The BT Switch Off – Everything you Need to Know!

Lorna Bailey Blog

You may have heard the rumours that BT are planning to shut off their traditional (ISDN and PSTN) phone lines, in favour of IP systems.

If you haven’t heard, don’t worry, you aren’t alone! Many businesses in the UK are still unaware that this change will be happening.

You may have questions about this change, so Yo Telecom are here to shine a bit of light on the subject.

In this article, we will go through questions you may have, so you can understand this change and how it will affect your business.

The Basics

ISDN, PSTN and IP might all just be letters to you at this point. So let’s discuss these types of system.

What is PSTN?

PSTN stands for Public Switched Technology Network and it’s the traditional landline setup you may be familiar with and may currently have in your business.

What is ISDN?

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network. It’s a digital phone system that uses a traditional PSTN 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 making it a lot newer than PSTN but nowhere near as advanced as some of the options that are on the market today.

What is IP technology?

IP stands for Internet Protocol. There are two main types of IP phone system.

VOIP - Voice Over Internet Protocol - makes and receives phone calls over the internet. This is the most common IP system.

SIP - Session Initiation Protocol - Rather than just sending voice data like the VOIP phone system, SIP will send and receive any multimedia data - such as video calls.

In technical terms, IP systems work by turning analogue voice into digital signals that are then transferred through the internet. In simple terms all you need to really know is that your calls are routed through the internet rather than fixed phone lines.

What’s Changing?

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 by 2025.

How Will This Affect Your Business?

As of 2020 you will no longer be 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?

Although the shut off is 7 years away, it’s good to start looking in to your options sooner rather than later.

Find out when your current contract is due to end and do your research.

If you’re happy with your current PSTN/ISDN setup, you may consider swapping to another provider that offers this service.

However, this isn’t a smart move. BT are the first of many to make the announcement that they will be ending their sales of traditional landline services and many other companies will soon be following in their footsteps.

There has been no new technology made for landlines, no software updates and no new features - meaning you’re essentially using a phone from the 19th century.

Following the crowd and swapping to a VOIP phone system may seem like your only option.

VOIP Phone Systems for Businesses

A VOIP phone system is a virtual phone system. So it 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.

VOIP phone systems can offer your business many benefits. Let’s look into these now:

Cheaper Costs

As your calls are routed through the internet, rather than traditional copper lines, this can help to reduce the cost of your calls!

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.

th most things, VOIP phone systems do have their disadvantages. The main disadvantage of the VOIP system is that it’s reliability is completely dependant on your internet connection.

If you pay for a leased line (a dedicated high speed internet connection) it’s likely you’ll have no problems.

However if your connection cuts out, or you are based in an area with weak signals, it’s likely you’ll experience lots of issues with a VOIP phone system.

So Where Does This Leave You?

It may seem like your only option is to swap your business phone system to a VOIP phone system.

If you’re not ready to make this change, Yo Telecom have a solution for you!

Introducing the Hybrid Phone System

The hybrid phone system is the best of both worlds! It offers you all the benefits of an IP phone system, such as innovation and flexibility (plus a range of awesome features) as well as the familiarity and reliability of a traditional landline!

If your internet cuts out, or is too slow at times, your phone system will automatically route your calls through a back-up line!

Want to Know More?

We’ve created a simple 5 step plan to get this in place at your business, so you don’t get left behind in the switch off.

1. Book a Consultation and Demo

You can book your FREE demonstration of our phone systems via our live webchat! Or you can call us on 02381 103195 .

2. Let us Know Your Requirements

We tailor our packages to meet your needs! So let us know how many handsets, lines, plus any extras and we’ll create the perfect solution for you.

3. We’ll Present you With Your Options

We have four different plans. They all come with different features and are all different prices. We’ll show these to you and answer any questions you may have.

4. You Decide Which one Works for You

We’ll give you our recommendations, based on the information you give us, to help you choose the best option for your business.

5. Our expert engineers will take it from here and install your brand new phone system!

Your delivery and installation date will be booked for a day that suits you, outside of normal business hours to minimise disruption and we’ll train you to make the most of all the features!

If you have any further questions regarding anything you have read in this article, call us on 02381 103195 to speak to one of our expert consultants!

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