ISDN Switch Off 2025 | What’s going on?
In 2015, BT announced the ISDN Switch Off which means they will be turning off Digital and PSTN networks in 2025 as the maintenance and running of these networks are costly and severely out of date. Due to this, as of 2023 BT will no longer accept any new orders or amendments to services applicable to any existing ISDN products.
Although 2025 can still seem a long time away for the big ISDN switch off, the impending freeze on amendments to existing circuits next year certainly isn’t. In potentially very little time, businesses could be left urgently needing to make changes they hadn’t planned and budgeted for with regards to their communications.
What is ISDN and PSTN?
PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. With PSTN, analogue voice data flows over phone lines (copper wires), which are operated by your phone provider and historically support the key basic functions of most organisations like broadband, fax, alarms etc.
ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital network. ISDN, for years, has been the backbone of business grade functions such as video conferencing, data transfer and direct dials. ISDN digital services enable users to make simultaneous phone calls by providing multiple channels per line and are seen to have been more ‘business grade’ than their PSTN counter parts.
What is the risk of The ISDN Switch Off or WLR Withdrawal?
The ISDN Switch off affects more than just the ISDN it is also being labelled as (WLR) Wholesale Line Rental Withdrawal. WLR Withdrawal means that all the existing analogue lines will go by 2025 and all the existing services on those Analogue lines will need to be replaced by an IP version. Therefore, the risk to businesses could be significant if they leave it to the last minute to make the switch.
If businesses are unable to make amendments to their ISDN circuits from 2020 and are seeing a decreased level of support thereafter from Openreach either directly or indirectly this could lead to fixed features which don’t support the business’s evolving requirements, increased rentals and call charges and in the worst cases increased downtime during outages.
What should businesses be doing?
Now is the best time for businesses to be reviewing their communications especially with the increasing budgetary pressures. IP Technology offers increased resiliency and fraud protection while reducing line rental and call costs in some cases up to 80% annually.
What are the options?
There are two options for businesses to consider which are explained below. Both utilise the latest VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) technology, each delivered slightly differently.
This is the direct, like for like upgrade to traditional ISDN lines as the new technology connects to a SIP enabled PBX via an Internet connection, and in most cases can be easily scalable up and down in a matter of minutes.
Line rentals are normally 50% of their ISDN counterparts and offer free calls to UK Local, National and Mobiles.
This solution removes the need for line rentals like ISDN and SIP, with most Cloud solutions offered on a per user per month basis, giving each user the ability to make/receive a call providing the Internet connection can support this.
Like SIP, calls to UK Local, National and Mobile destinations are typically free of charge.
What are the benefits?
Potentially large savings – With the introduction of reduced line rentals and free calls to the most popular destinations called by businesses, annual telephony budgets can be cut and used in more beneficial areas to support customers and employees.
Easy Installation – IP services can be run over any Internet access and are normally available within hours of ordering the service, meaning no more lengthy waits for BT Openreach engineers to physically connect you to the exchange.
Flexibility – IP technology allows you to take your numbers anywhere in the UK with an Internet connection, meaning they are no longer tied to the Openreach exchange area they are held. Also, you are able to keep your old phone number.
Increased Resiliency – For safeguarding purposes, businesses cannot afford to be ‘off the grid’ when there is an Internet or hardware
outage. IP technology can failover to backup connections or be diverted to another destination to mean the business is always contactable even in an outage.
Fraud Protection – Businesses are prone to being targeted by fraud during holiday periods. Although IP technology is much more secure and difficult for fraudsters to successful tamper with, it can also be configured to automatically block outbound calls when a daily call spend is reached.
Cavendish provide the top Cloud Phone System Solution on the market
What is Cavendish doing now in order to help your business switch to an IP Cloud Solution?
- No upfront cost for the Cloud Phone System*
- Free set up and installation
- Free Polycom VVX411 handsets
- Keep your existing phone numbers
- Free local & national calls
- Free calls to UK mobiles (4 main mobile operators)
- Cavendish manage the switch over for you to include staff training
*Existing cabling infrastructure may need upgrading to support voice over IP (VoIP) which we can quote & provide as required