The Big Switch Off 2025 – What It Means For You
The humble landline will become a thing of the past in 2025 when the copper cable that brings traditional call technology to homes and businesses across the UK is switched for an internet-based connection. But don’t worry, you’ll still be able to chat for hours on a traditional handset if you wish, you’ll just be connected differently.
So, what will the Big Switch Off mean for business users, how will it all work and what can businesses do now to future proof themselves? Here’s our quick guide.
What is the Big Switch Off?
The Big Switch Off refers to the gradual phasing out of BT’s ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN). Businesses and homeowners will no longer have the ability to acquire PSTN and ISDN after September 2023, with the old technology being completely switched off in 2025.
The move will bring an end to the use of analogue phone lines in the UK, with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology, which allows voice calls to be made over an internet connection, coming in its place. With a robust and reliable internet connection now available across much of the UK, the change will make use of this infrastructure to provide cheaper and clearer phone calls.
ISDN switch off
The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) is the familiar landline telephone system that was set up to enable analogue voice communication. This network of copper cables allows data and voice to travel over circuit-switched phone lines and has been the most reliable method of making voice calls and the main carrier of internet activity around the world.
Then came the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), which used the original PSTN network to transmit voice, video and other services digitally. The ISDN has been improved significantly since its conception in 1986, however as the network has remained mainly unchanged, this is now quite outdated.
Why is ISDN being switched off?
Broadband internet speeds are now much faster and ISDN cannot compete. With a usage decline of more than 30% over the last five years, these legacy systems, with their higher maintenance and running costs, are now deemed out of date.
That’s hardly surprising given that they still rely on the same design and setup as the original phone lines of the 1800s. With all other areas of technology progressing at light speed, our telecoms systems must keep pace.