Are businesses ready for the Great ISDN Switch off?

The effects of Covid-19 and finding remote working technology solutions and uncertainty post Brexit are not the only challenges UK businesses currently face.  They also have the  “Great ISDN & WLR Switch Off” to contend with.

According to industry reports, 35% of UK  businesses are oblivious to pending changes in the UK telecoms network. If not prepared for these changes, firms risk communication channels being lost.

When is the ISDN Switch off planned?

As announced by Openreach, copper stop-sell, is projected to be in full effect by 2023, in advance of full withdrawal by 2025. Over a 100 exchanges are due to see stop sell by summer of 2021. This may well put businesses in a communications crisis, as a range of existing Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) voice and broadband products will no longer be available.

This process started in 2020, paving the way for the switch to full fibre IP networks.

What is replacing ISDN?

In simple terms, ISDN is migrating from digital to internet based services called SIP and VoIP.

New products such as SoGEA, along with reliable SIP & VOIP products will be at the forefront of the transition away from WLR  & ISDN products. Unified communications , a multi-platform application that lets you harness other devices, such as laptops and tablets, to make phone calls could also be considered as remote working becomes the new norm.

As soon as stop-sell takes effect, businesses may be forced to spend more on their legacy PBX communications systems.

How do we know if we are using ISDN or WLR?

If you have a PBX phone system that was installed more than 3 years ago with the ability to take more than one call at a time, it’s likely that you will be using an ISDN lines to communicate with outside world.

Depending on your provider, there should be a reference to ISDN on your bill. Many telecoms companies make customer bills difficult to understand so they hide the information. If it is unclear if you are using an ISDN or a WLR line then call us and we will be able to tell you quickly whether you are using an ISDN line or not by looking on our Openreach WLR tools.

What do I have to do for the ISDN Switch off?

Many suppliers may well be able to upgrade your existing system to SIP trunks, meaning you won’t even have to buy a new telephone system. If you are in a position where a new phone system makes sense for your business, then now is the time to consider an upgrade to VoIP, or consider moving to a hosted PBX system.

SOGEA stands for Single Order Generic Ethernet Access. It enables customers to order broadband without an analogue phone line. This replaces the traditional broadband based on the PSTN service and means not having to install an analogue copper phone line to support the broadband service. Ideal for those that want a broadband service but without an analogue telephone line attached. However, if you want to make and receive phone calls, then you will need to overlay a voice service that resides in the cloud, such as VOIP to replace the traditional analogue lines.

Business Fibre to the Premises, or Fibre to the Property (FTTP) internet access is a pure fibre optic delivery method that provides ultrafast broadband access directly to a users premises from an internet service provider (ISP). It replaces the traditional and soon to be replaced copper broadband connections used in ADSL/ADSL2+, by running a fibre connection all the way from your local exchange to your home or business.

What are the Risks of ignoring the ISDN Switch off?

There is a growing risk that many will be caught short by these transitional changes to the UK telecoms network looming on the horizon. Keeping company technology up to date should be a continuous, evolutionary process, but the clock is ticking for those businesses still reliant on outdated communications tools such as traditional legacy telephony.

Call someone like Juno Telecoms to talk through the options for a managed transition, in order to avoid any shocks and surprises as we move towards the switch off of ISDN & WLR products.

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