Digital Britain: the final countdown - Bistech

With stop-sell only weeks away, is your business prepared for the end of PSTN?

Ready or not, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switch-off is on track for 2025, with the stop-sell of copper services virtually upon us. With that in mind, it’s critical to act now to get your connectivity right — both for today’s needs and future demands.

What is the switch-off?

For businesses to remain competitive in the digital economy, we need faster, more reliable internet access. With PSTN increasingly incompatible with the demands of modern communications, BT Group announced in 2017 that it will be completely switched off by the end of 2025 as part of the UK’s move to a fully fibre network.

PSTN is set to be switched off by the end of 2025
What’s happening?

The transition to a ‘digital Britain’ incorporates two separate but linked programmes: the WLR Withdrawal and Full Fibre Priority Exchange.

The WLR Withdrawal encompasses the withdrawal of analogue telephony services (eg, PSTN and ISDN) by 2025.

The Full Fibre Priority Exchange programme complements the full fibre rollout (scheduled to be completed in 2030) so it becomes the main available product.

What about the stop-sell?

Now rapidly approaching, the UK-wide stop-sell comes into force by 5th September 2023, with the full switch-off following in September 2025. Once an exchange reaches stop-sell, it means that certain products that rely on the PSTN will no longer be sold.

And importantly, this doesn’t just affect new orders — it also impacts modifications to existing services, including the addition of lines and bandwidth changes.

What does this mean for you?

Following stop-sell, there are two options when installing or modifying your products:

  • If full fibre is available at the premises, it will be the only product you can purchase
  • If full fibre isn’t yet available, you’ll still be able to order transitional products (eg, SoGEA) until it is available

Reaching stop-sell doesn’t mean that existing services will suddenly stop working — you’ll be able to continue using them until the withdrawal date. But ultimately, anything relying on the copper network — including PSTN, ISDN, ADSL2+ and FTTC — will be impacted.

A fully fibre future

The move to the fibre network has several benefits, and many businesses have already transitioned to next-gen technologies in advance of the deadline. Significant increases in both speed and reliability are better supporting the dispersed workforce while maximising uptime and even reducing operating costs.

On top of this, it’s estimated that the shift to fibre could reduce energy consumption by up to 80%1 through rationalising infrastructure and using more energy-efficient technology, supporting key sustainability initiatives in the process.

Is your business ready?

Door entry systems, alarms, CCTV, connectivity … Organisations use phone lines for many critical services — far more than just phone calls. These all need to be migrated to digital alternatives before the switch-off to ensure a smooth transition. This will take time, so it’s vital that you act now to identify everything running on PSTN lines to avoid a last-minute panic and ensure your business won’t be impacted. It’s time to think 2023, not 2025.

This is where Bistech can help. We’ve been supporting our customers as they shift to digital to ensure they’re prepared. For the same reassurance, call our expert team today on 03330 11 22 55.

1 CityFibre, 2021, ‘Making the ‘Climate Case’ for Full Fibre’