BT to switch off PSTN – what it means?

Posted On 28th December,2016

By Richard Gwilliam
BT to switch off PSTN – what it means?

BT have announced they will switch off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) by 2025. This means business and consumers will need to rethink the way they connect.

This announcement does not come as a shock as the industry is moving rapidly towards rich IP based communications. With the increasing uptake of cloud type PBX services and SIP – the lifespan of a legacy network such as the PSTN is coming to an end as it becomes more difficult and costly to maintain.

What next?

First of all, don’t panic – if you are one of the many organisations still using ISDN or PSTN services you have time to consider your options, and plan your migration in the most cost effective and pragmatic way.

Work with a reputable & experienced telecommunications provider to scope the change for your organization. Work out what the change will look like for your business.

Don’t leave it too long – investment in legacy networks will naturally diminish with the inevitable impacts on reliability and maintenance.

Alternative services are normally much cheaper – so the earlier you switch the more you will save your organisation.


How to best migrate minimising disruption to your operation – big bang or phased approach? (SIP & Hosted solutions will work alongside ISDN for a cross over period).

Is your hardware suitable for use with SIP/Hosted? If not consider the life span of your current system. If your hardware is due to go end of life in 24 months & is still fit for purpose – it could be more sensible to plan your migration to coincide with a hardware upgrade.

Do you have the necessary infrastructure to support the additional traffic? This is the time to review your available bandwidth and decide if additional or dedicated connections are required to carry voice traffic.

Are you struggling with your current telephone system which you’ve outgrown and is no longer working for you? A quicker migration to SIP or Cloud could be appropriate.

What does your overall business growth plan look like – are you likely to outgrow your premises in the near future or adopt flexible/home working? It may be prudent to scope and plan your migration for when you move premises or adjust your operation.

What alternative should I choose? This will depend on your current and future requirements. This is the time to engage a telecoms expert to give you advice and help you decide.

Do you need to upgrade your Internet? You could combine your upgrade with an integrated telecoms solution.

About the author

Richard Gwilliam, Founder and Managing Director of Easy Networks, has been consulting on network and telecoms technology since 1991. Richard is well versed with many traditional PBX vendors and also an expert with LAN and WAN implementations.