Half of SMEs are unaware their phone services will be switched off by 2025.
A recent survey of 400 small and medium-size businesses revealed they had no idea that analogue phone services will be replaced by 2025.
BT Openreach is replacing the country’s analogue-based PSTN and ISDN phone services with all-digital Internet-based services.
The replacement is split into two phases. The first phase is called “Stop Sell”. Each phone exchange will have a set date when it will no longer be possible to buy new or change existing traditional phone systems. All new orders will have to be digital ones.
You can continue to use the older phone systems until the second, End-of-Life phase when the service at that exchange is stopped altogether.
For example, Salisbury became the first UK city to stop selling older services in December 2020. They are due to go End-of-Life on 16 December 2022.
Openreach’s ambition is to stop selling all PSTN products by September 2023 and withdraw all products by December 2025.
Smaller businesses often have older phone systems. Moving to a digital replacement can feel perilous. But making the right choice now makes sense because of its advantages in terms of productivity, cost and flexibility, particularly around remote working.
Telephone calls are not the only services affected – you may have alarms or entry systems connected to your lines. So, if you haven’t started, now is the time to start planning your move to the new services. Covid-19 has caused some changes to Openreach's plans, but you can find out the dates for your exchange on Openreach’s Customer Portal.