From 2020, British Telecom (BT) will stop supplying (selling) Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) lines to private customers and businesses. Furthermore, by 2025, ISDN and PSTN networks will be switched off for good.
It’s a reality that will impact scores of businesses in the near future unless they take the necessary steps now to avoid any potential disruption.
Why are BT phasing out ISDN and PSTN lines?
In a nutshell, ISDN and PSTN lines are old-fashioned, legacy technologies which not only have limitations in terms of the services they can facilitate, but are also expensive to maintain.
ISDN was introduced in the 1980s and for many years it served its purpose very well. PSTN, on the other hand, has its roots (in terms of design and principle) in the 1800s and the invention of the telephone.
The bottom line is that BT want to retire these technologies because they have become more and more obsolete over the years – especially with the widespread rollout of fibre optic broadband services.
What can you do to prepare?
If you currently utilise a traditional ISDN/PSTN-based system, you need to start preparing for the big BT ISDN switch off and stay ahead of the curve. After all, from 2020 (that’s only next year) you will no longer be able to buy new ISDN or PSTN services from BT.
And while some newer private automatic branch exchange (PABX) telephony systems are compatible with IP technology, older ones will almost certainly need to be replaced.
Fortunately, there will be life after all the ISDN/PSTN lines are switched off. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems are an established solution and are already being used in anger by many businesses.
Maybe you haven’t got a bespoke business telephony system in place yet. If that’s the case, you are in the perfect position to take advantage of VoIP telephony services right off the bat.
What are the benefits of VoIP technology?
The good news is that you can actually realise a number of benefits by switching to VoIP technologies.
Here are just a few:
Extremely affordable/cost effective
VoIP telephony systems offer significantly cheaper call costs (sometimes free), savings on phone lines and require very little in the way of on-site equipment, which means organisations can keep costs as low as possible.
Easy to setup and maintain
With very little equipment on site, VoIP telephony systems can be easily setup. Moreover, their ongoing maintenance is much simpler compared to a traditional telephone system, largely thanks to the fact there’s very little physical equipment to go wrong.
With VoIP telephony solutions, you are not hamstrung by system limitations, something that is a huge consideration for growing businesses. VoIP solutions are highly scalable, so you can add and remove users easily and cost effectively. In fact, to provide telephony services to a new member of staff, all you need to do is purchase a handset (or reuse an old one) and another VoIP licence (or, again, reuse an old one).
Also, because VoIP telephony services are provided over the Internet, your staff can take advantage of them regardless of their physical location.
The great BT ISDN switch off is coming; that’s a given. The most sensible approach is to be prepared and have all your business telephony services running on VoIP solutions well in advance.
For most organisations, the move to VoIP should be smooth. But that doesn’t mean you should leave it until the last minute. By starting the ball rolling now, you will avoid all the headaches later on and allow your business users to get use to the implemented solution prior to BT’s ISDN switch off deadline.
To find out more about Network Strategy Ltd.’s hosted, fully-managed VoIP solutions, including how we can implement a suitable service for you within just 3 days, contact us today.