The 2025 Digital Switchover

5 February 2024
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What it means for businesses and how to prepare

Traditional landline phone systems, also known as the Public Switched Telephone Network, or (PSTN) will soon be a thing of the past. 

Openreach has long planned to switch off this ageing infrastructure – and December 2025 is the end of the road for this Victorian-age technology. Anyone still using it between now and then will need to find an alternative way to make and receive calls. 

So, what does this mean for your business, and what’s the best way to prepare? 


The Digital Switchover explained

Traditional analogue telephone lines many of us grew up with use copper wiring to send voices near and far. 

First introduced in 1875 (literally Victorian times!!), the PSTN is no match for the speed or reliability of digital technologies like full fibre and is incompatible with many of the features found on modern phones. Throw in the high cost of maintaining this once revolutionary system, and the case for retiring it becomes even stronger. 

For all these reasons, it is expected that Openreach will be switching off the PSTN in December 2025. This digital switchover will affect all homes and businesses currently operating on PSTN and ISDN lines. Companies that don’t make the transition to a digital alternative before 2025 could quickly find themselves left without a functional phone system. 


How to prepare for the 2025 PSTN Switch Off

To avoid losing that vital phone service, businesses should make the move to a Voice over IP (VoIP) system before December 2025. 

VoIP uses the internet to transmit calls digitally, offering several advantages over PSTN. These include: 

  • Cost savings: VoIP eliminates expensive hardware and line rental fees by operating over an internet connection. 
  • Flexibility: Calls can be made and received regardless of location on devices like laptops and smartphones. 
  • Scalability: VoIP systems can be quickly adjusted to support changes in call volume. 
  • Productivity: VoIP offers integration with customer management platforms and other business software, which isn’t possible with the older PTSN phone systems. 
  • Resiliency: Calls will continue uninterrupted even if internet access is disrupted at one site by automatically rerouting through another location. 


What does the switchover involve?

One of the most important considerations when switching to VoIP is making sure you have enough internet bandwidth for clear, reliable voice calls. A trusted VoIP provider will manage the entire migration process for you, including porting your existing phone numbers to your new system to minimise any potential disruption or confusion.  

With the 2025 deadline looming, it’s never been more important for businesses to look at the VoIP options in front of them and join the many organisations already benefitting from next-generation telecoms services. Those who pop their heads in the sand will find themselves without a vital phone service  in the not-too-distant future. 


Need a hand making the switch?

Check out our guide on how to choose the right VoIP provider for your business. 

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