If you are still using a traditional landline phone system for your business, you may have heard about the upcoming “Big Switch Off” that will affect millions of UK businesses in 2025. But what is it exactly and what does it mean for you? Here we will explain what the Big Switch Off is, why it is happening, and how you can prepare for it by switching to a VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone system that can offer you many benefits and advantages over the old technology.
What is the Big Switch Off?
The Big Switch Off refers to the decommissioning of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) by BT Openreach in December 2025. These networks have powered the majority of the UK’s telecommunication network for the past five decades, allowing voice calls and some digital services to be transmitted over copper wires. However, these networks are outdated, expensive to maintain, and unable to cope with the increasing demand for data and digital communication in the modern world. Therefore, BT Openreach has decided to stop investing in them and switch them off permanently in favour of VoIP solutions.
Why is it happening?
The main reason for the Big Switch Off is that PSTN and ISDN are no longer fit for purpose in the 21st century. They have several limitations and drawbacks that make them inefficient and costly compared to VoIP solutions. Some of these are:
- They have low bandwidth and cannot handle large amounts of data or high-quality audio and video calls.
- They require physical hardware and installation, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
- They are vulnerable to weather damage, interference, and theft.
- They offer limited features and functionality, such as caller ID, call waiting, and voice messaging.
On the other hand, VoIP solutions use technology, which converts voice signals into digital packets that can be sent over the internet. This means that they can offer many benefits and advantages over PSTN and ISDN, such as:
- They have high bandwidth and can handle large amounts of data and high-quality audio and video calls.
- They do not require physical hardware or installation, which can save time and money.
- They are more reliable, secure, and resilient to external factors.
- They offer a wide range of features and functionality, such as call recording, conferencing, voicemail-to-email, auto-attendant, and more.
How can you prepare for it?
If you are one of the two million businesses still using ISDN connections in the UK, you need to act now to avoid being left without a phone service when the Big Switch Off happens. The good news is that switching to a VoIP phone system is easy and affordable, and can bring many benefits to your business. Here are some steps you can take to prepare for it:
- Check your current phone contract and see when it expires. You may be able to switch to a VoIP provider without any penalties or fees.
- Assess your current phone needs and budget. How many calls do you make and receive? How much do you spend on your phone bills? What features do you need or want? These questions will help you choose the best VoIP plan for your business.
- Choose a reliable VoIP provider that can offer you a high-quality service, competitive pricing, excellent customer support, and a smooth transition process.
- Test your internet connection and make sure it can support VoIP calls. You may need to upgrade your broadband speed or router if your connection is slow or unstable.
- Get ready to enjoy your new VoIP phone system. Once you switch to VoIP, you will be able to make and receive calls from any internet-enabled device, such as a laptop, smartphone, tablet, or desk phone. You will also be able to access a range of features and functionality that can enhance your communication and productivity.
- How many users do you have?
The Big Switch Off is a major change in the UK’s telecommunication industry that will affect millions of businesses still using PSTN and ISDN networks. However, it is also an opportunity to switch to a VoIP phone system that can offer many benefits such as cost savings, better and more flexible communication, and it will future-proof your business. Don’t wait until the last minute to make the switch. Contact us today and we will help you find the best VoIP solution for your business.