The big switch off, explained

As we mentioned in our earlier blog about SoGEA broadband, the big switch off is now imminent. We take a look at what it means for businesses…

What is the big switch off?

ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) which is the telephony many businesses have, is delivered via the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). This network is being switch off by BT in 2025 in favour of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony for both homes and businesses.

ISDN lines traditionally delivered data and voice services to businesses but it’s now being superseded by more efficient technology.

ISDN lines are unable to match up to the speed internet connections can offer so are being phased out and ultimately switched off.

What happens to my phone lines and internet?

If you haven’t already, now is the time to move over to VoIP telephony and whilst you’re there, it’s worth reassessing your broadband options.

We always advise to keep everything in one place where you can, so its worth choosing a company that can also manage your broadband. The two services go hand in hand so you’ll benefit from dealing with just the one provider should any issues arise.

Your provider will be able to help and advise you as to the types of broadband available and the levels of service you’ll need to support your day-to-day operations.

It’s worth mentioning also that you’ll need to check and make sure your desk phones are compatible with IP. If they are older, you’ll have to invest in new kit. Speak with your provider as there are often deals to be had here where some of the capital can be absorbed over varying contract terms.

Will my business benefit from the switch?

VoIP is a simple and low-cost service, plus you can also take advantage of cheaper and more flexible connectivity options, with no more line rental. So in a nutshell, yes.

VoIP runs purely off your internet connection, provides future-proof tech and its much faster to provision. Simply add and remove lines whenever you need to. It’s a solution that can flex and scale depending on the needs of your business.

You’ll be able to transfer calls as normal, work from any location and see who is available to take calls. You can run anything from one phone, right up to a call centre operation – just make sure your connectivity is up to scratch for the latter!

If you’re embarking on a digital transformation journey within your business, and you’ve upped your broadband game, now is a great time to reassess systems. There are a plethora of cloud-based applications that are on the market to help you streamline operations and save costs.

What type of connectivity is best for VoIP?

Bandwidth is key here, with new tech and cloud-based systems the last thing you want is a bottleneck. We would always recommend a fibre connection and for large businesses FTTP or Ethernet.

Finding out how much bandwidth you need depends on the number of concurrent calls you want to make, you’ll also need to know data upload and download speeds. Add into this any other business functions that you perform online such as email sends, CRM, point of sale, Office applications, web browsing and so on.

Whilst this may sound daunting, it’s something that your provider will be able to help you calculate. The good news is that most connectivity packages are scalable, to deal with fluctuations in your business.

As always, we’re here to help with any queries you might have regarding the big switch and your business. So please don’t hesitate to give us a call for advice.

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