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PSTN Switch Off Delayed Until 2027

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re looking forward to the weekend, as well as England kicking off their Euro 2024 campaign on Sunday evening!

I want to share some important news regarding your business communications. The BT Group has announced a delay in the planned switch off of traditional phone lines, extending the deadline until January 2027. This gives everyone an extra 13 months beyond the original December 2025 date to make the necessary changes.

Why the Delay?

BT decided to delay the switch off to ensure that vulnerable customers, such as those using telecare services, are better protected. This decision came after recent media reports highlighted issues faced by these customers with the initial timeline.

BT’s trials in Salisbury and Mildenhall showed that more time is needed to help all customers transition smoothly. These trials revealed the challenges faced by those who aren’t actively engaged in the process, emphasizing the need for a careful and well-planned approach.

Understanding the Need for Change

The current phone network, known as the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), is old and increasingly unreliable. According to a report by Ofcom, in 2023, there was a 20% increase in problems and a 60% increase in downtime for customers using PSTN. This highlights the urgency to switch to newer, more reliable technology.

How Does This Affect You?

Even though there is a delay, BT will continue to phase out old phone systems in various areas. This delay is an opportunity for businesses to transition smoothly to modern alternatives. The goal is to eventually shut down the old PSTN system, so it’s important to start planning for the upgrade now.

The extra time allows you to make this change gradually, ensuring minimal disruption to your business. Upgrading to internet-based (IP) services will provide you with more reliable, higher-quality communications. We’ve worked hard over the past few years to ensure that the majority of our customers are already using IP based phone systems, and therefore aren’t using the PSTN network at all. That said, we still have some that we need to help support with the migration.

Benefits of the Delay

The delay gives BT and other service providers more time to improve fibre optic network coverage and reliability, making the transition smoother for everyone. The plan is to provide gigabit-capable broadband to 25 million premises by the end of 2026, with nearly universal coverage by 2030. This means better connectivity, especially for businesses in rural areas.

By moving gradually, the risk of service interruptions is reduced, ensuring your business operations continue seamlessly.

Our Commitment To You, Our Customers

We’re dedicated to helping your business through this transition. Despite the delay, upgrading is necessary and beneficial. We offer a range of products to help you move to modern, internet-based communications. This includes not only phone services but also the migration of data services, ensuring full support for your business needs.

We encourage you to use this additional time effectively to ensure a smooth and efficient migration.

While the delay in the PSTN switch off provides extra time, it’s essential to stay proactive.We’re here to support you every step of the way. If you have any questions at all regarding this, please get in touch with the team on 0330 221 1183, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.

All the best.

Lee New, Co-Founder & Sales Director

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