30 Jun The clock’s ticking on the ISDN switch-off
Don’t know much about the ISDN switch-off? You’re in the right place!
BT is retiring the UK’s telecoms infrastructure. This means you might need to change how you route calls to and from your business. It’s coming soon, so it’s important to be aware of what’s coming and whether it affects you.
This blog is all about what it means, and what to do next.
What is the ISDN switch-off?
The UK’s existing telecoms infrastructure is built around PSTN and ISDN lines. These huge networks of copper wires route traditional landline calls. And BT is decommissioning them.
They’re replacing them with an IP (internet protocol) network, which basically means all calls will be routed online. This is happening nationwide, and should be complete by December 2025. In some parts of the country, it’s already finished.
Why is the ISDN switch-off happening?
Quite simply, the UK has 20th-century infrastructure. This brings it up to date. The PSTN network dates back to the invention of the telephone in the 1800s. ISDN was an upgrade, but it’s made for the 1980s – phones, fax machines, basic connectivity.
We’re now in the age of video conferencing and social media, where practically all businesses depend heavily on the internet. Some countries are ahead of the curve and have already upgraded. It was time for the UK to do the same.
What does this mean for UK business?
It depends. If you already route calls online via SIP or VoIP, you don’t need to worry. If your phones are routed through ISDN lines, you’ll need to change before it’s too late.
The good news? The alternatives are actually better! We’ll focus on those next.
What’s the alternative?
In the most basic terms, you’ll need to run calls over the internet. And there are already phone systems that do exactly that, which can add a whole lot of value.
You may have heard the term VoIP. This stands for voice over IP – in other words, calls over the internet. We’re going to focus on a specific way of delivering VoIP: a cloud phone system.
Cloud phone systems
More and more business services are moving to the cloud, and phone systems are no exception. With a cloud system from One Connectivity, you don’t need a bulky bit of hardware taking up space in your office. Instead, the entire platform is hosted in the cloud.
This means calls are hosted online, which future-proofs you from the ISDN switch-off. It also makes installation incredibly simple. But those aren’t the only benefits. Here are our top five:
- Scalability: Cloud systems are incredibly easy to scale up or down. You simply add or remove users as you need. This is great if you’re planning to expand, because it’s so quick and easy.
- Mobility: The age of remote working is well underway. This has benefits for employers and employees alike, but you need tech to realise those benefits. Cloud phone systems do exactly that. Rather than depending on office-based hardware, you can simply log in to a cloud phone system from any device. This means you can stay connected anywhere!
- Reliability: This is a more technical point, but important. A cloud system is hosted in a data centre, with geographic redundancy. What this means is if one data centre went down, your system would instantly switch to the other. This makes downtime a lot less likely.
- Low maintenance: With an on-premise phone system, the hardware is your responsibility. You have to maintain it, mend it and (eventually) replace it. With cloud, all that is so much easier. Maintenance and upgrades are part of the service – which means they’re not your problem!
- Features and add-ons: There’s more to a cloud phone system than just making and taking calls. With One Connectivity, you get a full unified communications platform. This means voice, video and instant messaging. That’s in addition to a huge range of optional extras, from analytics packages to integrating with your CRM.
Do you have to have a cloud phone system?
Nope! We think cloud is the most versatile option, but on-premise is more suitable for some. We offer on-premise systems that host VoIP calls, which means you’re sorted for the ISDN switch-off.
We’re very happy to help you weigh up the benefits of cloud vs. on-premise, and will always ensure you’ve got whatever’s best for your business.
Is there anything else to consider?
Just one thing. In order to host calls online, you really need to have internet connectivity that’s fit for purpose. As our name suggests, we’re specialists in that too!
There’s a huge range of options out there, varying in price and performance, from leased lines to FTTP and FTTC. It’s all too easy to find the best bargain, only to find that it doesn’t cover your needs. It’s equally easy to overpay for much greater speeds and bandwidth than necessary for your business.
There’s a happy medium between these two, and we can help you find it!
What do you need to do now?
The clock is ticking. There’s no need to panic, but it’s important to get ahead. If you’re still running on ISDN, we recommend getting in touch. We’re big believers in honest, expert advice – we know our stuff, but we’re not going to chase sales that don’t suit our customers.
Instead, we’ll listen to your needs and do our best to meet them. Simple as that. If you want to learn more, get in touch at 0115 896 88 60.