Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Switch Off

For more than a century, landline phone services in our country have relied on copper wires and analogue signals. However, the passage of time has taken its toll on the copper phone network. It’s no longer as efficient as it could be, and finding replacement parts for the exchange equipment has become increasingly challenging.

As a solution, the UK has decided to retire the copper analogue phone network by the end of 2025. This means that all landline services within the UK must undergo an upgrade to a digital Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service before this deadline.

The transition promises clearer communication and a more reliable system for the future.

Why Does the Transition to Digital Voice Services Matter?

Universal Impact:

  • This change affects every landline in the UK.
  • Whether you’re in a city or a quiet village, your phone service is part of this transition.

Rollout Progress:

  • Internet Service Providers (ISPs), also known as Communication Providers (CPs) have already begun rolling out digital voice services (VoIP) in certain areas.
  • Keep an eye out for updates from your provider – they’ll guide you through the transition.

Device Compatibility:

This change doesn’t just impact phone calls. You must check with your phone service provider about the compatibility of your devices with digital voice services. Devices that will be impacted include:

  • Corded phones or fax machines.
  • Telecare devices designed to assist people who have communication, mobility, or visual impairments. 
  • Security systems and door entry systems. 
  • CCTV.
  • Payment devices (Electronic Point of Sale systems).
  • Any other equipment.


Power Dependency:

  • Unlike traditional landlines, digital voice services (VoIP) rely on your modem and internet connection.
  • During a power outage, your phone service won’t function unless you have a battery backup for your modem.


How are Digital Voice Services different to  Analogue Services?

  • Copper Analogue Phones connect directly from the phone into a wall socket or may use a splitter which is then connected to a socket in the wall.
  • Digital Voice Services (VoIP) connect directly into the Broadband Router.

Preparing for the PSTN Switch Over: What You Need to Do

Provider Communication:

  • Your communications provider (the one supplying your phone line services) will proactively reach out to you before the planned switch-over date.
  • Keep an eye on your inbox or mailbox for their updates.

Contact Your Supplier:

  • If you have any concerns or questions, don’t hesitate to contact your phone line supplier.
  • They can provide details about their specific plans for your phone line during the transition.

Broadband Connection:

  • If you don’t currently have a broadband service, get in touch with your phone supplier.
  • Digital voice services (VoIP) require a broadband connection, so they’ll guide you on the necessary steps.

Check Device Compatibility:

  • Verify whether your existing devices are VoIP compatible.
  • Visit your VoIP supplier’s website – they often provide information on device compatibility.

Keep Your Phone Number:

  • If you want to retain your existing phone number, apply to transfer (port) it to your chosen VoIP Provider before discontinuing your current voice service.

Spread the Word:

  • If you have friends or relatives who rely on their landline services, talk to them about the PSTN switchover and what steps they need to take.

Advantages of Digital Voice (VoIP) Services

Improved Sound Quality:

  • Modern VoIP calls have come a long way from the early days.
  • Expect clearer sound with minimal dropouts, tinny voices, or delays.
  • The quality improves further with a strong internet connection.

Enhanced Reliability:

  • VoIP services operate across multiple data centres.
  • If one centre experiences issues, traffic seamlessly switches to another.
  • Your service continues uninterrupted, ensuring better reliability.

Number Portability:

  • You can keep your existing phone number.
  • Speak to your VoIP provider before switching over. They’ll help you transfer (port) your number.

Cost Savings:

  • Many homes and businesses opt for digital phone services due to cost savings.
  • With VoIP, you pay only for the service itself – no need to cover installation, operation, or maintenance of traditional copper landlines.
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