than amazing speeds coming with that upgrade! Find out more about FTTP and all its benefits here.

why Is The ISDN Switch-Off Happening?

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and the old lines networks just can’t keep up with the constantly evolving tech and growing demand. Therefore, the networks are now reaching their end-of-life. 

ISDN has been the backbone of the UK’s phone network for decades!

So why will it no longer work?

Think about it – we have all seen dramatic changes in technology over the past few years, especially during the pandemic. It is all around us: smartphones, apps, Microsoft Teams, the Cloud, Zoom calls, Internet of Things, and so on. Today we use our phones and the connectivity more and differently that we did twenty years ago, and for that reason the networks are suffering under the demand. The copper lines that runs the PSTN network is simply too slow to carry the amount of traffic we need it too – naturally, we have a switch off ahead. 

The ISDN lines have been operational since 1987! Finally, they are going digital, and this is actually not the fist time a nationwide switch off like this have happened. in 2012, the same thing happened – we called it the big TV switch off! Our TV’s went from being analogue to going digital. 

Can you imagine what it would have been like if that switch off hadn’t happened? Going digital allowed us for higher quality TV, Smart TV’s, TV Apps  – something we wouldn’t want to loose again! 

What are the alternatives after the ISDN switch-off?

With ISDN and PSTN lines both being included in the switch off, both businesses and consumers will have to  migrate to new and future proof technologies. 

So let’s start by looking at some of the technologies that are replacing ISDN  and PSTN lines.

First up we have Fibre, replacing PSTN. 

What Is Fibre?

Fibre is the next generation of connectivity, allowing you to reach up to 1GB/700MB speeds!

If you don’t know how fast that is, it’s almost the same as the speed of light!

Fibre will ensure your business stay up and running at all times. It comes in many forms, but the most common is Fibre-To-The-Premises (FTTP). Compared to the old broadband lines running on the PSTN network, FTTP allows you to reach new heights of connectivity. 

The transformation will complete change your day-to-day.

What Is Hosted VoIP?

Hosted VoIP is a digital phone system that allows the use of connectivity to make and receive your voice and video calls. A VoIP phone system can be accessed via any device with an internet connection, including your mobile, laptop or tablet.

So where VoIP is fully digital, ISDN and PSTN lines use analogue transmission. Therefore VoIP will provide you with a much greater clarity in conversation while reducing interference from other devices in the building. For the full VoIP run-through, have a look here.

What Is SIP?

SIP Trunks stands for Session Initiation Protocol. It is a great alternative to ADSL analogue lines, as it is almost a replica of ISDN technology but over IP rather than physical devices.

This means that users can have the same set-up, the amount of numbers, and their operations to keep your business as efficient as ever!
SIP will enable you to sustain operations after the switch off as it doesn’t use landline based calling. This means calls are made and received over fibre or alternative lines which remains available after the switch off.

However, the amount of numbers an address can have is limited, in the way that a business can only have a certain number of calls active at one time.

Although SIP is a useful technology, it is considered to be only a ‘stepping stone’ in the process of moving through the digital transformation. To become fully integrated and fully take advantage of the digital transformation, businesses will have to move onto Cloud technology. Read more about our SIP Trunks here.

What Is Cloud?

Cloud technology is the new generation of calling, where the internet is used to make and receive calls. Moving to the Cloud will give your business the future proofing you need, and the stability to stay ahead in a ever evolving world. While going to the switch off- our recommendation will always be to move to a Cloud solution, for the most longterm and future proof solution. With no hardware and the ability for remote support, it provides a much more flexible solution that can scale with your business. 

what are the benefits of making the switch?

The benefits are endless! But ultimately, making the switch is not a choice any business is left with. The ISDN switch off is happening in just a few years, and to maintain business continuity, everyone will have to migrate to another technology. 

So, let’s get down to the benefits. 

There are endless benefits to migrating to an alternative of ISDN or PSTN. One of the main benefits are your connection speeds. The Copper lines  carrying the ISDN network are simply not strong enough to carry the speed we require today.  Making the shift to full fibre will instantly give you higher speeds and a higher quality. No downsides there! 

Making the shift from ISDN to Hosted Cloud will give you the opportunity to change the way you and your team work! Created for the modern workplace, Cloud will give you the possibility to work from anywhere at anytime. 

Not only this, but due to the Cloud hosting, your calls remain secure and safe from any malicious intent so you can have peace of mind that your conversations are private and secure.

How to switch from ISDN to hosted VoIP

If you want to avoid redundant hardware, then Hosted VoIP will be right for you. And making the switch isa very easy process.

We’ll have to know your  preferences, requirements, and how many phone extensions you will want and we do the set-up for you.

Afterwards we’ll need to consider if you have enough bandwidth to support your new Hosted VoIP solution. If your speeds does not have enough bandwidth to deliver both voice while supporting other activities, you will need to upgrade to one that does. 

what does The ISDN Switch-Off mean for me?

Depending on the technologies you business or home run on, it will either mean everything or it will mean nothing.

The sooner you change, the better! The digital transformation is fast approaching, and the full switch off completes in 2025.

But let’s think about it.  With almost 50x faster internet and connection speeds, why wouldn’t you want to make the change sooner rather than later? 

Openreach is currently rolling out Fibre across the country and an impressive rate, the list grows more and more each day. The last update added another 170 postcodes eligible for FTTP services. Openreach has along with the government promised around 45,000 new premises per week, with peaks up to 75,000. This means that by the switch off in 2025, around 85% of the country will have been upgraded to fibre lines.

Let’s check if your can get FTTP today! Check our Broadband checker here.

when should i switch?

Honestly? 

The sooner the better. 

Although the final switch off happens in 2025 – it has already started! 

2025 is the deadline for the FINAL switch off, but some areas would be affected beforehand, meaning you should start your planning today. 

The quicker businesses can future proof and protect themselves, the better. Openreach is working across the country to bring FTTP to homes and businesses, and new locations are updated every day! This means your premises could already have access to ‘Ultra-fast’ connectivity, if this is the case, we suggest you migrate to get the benefits now.

How Long Does The Switch Take?

Depending on the size of your organisation, the migration from ISDN can take up to a year. This means there really isn’t much time to sit about and wait. Businesses will need to change as soon as possible to ensure they remain continuity during the switch off.

However, the change from PSTN to FTTP is quick, easy, and stress-free enabling your business to stay efficient with as little downtime as possible. If your premises are eligible for FTTP, the installation can be as quick as only 9 working days! 

What Is Next?

The switch-off is fast approaching and businesses need to be prepared to maintain their business continuity over the coming years and be equipped for the future.

Are you set up and prepared for the ISDN Switch Off?

We are here to help you through the process! Fill in your details beneath to set up a meeting with one of our specialist who will be able to talk you through anything you need to know about the big switch off.