If you’ve not heard yet, the UK’s PSTN telephone network will be switched off in December 2025, marking the end of copper wire telephony in the UK and the migration to a fully fibre network.
This means the end of everything we’ve known in the telephony world, from PSTN lines, such as analogue or digital phone lines, ISDN internet connectivity with ADSL and FTTC broadband.
The PSTN Stop Sell coming next week on the 5th of September means that Openreach will stop fulfilling new orders for traditional analogue phone lines within exchange areas which have achieved an agreed level of full fibre coverage. This is different from product withdrawal, as under stop sell, any end customer who already has the product, will be able to continue using it until it is withdrawn.
This won’t just impact telephone lines, which will be largely IP based in the future, as well as broadband connections. It will also impact everything from alarms, to EPOS machines, door entry systems, CCTV, monitoring equipment and the like.
Many decades ago in a past life, I was routinely selling leased line modems to connect everything from alarms to infrastructure from weather stations to river flow monitoring. All of this technology will have to be upgraded and that’s a massive job, especially as many locations are not well serviced by mobile signals which still leave many of the more remote areas of the UK without a strong signal.
For businesses, the PSTN Stop Sell marks two years during which all retail equipment will have to be upgraded or migrated – millions of companies still rely on PSTN or ISDN which will need to be changed out to VOIP or IP technology – from switchboards to alarms and POS.
There will be advantages from the switch over – for instance VOIP telephony means you can log on and accept calls from anywhere in the world, not just at the fixed line at your desk. It also opens the door to free or very low cost calls worldwide accepting cand making calls from anywhere on any device.
You will (or probably have already) received communications from your telecom provider informing you of the need to switch to fibre-based telecoms and internet solutions. If you’ve not already done so, it’s time to audit your telephony and Internet needs and start to plan for December 2025.