Big changes to the telephone network in the UK

What’s happening?

Openreach have announced their plans to close down the PSTN and ISDN telephone networks from now until 2025. This includes stopping the supply of any new PSTN and ISDN lines in 2023. By 2025, telephone calls will be made using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), using broadband and other network access services, such as Ethernet.

What does this mean for you?

It’s likely that your members use their phone lines for more than just making and taking phone calls.

Your members are likely to have a wide range of equipment connected to their phone lines. Here are some common examples, but not an exhaustive list:

  • Alarm lines
  • ATMs
  • Door entry systems
  • Payment card machines
  • CCTV
  • Faxes

Any equipment connected to PSTN and ISDN lines will need to be compatible with IP for them to continue working after 2025. Anyone who supplies these products and services may need to carry out testing to make sure they continue to work on an IP network.

Where we can help

Across BT we want to make sure that you are made aware of these changes, If you have any events planned, then we’d be happy to come and talk about these changes and what it means for your members. And if you’re interested in sharing this information, we can provide you with newsletter content or any additional information you might need.

We’ve also opened a dedicated testing facility at our research and development site in Adastral Park, near Ipswich. Suppliers can come and test their equipment on BT’s VoIP network, free of charge, to make sure they’re ready to help their customers make the move. More details can be found on our website,  Special services | BT Plc

What to do next

If any of your members or their suppliers would like to test any of their equipment at our digital services lab, please reach out to the team enterprise.ip.transformation@bt.com. We’ll respond to all enquiries as soon as we can.

Things you need to know

It’s worth noting that other UK communications providers will have their own IP transformation programmes running over different timescales and using different technologies. You will need to contact them directly to find out more about their plans.