Openreach has given notice that 79 more exchanges will reach stop-sell status by this time next year. This means that outdated services, such as PSTN and ISDN phone lines, and ADSL and FTTC internet connections will no longer be available for sale from November 1, 2022. Two years later, none of these services will be available at all. Essentially, they will be switched off - hence the term, “Openreach switch-off” used by communications businesses like us.
This is all part of a UK-wide process that began with the trial city of Salisbury back in December 2020. This means there will be no traditional voice and internet lines available there in just over a year’s time. Once the work has been completed to lay the new fibre in any area, exchanges are added to the stop-sell list. There are now 455 exchanges across the UK that are the subject of a stop-sell notice or are in their stop-sell period.
The aim is to withdraw all outdated copper services by the end of 2025. For residents using BT, you will be offered the opportunity to upgrade to fibre to the premise (FTTP) connections. I received my email today. However, it is not that simple for businesses who use multiple lines to support their telephone systems or have been relying on older internet connections as they won’t be automatically upgraded.
Any business still using these legacy services must make a plan and budget accordingly, especially if they are using an older phone system that is incompatible with new voice lines, known as SIP, that rely on internet connections. If you are unsure if your phone system can be converted to SIP then please contact us and we can advise you.
Where businesses are eager to change but fibre has yet to reach their area, they can use SoGEA connections until it does. These are cost-effective as they do not need a phone line for deployment and can be used for cloud-hosted phone solutions or SIP. Where fibre is available...what are you waiting for?
Fibre is a superior connectivity product that is replacing ageing copper lines that have been around for decades. Just as you would never go back to dial-up, you will be so glad you switched to fibre to gain better speeds and the ability to use cloud services. There are a whole host of cloud services that your business could also access that may not have been feasible while using old-style broadband. Believe me, you will not regret making the switch...and you have to anyway!
The point of this article is to press home the point that the switch-off is happening. If you need help to migrate from these ageing voice and internet services, then please contact us to help you make a plan. Don’t leave it too late.