ISDN: are you ready for the great switch off!

by Jo Smith in Microcomms News

What is the ISDN Switch Off?

You may be aware that from 2025, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), otherwise known as the ‘landline’, will no longer exist. This is a result of the phasing out of the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). ISDN was once the UK’s primary means of communication. Due to the advancement of technology, it can no longer keep up with other internet access connections in a cost-effective way. In other words, it’s outdated. 

ISDN carries data and voice communications over copper-cabled telephone lines. Nowadays, as we switch to mobile and internet communications, demands are outstripping what ISDN can deliver. In reality, given how indispensable the ‘Internet of Things’ has become in our daily lives, its phasing out was inevitable. But it is, nonetheless, a massive digital transformation step for the UK.

Why the phasing out of ISDN is a good thing

Although this change is being forced upon us, it comes with a host of advantages. In fact, they will make you wish you had moved to full-fibre Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) far sooner! Benefits include advanced options like remote data access, flexible working and greater security. They also include reduced costs.

What is a VoIP system?

If you’ve ever used Skype, Zoom, Facetime or WhatsApp to speak to somebody, then you’ve already used a VoIP system. It describes any system that makes voice calls using a broadband internet connection, instead of a PSTN (or landline).

How can you get ahead of the ISDN Switch Off?

From September 2023, BT will stop selling traditional phone lines in all exchange areas. This will result in the gradual roll out of a full fibre network across the country.

This gives users time to make the move from PSTN to the latest IP technology, in their own time. As long as you have fibre in your area, you make the switch well before it’s forced upon you. Click here to find out what’s available to you now.

How will the ISDN Switch Off affect you?

As of December 2025, every UK phone line will have migrated to a digital network using IP Cloud technology across a fibre-based service. This is likely to affect a host of different systems that could, in turn, affect your business. These include voice services, intruder and fire alarms, EPOS machines and CCTV. In short, any system that currently relies on PSTN will need to start planning for the move.

We’re here to help you manage the ISDN Switch Off

Microcomms can provide comprehensive support when it comes to making the switch. We can assist audit your network to understand how many connections you have and of what type.

Leaving this to the last minute could result in delays and increased installation costs. Depending on the nature of your organisation, these could be anything from simple voice lines to DSL broadband, building alarm circuits, and even your means of both internal and external communication. By reviewing what your company has access to now, we can help you work out the best plan of action.

To find out more about how we can help you ensure a smooth migration to the cloud, be sure to get in touch.

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