Analogue Telephone Switch Off 2025

2025 Analogue Switch-Off

What You Need To Know To Keep Your Business Connected

UPDATE May 2024: BT announced the delay of the ‘Switch-off’ to 2027. You can read more about the decision and what it means for you here.

2025 will signal the end of the analogue copper wire, or traditional, ‘landlines’. What does this mean for you? What do you need to do? And when are the deadlines?

You might be among the 74% of the UK population unaware of this switch off, or you might be in one of the businesses in Cupar, Scotland who have already been through the process, or have been notified of the switch off. You might now know But you can relax – this guide will cover everything you need to know to prepare yourself for the switch off in plenty of time.

What is the digital switchover? 

The move to digital is arguably one of the biggest changes to the nation’s telephone infrastructure in almost 150 years. Switching off PTSN (Public Switched Telephone Network) is a major task when you consider that this system has been in place since 1876.

BT Group say they are on-track to complete the switch off by the end of 2025.

But what does the digital switchover mean for you?

If you don’t already have a VoIP system already in place, you will need to get one to continue your services. 

Why is the switch off happening?

As more of business and our lives moves to digital, the physical limits of the copper wire system are being stretched. 

The first copper phone line network was set up in 1877 and was designed to transmit voice calls. That’s why internet speeds aren’t as fast when data is sent along copper wires.

The first fibre lines were introduced in 1977. This meant larger amounts of data – not just voice calls – could be sent more quickly and paved the way for the current broadband network.

The changeover will impact more than just landline phones; any device connected to the PSTN network, such as alarms, CCTV, and door-entry systems, will be affected. To ensure a smooth transition, it’s wise to consult your provider to determine if your systems are digitally compatible or if upgrades will be necessary.

This is Confusing… What is VoIP? 

While the term ‘VoIP’ (Voice Over Internet Protocol) might sound technical, it simply means making voice calls over the internet instead of using traditional wires. Many phone users are already utilizing VoIP systems, often without realizing it—Skype and WhatsApp are prime examples. VoIP is particularly beneficial for businesses as it tends to be cheaper than conventional calling and texting.

But VoIP isn’t the only game in town. When it’s time for the analogue switch-off, your devices will use an IP-based system like VoIP or SoGEA, connected via technologies like FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) or FTTP (Fibre to the Premises).

Term Acronym Description
Internet Protocol
IP
A unique identifier or “ID” for computers, phones and devices
ALL IP
ALL IP
A digital network set to replace the PSTN, allowing all services to operate over the internet.
Voice Over Internet Protocol
VoIP
Converts your voice into a digital signal for transmission over the internet. Examples include Skype and WhatsApp.
Exchange
Exchange
A physical site where Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) interconnect.
Fibre to the Premises
FTTP
Direct fibre connection from the exchange to a property, ensuring high-speed internet access.
Fibre to the Cabinet
FTTC
Uses fibre optic cables up to local street cabinets and copper wires to connect to individual premises.
Single Order Generic Ethernet Access
SoGEA
Provides broadband without a traditional phone service, offering a cost-effective data-only solution.
Session Initiation Protocol trunks
SIP trunks
Facilitates VoIP by linking your phone system to a public phone network via the internet. Compatible with many existing systems and offers flexibility.
PBX
Private Branch Exchange
A private telephone network within an organization that manages internal and external communications. Compatible with various telephony technologies and offers scalability.

What other technology might be affected by the analogue switch-off?

Textphones

Textphones are often used by users with hearing difficulties as it allows them to send messages via a keyboard which is then displayed on a screen, just like an SMS conversation on a mobile phone. 

Digital textphones are the most obvious replacement, but be warned that in some cases, the quality of calls can be limited by data rate, so you might want to consider ensuring you have the highest bandwidth and speed possible, if you need to use a digital textphone.

Amplified Phones

Amplified phones are typically used by people with hearing loss as the user can modify the volume and pitch of the conversation.

As with textphones, digital alternatives exist, but these are still in their infancy.

Intruder and Telecare Alarms

If your business has physical premises, most likely you will have some sort of alarm system that connects to a provider or authorities. Care homes and sheltered living have a similar system for supervising residents. Many of these use the analogue system and, therefore, will need to be checked for compatibility after the switch over.

This is especially important as it could affect your insurance or compliance with legislation.

What happens if there’s a power cut? Will I have no communications?

One of the advantages of the analogue system is that the premises of the phone do not require any power. Instead, the exchange provides the electricity for the phone and this is why you can still make and receive calls during a power outage. 

The new system, however, does require power in order to work.  

That means, should there be an outage of power at your home or business, your phone, broadband and any other devices connected to the internet, will be unusable.

For critical services, it’s recommended to look into a backup or emergency power supply, such as UPS, which will mean that if there is a power outage then routers and other devices that provide connectivity will still be able to work.

Will I be able to use analogue services until December 2025? 

Whilst the switch off will complete in December 2025, that doesn’t mean that you will necessarily be able to use analogue lines and services until then. In many areas, the switch off has already started or even completed. Your provider is required to give you notice of the exact date your analogue system will be switched off, giving your time to make alternative arrangements.

“Stop Sell” was designed to help with a smooth and gradual transition; no new FTTC broadband would be sold in an area where 75% of premises within an area can access FTTP.

I live in a rural area with poor internet connections, what does this mean for me?

Nearly everyone can access high speed internet, and you don’t need the fastest broadband to handle your business calls with VoIP. But even if your business or home is in an area where internet is slow, there are options.

At Yellowcom, we can guide you through the options; from Starlink for high speed internet in remote areas to 4G and 5G, we can find solutions to help you through the switch off.

Want to get ahead of the Switch-Off?

Whether you want to get ahead of the Switch-Off or you want to find out how you could get more from your business’ telecoms, we’d be happy to help!

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