The 2025 Switch Off: Why Businesses Need to Act Now

The road to the 2025 Switch Off is getting shorter by the day, and it’s time that businesses across the country take action to ensure they’re ready for an all-digital future, or risk being cut off by the end of 2025.

The momentum for the Switch Off is building; Openreach has announced a trial of a set of service management measures to encourage customers still using analogue phone lines to contact their provider and upgrade to digital alternatives.

The trials will take place in Salisbury, Wiltshire and Mildenhall, and will see restrictions introduced that prevent outbound telephone calls – except calls to the emergency services – and limit broadband speeds, to prompt customer action.

As the expansion of fibre broadband steadily moves across the country, businesses should expect to see more of these trials take place to ensure they’re ready for the switch off of the analogue network at the end of 2025.

What is the 2025 Switch Off?

In 2018, Openreach announced that it would be switching off the ISDN telephone network for good by the end of 2025. From that date onwards, all telephone calls, for businesses and households, will be made over the internet. This will mean the end of landline calls and the further expansion of voice over internet protocol services (VoIP).

The Switch Off will also affect older broadband services. Traditionally, the ISDN network used copper cables but as the UK increases its reliance on the internet, these cables are no longer fit for purpose, and so will be replaced with modern fibre cables. Fibre broadband is faster, more reliable, and much fitter for modern communications. You can learn more about fibre connectivity in our blog here.

For businesses, there’s no getting out of the Switch Off and those still using ISDN by the end of 2025 will be forced to switch to a digital service or risk being cut off. Now is the time for organisations to prepare for the future.

For more information on the 2025 Switch Off, read our blog, What Is The 2025 Switch Off?

How will the Switch Off affect businesses?

The Switch Off will mean that businesses still using analogue phone lines will need to make the switch to VoIP services, or risk being cut off from telephone services and facing slower internet speeds.

There is no denying, for many businesses, possibly those who are yet to make the switch, moving their communications to a fully digital system can be daunting, but the risks of not are far greater.

It’s very unlikely that Openreach will extend the deadline of the 2025 Switch Off, meaning business leaders have less than two years until the ISDN network falls silent, and possibly even less time than that until Openreach attempt to nudge onto fibre. For organisations that rely on internal and external communication, it’s crucial that they make the switch sooner rather than later to avoid being at the back of a long queue and to avoid being an unwilling participant in a trial.

Introducing VoIP services

VoIP services allow businesses to continue making and taking inbound and outbound calls with the bonus of many modern features. Businesses accustomed to using handsets can continue using upgraded models.

VoIP platforms offer businesses not only the security of being safe from the Switch Off but the flexibility to work from anywhere. Employees are no longer tied to their desks waiting for that all-important call as with VoIP, office calls can be taken anytime, anywhere as long as the device is connected to the internet.

Employers also have the option to introduce a Unified Communications platform to integrate with their VoIP system, allowing staff to communicate both internally and externally using voice calls, video, and instant chat across a variety of platforms, allowing for more flexibility and scalability.

Making the transition to VoIP needn’t be difficult. Professional service teams, such as the expert team at Express Telephony, are dedicated to helping businesses make the switch to fibre and VoIP services seamlessly. If you’re worried about the transition, your service provider will be able to assist with information and education on the new platforms.

For more information on VoIP services, visit our blog, What is VoIP and Do I Need To Switch Now?

What action should businesses take?

First, businesses need to read up as much as possible on the 2025 Switch Off and the alternative communication options available to them. The fibre roll-out is still progressing across the UK and may not be available to some businesses, but it’s essential that they know when it’s their turn to switch to fibre.

We also recommend speaking to an expert service provider and discussing an organisation’s unique operational requirements and needs. These expert teams will be able to provide different alternatives and advise on how best to make the transition as smooth as possible.

But most of all, we advise decision-makers to take action now to avoid being at the back of the queue and to ensure businesses are prepared for the Switch Off.

Business leaders that have any questions about the 2025 Switch Off or want to learn more about how Express Telephony can help them make the switch are invited to get in touch here.