An SME Guide to the PSTN Switch Off

Employee using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services

The clock is ticking, and by the end of 2025, the traditional analogue Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) in the UK will be a relic of the past, making way for a fully digital, internet-based service. For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this digital transition demands careful planning and action to ensure uninterrupted communication.

Understanding the PSTN Switch Off:

The UK’s telephone network is undergoing a significant transformation as the PSTN, in operation since 1876, bows out. This analogue copper cable network not only facilitated landline services but also supported standard broadband services via fibre optic cables. The replacement is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), an entirely digital technology that utilises internet connectivity to transmit voice calls and data, akin to popular messaging and video call services like Skype and WhatsApp.

Timeline of the Switch Off:

The PSTN Switch Off is scheduled in phases across the UK:

  • Autumn/Winter 2023: London and the North West
  • Spring 2024: The South East, West Midlands, East Anglia, and Wales
  • Summer 2024: The North East, South West, and Scotland

The ‘stop sell’ came into effect in September 2023, meaning no new copper cable-based traditional landlines are available. From January 1, 2026, onwards, all calls will be hosted via the internet.

What Businesses Need to Do:

If your business hasn’t migrated yet, the time to act is now. Before December 2025, SMEs need to transition from PSTN to a digital, internet-based service to avoid any service interruptions. BT assures that customers will receive at least four weeks’ notice before the switch-over occurs in their region. Trinsic can assist in ensuring a smooth transition to VoIP services.

Benefits of VoIP Services:

  1. Connect Anywhere and Everywhere:
    • Our business phone solution ensures constant connectivity. Whether your team works onsite or remotely, they can effortlessly call, connect, and collaborate.
  2. Value and Flexibility:
    • Moving to VoIP opens the door to substantial savings and flexibility. Manage calls from any device, anytime, anywhere, ensuring you never miss an important call again.
  3. Features and Integration:
    • VoIP seamlessly integrates with business applications, streamlining workflow, and boosting efficiency. Advanced features like call forwarding enhance communication versatility.

Find out more about the PSTN Switch Off