Why every business should care about the analogue switch off

Apr 13, 2023 | News

With 2025 fast approaching, no longer a distant date on the horizon, it is important the business community knows the impact of the PSTN and ISDN switch-off.

The copper network switch-off in 2025 marks the end of the traditional analogue telephone system, which has been the backbone of the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure for a century and a half.

This switch-off will pave the way for the widespread adoption of digital technologies such as fibre-optic broadband and 5G mobile networks.

For businesses in the UK, it is important to be prepared because it will have a significant impact on their operations. Without a reliable and fast internet connection, businesses may experience disruptions in communication and loss of productivity, which can have a negative impact on their bottom line.

In addition, many businesses rely on legacy systems that are not compatible with digital technologies, and they will need to upgrade their infrastructure in order to continue operating smoothly.

Businesses that are not prepared for the switch off risk falling behind their competitors, losing customers, and missing out on new opportunities.

Why preparation is everything

It is important businesses start preparing for the copper network switch off as soon as possible, ensuring they have a seamless transition to the new digital infrastructure and are able to take advantage of the benefits it offers.

While the switch to fibre presents a host of opportunities, businesses need to be aware of the potential impact, especially to their current technology stack.

It’s crucial to determine whether existing technologies and devices are IP compatible, including point of sale devices, telephones, and fax machines. Businesses must also prepare services and systems, such as Redcare (secure alarm monitoring), lines that connect intercoms in lifts, or critical alarms, to ensure they support IP.

In a recent survey 46% of businesses were unaware of the 2025 copper switch-off, and 83% saying they had no visibility of when it will happen at all. As an industry-led change, the switch-off hasn’t attracted a mass public awareness campaign, but there is a real danger for businesses without IT knowledge that some services may stop working when copper becomes obsolete.

While copper is a reliable technology, an all-fibre IP service is more dependable. Fibre generally has fewer faults and is more tolerant. However, businesses must ensure that their new connection is reliable and has sufficient bandwidth to support stable services.

The big opportunity

The adoption of fibre provides businesses with an opportunity to consolidate suppliers, reduce costs, and use their fibre service for multiple technologies such as telephone, fax, EPOS, alarm, general internet usage, email, and guest WIFI over a single fibre service.

It also allows businesses to adopt newer, better technologies, streamlining processes and reducing costs while offering a better experience to their customers.

The enhanced technology and capacity of fibre make it possible for businesses to use more cloud-based services such as Office 365, unified communications such as Teams, Zoom, 8×8, or automating stock control, streaming 4k and 8k, and guest WIFI.

Copper is a 150-year-old technology that has served the UK well, but with the adoption of fibre, as many as 70% fewer faults will be generated.

It’s an exciting time for businesses, but education is key. Visit our connectivity pages to see how your business can address the change.

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