Why the Switch Off Delay Shouldn’t Slow Your Migration Plans

Did the new PSTN switch off deadline tempt you to put your plans on the back burner? Here's why the date was pushed, and why you should still have a solid strategy to switch to internet-based services.
Why the Switch Off Delay Shouldn’t Slow Your Migration Plans

Plans to switch customers from copper-based landlines to internet-based services have been underway for some time. The analogue network is over 40 years old throughout most of the UK and is slowly becoming less and less reliable. 

To avoid disruptions many businesses are either in the process of, or have fully migrated to, internet-based connections. However, in May 2024, it was decided the deadline to switch should be extended from December 2025 to January 2027. Why?

Two fatalities were linked to incidents where telecare devices failed because they had not been safely migrated to the digital network. This raised concerns about the safety of the many vulnerable people who rely on this technology. A BBC news article stated ‘nearly two million people in the UK use personal alarms which rely on landlines’.

This doesn’t mean, however, that it’s wise for businesses to put off moving their broadband and phone lines to a digital system. Moving to a hosted VoIP solution and full fibre broadband sooner rather than later means you have more time to find the right provider. It’s also likely that as the deadline approaches and demand increases, so will tariffs, so planning ahead can save your business some serious moolah.

Besides this, certain technologies may need expert management when making the switch. As mentioned before, the safe migration of personal alarms should be of concern, especially to those in the care sector, but what else should you be aware of? Here are some other systems and devices that your business may use that will be affected when switching to internet-based solutions:

  • EPOS machines - If your business depends on electronic point of sale (EPOS) machines, then you’ll definitely need to check your system is no longer relying on the PSTN network to make sure you keep that cash flowing in.

  • Alarms, CCTV, intercoms and door entry systems - Modern wireless systems won’t be affected, however, if your entry system is older and still connected to analogue lines it will stop working.

  • Lifts - Many emergency alarms in lifts currently rely on PSTN to provide two-way communication between the passengers and rescue services.

  • Fax machines - Believe it or not, some in the legal and healthcare industries still rely on fax machines to transmit sensitive information. Most of these will be using a digital fax service already, but if not, you’ll need to consider a Fax over IP (FoIP) or email-to-fax service.

If you feel like migrating your system away from the analogue network is a daunting venture for your business, why not book a meeting with one of our technical team to see how we can assist in making the switch as hassle-free as possible?

By staying on the leading edge of communication technology we are able to offer top-notch telecommunication and IT services. Learn more about what we offer and how they could benefit your business.
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