A Quick Guide to the PSTN and ISDN Switch Off

In 2025 BT is switching off their Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) services for everyone in the UK: both business and home lines. So, why are we talking about this now? The Big Switch Off is still a few years away, but this massive shake-up in the communications industry has been announced in plenty of time so you can prepare for the switch and won’t risk getting left behind.

Read our quick guide to see how the switch could affect your business, all about the new era of SIP and VoIP, and the checklist you need to prepare.

Why is BT switching off PSTN and ISDN lines?

‘The Big Switch Off’ or PSTN/ISDN shutdown does sound a bit drastic, but it’s the only way to keep up with the demands of modern communications. PSTN is the outdated copper wire-based telephone network that has remained largely unchanged since the invention of telephones. ISDN was first introduced in the 1980s and was the first digital platform to offer the transmission of voice, video, and other data. Both of these networks were revolutionary when they were introduced, but can no longer accommodate 21st-century demands.

What is the alternative to PSTN and ISDN lines?

We’ve all become aware, especially recently, of the advances in technology that keep us connected: smartphones, Zoom, the Internet of Things, and more. We already rely on Voice over IP (VoIP), so we’ll soon be saying goodbye to traditional landlines and making all phone calls using an internet connection.

By 2025 all voice calls will be internet-based. VoIP will be the main successor to ISDN. There’s also Session Initiation Protocol (SIP); SIP initiates and terminates an IP communication session, such as a voice call or a team video conference.

Benefits of SIP and VoIP

Both VoIP and SIP are a substantial upgrade from ISDN and their benefits ensure you’ll want to make the switch well ahead of the 2025 deadline. A VoIP phone system gives you everything your business requires from a traditional PBX and, as it’s hosted in the cloud, even more benefits:

Easy Installation

Having no physical lines means you don’t have to wait to get connected or have hardware taking up space in the workplace. Maintenance is also effortless and remote.

Total Flexibility

Use a cloud-based phone system to make and answer calls wherever you are and easily recruit employees from across the world. Looking to grow your business? A VoIP phone system makes it easy to scale your communications to fit your current needs.

Great Savings

SIP and VoIP offer massive savings in comparison to ISDN. Cost is usually based on the number of users you’ll require, so accessible for all businesses whether it’s just you, a few employees, or hundreds.

PSTN and ISDN Switch Off Checklist for Your Business

Follow this checklist to ensure you’re prepared for the PSTN and ISDN switch off:

Take a look at your internet speed and consider changing providers.

It’s not too early to secure high-quality, future-proof internet connectivity that’s ready to support your IP phone system.

Work out your requirements. This will be based on the size of your business. VoIP is generally suited to smaller businesses as it is very easy to install, whereas SIP allows you to keep your existing phone system so might be the best choice if you have an established communications network.

Find the right Cloud PBX system for your business.

With a Cloud PBX from Microtalk, you’ll be making calls with your new phone system in just three easy steps! Got numbers that you want to keep? No problem. Prefer a change? We can provide national and international numbers.

Then, you’ll be ready to start making calls and prepared for the ISDN and PSTN switch off in 2025!

As BT draws an end to ISDN and PSTN lines, you have until 2025 to upgrade your communications. Discover all our Cloud PBX plans or contact us for bespoke solutions.

Back to Blog