Does my school need to change its phone system to use SIP?
Posted by Aaron Davis on 14/01 at 10:00 AM Education,
Does my school need to change its phone system to use SIP?

Schools still using traditional phone lines, like ISDN, will no doubt have received calls from their own supplier and other telecoms companies informing them these services will be switched off by Openreach in 2025 and new orders for these services won’t be taken after 2023.


This gives an added reason why schools should not delay in upgrading their system as they are missing out on some real benefits by holding off. For schools that want to prepare for life after ISDN, there are two options available to you.


Upgrade to a new phone system
Choose a VoIP or cloud-hosted phone system that uses internet connections to support the new breed of phone lines known as SIP. These can usually be paid for on monthly basis, including all ongoing support, software updates and call costs, to help schools budget accordingly.


This will be the better option if your phone system is particularly old, as the hardware is probably no longer supported and poses a risk to your communication with parents, staff and others if it fails. It will probably lack the functionality of modern systems that your school could really benefit from to be more productive, e.g. extra call capacity, unified communications tools, such as instant messaging and screen sharing, and integration of desk handsets and mobiles, plus all the usual automated attendant and absence line features.


Convert your existing phone system
If your phone system still receives manufacturer’s support and you are not ready or do not need to upgrade it yet, then we can install a SIP gateway onto phone systems, so you can make the switch to SIP now without changing your system.


These phone systems will need to connect to an internet connection that is suitable for calls, i.e. one that does not cause jitter or delay, as this will make conversations very frustrating! If your school already uses a leased line, you have the perfect connectivity in place already. Other connectivity types are suitable too, but we would not advise using simple broadband. Quite honestly, other suppliers that do are putting your call quality at risk. We offer assured internet connections that are just used for calls to overcome this problem.


We can convert older phone systems too. It may work as a stop-gap until you are ready to upgrade your hardware and its functionality.


Will your council-provided connectivity support the switch?
Some schools still use internet services provided by their county councils. You will need to check with them to see if your connection is suitable. Council services are improving all the time. For example, Hampshire is currently upgrading theirs and the new HSPN2.1 service will be suitable for SIP and cloud services. We can also offer voice connections that are independent of your council internet connection.


Benefits of converting to SIP

Aside from being ready for the ISDN switch-off, there are some more interesting benefits that your school can enjoy straightaway!

  • Get free calls to UK landline and mobile numbers starting 01, 02, 03 or 07
  • Get built-in protection against phone hacking – this has cost British organisations millions in the last few years
  • Get built-in business continuity with every DDI able to be diverted to individual mobiles at the click of the mouse – very useful for snow days


If you school wants to understand its options ahead of the ISDN switch-off and to start enjoying the benefits of SIP or cloud services now, then please do not hesitate to contact us at education@swcomms.co.uk.

Posted by
Aaron Davis's avatar
Aaron Davis on 14/01/2020

Aaron is one of our newest recruits, having started working with us in January 2019 as a cloud & connectivity consultant. He is responsible for nurturing our existing client base and helping potential new customers to migrate their phone lines, call packages, internet, cloud, mobiles, Wi-Fi and data backup solutions to our care.

Before joining, Aaron has worked across multiple verticals, including the online gaming, business systems, claims management and government research in the UK, Gibraltar and Spain.

Aaron has a keen interest in football, live music and action movies

Contact: aaron.davis@swcomms.co.uk

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