The BT Switch Off – Everything you Need to Know!

In order to modernise and improve the UK’s telecoms offerings, BT is in the process of switching off their traditional phone lines (both PSTN and ISDN). This is a vast project spanning years and is set to be complete by 2025. But, what does this mean for you, your business and your telecoms?

The BT Switch Off – Everything you Need to Know!

PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network and is the traditional landline setup you may currently have at your business. ISDN, on the other hand, stands for Integrated Services Digital Network.

Both of these systems are extremely old. PSTN can be traced back to the very first phone lines that came about in the 1800s. ISDN has been around since the 80s but isn’t anywhere near as advanced as the newer telecoms solutions available on the market.

So, What Is The Modern Alternative To PSTN & ISDN?

IP Technology! IP stands for Internet Protocol and is a technology that we’re all familiar with (Skype and Whatsapp use this). There are two main types of IP phone system.

  • VoIP – Voice over Internet Protocol. This system allows you to make and receive audio phone calls over the internet and is the most common IP system.
  • SIP – Session Initiation Protocol. Rather than just sending voice data like the VoIP phone system, SIP systems allow you to send and receive any form of multimedia data eg video calls.

In technical terms, IP systems work by turning analogue voice into digital signals that are then transferred through the internet.

What Is The BT Switch Off?

BT have announced that they are planning to shut off their PSTN and ISDN phone lines and swap all their business customers to VoIP and SIP solutions. The scheduled end date of this project is 2025 and is already underway in Salisbury, Wiltshire.

How Will This Affect Your Business?

As of last year (2020), you are no longer able to order or purchase a traditional PSTN or ISDN phone system from BT. If you are a current BT customer and your contract is up for renewal, you will need to swap your current system for a VoIP system or look elsewhere for an alternative solution.

What Options do you Have?

VoIP Phone Systems for Businesses

A VOIP phone system is a virtual phone system and will not be based in your building. Instead, it will be based in a data centre somewhere in the world and your calls will be routed in and out via the internet.

+ Cheaper Costs
As calls are routed through the internet, rather than traditional copper lines, many providers offer free UK landline, mobile and 03 calls. Not only this, but installation charges and maintenance are also relatively cheap for this type of system.

+ Improved Flexibility
Not being restricted to fixed lines means you can make and take calls whenever you need to with your business phone system. If you have staff who work in a different location or work from home, you can all still stay connected through one central phone system.

– Reliability Is Dependent On Your Internet Connection
If you pay for a leased line (a dedicated high-speed internet connection) your VoIP system will work reliably. However if your connection often cuts out, or you are based in an area with weak signal, it’s likely you’ll experience issues with a VoIP phone system.


Hybrid Phone Systems for Businesses

A hybrid phone system offers the benefits of an IP phone system with the reliability of a traditional landline and is based at your business.

+ Extremely Reliable
If your internet cuts out or is too slow at times, your phone system will automatically route your calls through a back-up line. This line is not one that will be impacted by the BT Switch Off.

+ Many Features Available
A wide range of innovative features are available with Yo Telecom hybrid phone systems, including Computer Telephone Integration and Missed Call Tracking.

– Not Required By All Businesses
For small businesses that have one handset that they use a couple of times a day, investing in a hybrid phone system may not be the best option. This is because they don’t rely on their phone system and need to pay for the security of a back-up line.


Here at Yo Telecom we offer both VoIP and Hybrid phone systems and are here to help you get your business BT Switch Off Ready!

Simply drop your details in our form below to get started… One of our communication consultants will then be in touch to discuss your options and tailor the perfect package for your business. Alternatively, give us a call on 02382 146115 now!


P.S. Still a bit confused about the BT Switch Off and what it means? Check out this video:

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