Openreach launches an industry consultation about switching-off the telephone network by the end of 2025, with the aim to migrate people off old legacy equipment and services and migrate to a VOIP based service. This is a process that other European countries are well through to completing.

Future-proofing with cloud telephony
Businesses of all sizes should be starting to plan for the modernisation of their telephone network and thinking about moving their communications to the cloud to stay ahead of the coming changes. There are many benefits in migrating to a VOIP based service, bringing new unified communications tools, mobile and remote working options and built in disaster recovery. With OPEX based licensing and free call bundles VOIP services can also help to significantly reduce costs while offering a consistent monthly spend.  Like many SaaS solutions, VOIP services give you the ability to use your own device to make calls, add and remove users whenever needed and work from any location you want.

What does this mean for you?
Increasingly companies are taking VoIP based services, either hosted telephony products, or using SIP trunks on their phone system. These products will be unaffected and can continue to be used without changes (when used in conjunction with EFM or Ethernet connectivity products).  Customers that have their switchboard connected to standard telephone lines (analogue auxiliary / ISDN2 / ISDN30) will need to migrate to a VoIP service prior to this switch off date to ensure continuity of service.

What about home offices/residential lines?
Customers with analogue lines that are used for home workers, will need to go through a migration path so that the line is upgraded to have a broadband service on it (which is usually the case) and then the voice capability delivered via a VoIP service.

Other Services
Analogue lines are used for a range of different equipment, for example, Credit Card Machines, Fire/Security Alarms, Lift-Lines and help-point phones, door entry systems, vending machines, fax machines and other remote monitoring equipment. This equipment will need upgrading/replacing to maintain compatibility with the replacement services.

Is the copper being removed?
The copper lines that service the majority of residential premises across the UK are being retained, and indeed, will be used to support the ‘last mile’ to the premises for fibre broadband connections or EFM services for business. Openreach has no plans to remove this currently.

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