5 Steps To Prepare For The 2025 Switch Off

There is a significant change coming to the technology we use to communicate over the next few years. If you are a landline user, either with a personal landline or a business one, you may need to change your set-up due to the landline switch-off coming in 2025. After 2025, all analogue services will be shut down and replaced with digital phone services so it is better to be prepared than to be caught out and left without a connection.

Learn all about the landline switch-off and how you can prepare, both from a business and personal perspective, below.

What Is The 2025 Landline Switch Off?

In 2025, BT Openreach is set to turn off the UK’s remaining analogue public switched telephone network (PSTN). This year (2023), they will stop accepting new orders for PSTN systems altogether in preparation for the switch. Therefore, if you have an existing landline, it may not work in a few years’ time, so it is important to understand what will happen to your system and whether you need to do anything about it.

The main reason for the switch is due to landline technology becoming less reliable and more expensive to maintain. PSTN and ISDN can no longer support the speed and scalability that are required of today’s communications, meaning we have had to turn to alternative systems to meet such demand.

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Lauren Davies of bOnline explains: “The 2025 Switch Off will be a huge shift in the way we all communicate. Although we will all of course still be able to communicate with one another, that age old safety net of having a landline at home or in the office will diminish, which is a really interesting development in all things communication and telephony.”

What Will Replace Landlines?

Digital technology is due to take over from analogue landlines, specifically Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP is a type of phone system that relies on the internet to make and receive calls. Unlike landlines which use copper wires to transmit signals to a specific premises, VoIP services do not need any particular hardware to make calls. The only equipment you need is a suitable phone and an internet connection.

One of the great things about VoIP phone systems is that users can communicate from anywhere in the world and via a number of devices. VoIP systems are therefore ideal for freelancers, remote employees and hybrid workers as you can connect from anywhere with a stable internet connection. Such technology is proving invaluable in the modern business world which is why VoIP is ultimately taking over from traditional landlines.

How To Prepare For The Switch Off

According to studies, around 2 million businesses are still using PSTN connections. If you are one of them, then it is a good idea to start thinking about how the 2025 switch-off might impact your operations. Equally, if you continue to use a landline at home, it can be worth knowing what will happen to your phone in the next few years.

1. Check Your Internet

Firstly, you’ll need to check the quality of your current internet connection and whether you believe it will be strong enough to manage an internet-based phone system. If you have a poor internet connection, you may be faced with buffering videos, jitter, and audio delays on calls so it is worth upgrading to fibre if you are unsure about your existing bandwidth and speed. Poor call quality can reflect negatively on a business, so this is not something to overlook. Plus, if you are considering a hosted phone system, this will come with cloud applications which are also heavily reliant on high-quality internet.

2. Pick A Digital Solution

Once you’ve finalised your internet, it’s time to choose a digital phone solution and provider. To do this, you’ll need to consider what you need out of your phone system. Will there be a number of employees all using the same system or is it just for you? Do you need extra features such as call forwarding? Be sure to do your research and see which VoIP providers come well recommended and reviewed. Ultimately, you don’t want to be stuck with a solution and provider that does not work for you.

3. Consider Your Hardware

By making the switch to VoIP, you won’t necessarily have to change all your hardware such as handsets. Some legacy handsets can be converted using an adapter, allowing you to continue to use the same hardware and reduce any extra costs. Yet this does not apply to all handsets. If you have to change your hardware, it could be beneficial to review the necessity of such hardware in your day-to-day. With VoIP softphone capabilities, for example, calls can be made using phones, laptops, tablets, and PCs, removing the need for a physical desk phone. Take a look at your current set-up and consider where changes can be made to better improve your business communications.

4. Educate Your Team

To get the most out of your VoIP phone system, you’ll need to get your team involved to ensure everyone knows how to use the new technology. The better informed and engaged someone is, the more likely they are to want to use a system and use it well. There are a number of features that digital phone services offer such as hold music, customised greetings, and call routing which can serve you and your business well. By getting your team up to speed on all things VoIP, they’ll be able to squeeze the most out of the technology and ultimately ensure your business communications are as effective as possible.

5. Reap The Benefits

Switching to a digital phone system won’t just be beneficial for the landline switch-off, but it will also present you with new ways of working and opportunities to improve the way you communicate. Cloud-based systems such as VoIP offer far more flexibility than standard phone lines as they only need an internet connection to work.

Similarly, there are more opportunities to scale your system up and down in line with your communication needs as everything is managed digitally. Plus, there are also no maintenance fees, leaving you to enjoy your system all year round. There are significant benefits of switching to a VoIP system so why not take the plunge and change your phone system today?