Landline Replacement | PSTN Switch Off | Fidelity Group UK

Business Landline Replacement

PSTN Switch Off

Business telephony is set to change, as the UK gets closer to the Big Switch Off, in 2025.

That’s when the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will be closed down. Find out how it will impact your business and what you can do about it.

Prepare for the PSTN switch off

Embrace the future of telephony by replacing your landline with VoIP before the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) is switched off in 2025.

We’re all familiar with the copper wire telephone network: in use since 1876, it’s kept business communications’ going for years. But that’s all about to change.

In 2025, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is being switched off by BT Openreach, which means EVERYONE, including businesses, currently using PSTN-based services will need to move to another service before the Big Switch Off.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), is the modern, digital replacement. It’s a solution that transmits voice calls and data using an internet connection.

This is a major step towards the United Kingdom’s mass IP-network migration, with VoIP core networks set to replace all the legacy PSTN services.

What's happening?
BT Openreach has announced it intends to switch off the traditional, copper-based telephone network in 2025. This is commonly referred to as the PSTN Switch Off. While 2025 may seem a while away, from December 2023 you won’t be able to purchase any new ISDN or PSTN-based services, with many locations affected by a stop sell much sooner than that.
Why should I care?
The PSTN Switch Off will affect all businesses currently operating using PSTN and ISDN services. If you fall into this category, you will need to move to the new network to keep your phone and your number working. The All IP network delivers voice calls using the same infrastructure as data and using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology.
What is VoIP?
Simply put, VoIP uses a company’s existing internet connection to transmit voice calls. When first introduced, this solution seemed like a risky choice, as it completely relies on the quality of the internet connection to guarantee stable calls. Now, broadband speeds are fast enough to negate any call quality problems or concerns. VoIP telephony is a simpler option than it sounds, requiring a lot less hardware than legacy systems. It is delivered by Over the top (OTT) applications to which new features are added regularly, it gives your business more flexibility and it can be used on a variety of devices – from desk phones to mobiles, tablets, and computers.
What about my Special Services?
The migration will also impact services like security and fire alarms, telecare devices, retail payment terminals and equipment for monitoring and controlling networks. These rely on some features of the PSTN that are not fully replicated in VoIP-based platforms and could have implications for both domestic and business customers, as well as public sector users.

PSTN Switch Off and Landline Replacement Timeline

  • 2017
    BT Announcement
    BT Openreach announces its intention to switch off the PSTN in 2025.
  • 2020
    Salisbury Stop Sell
    Customers In Salisbury cannot purchase new ISDN lines or add new features.
  • 2021
    Exchanges Stop Sell
    Customers across 169 locations cannot purchase new ISDN lines or add new features.
  • 2022
    Salisbury End of Life
    The PSTN network is completely switched off in Salisbury.
  • 2023
    UK Stop Sell
    Customers across the whole country cannot purchase new ISDN lines or add new features.
  • 2025
    UK End of Life
    The PSTN network is completely switched off across the UK.
Keep track of the UK’s march to an all IP phone network

In parallel to switching off the PSTN network, Openreach is rolling out its fibre broadband network.

To expedite the transition between networks, it has identified and published a list of Priority Exchanges throughout the British Isles where it will be focussing its efforts to get FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises) rolled out.

When FTTP is available to more than 75% of properties within the catchment of an exchange then, it will move to Stop Sell with WLR products, meaning everyone (business and consumer) will need to move to an IP service for new orders.

The current list of Priority Exchanges and their intended Stop Sell dates are shown in the map below (dates correct at time of publication).

How do I use this Priority Exchange PSTN switch off map?

This map plots which exchanges will undergo a stop sell as the UK moves to an all IP network.

Openreach has announced 297 priority exchanges for stop sell of PSTN services by April 2022. You can track which exchanges are switching off, and when via our map

  • This map is built on Google Maps, and so can be navigated as you would use any online map
  • The priority exchanges have been categorised into 4 tranches which go in order of stop sell dates – these can be viewed on the left-hand side of the map
  • Each Exchange has detailed information including exchange code, postcode, SI number, stop sell date, and helpful FAQ’s.