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31st October 2022

Partner Insight: Copper to fibre network transformation

By the end of 2025, the current copper based PSTN network used for decades for calls and data services will be replaced fully by digital networks that carry data traffic using Internet Protocol (IP networks).

As the nation’s leading voice in telecommunications, we’re here to guide businesses everywhere in making the move to digital. Our end-to-end solutions provide excellent value, linking together business applications and systems with video chat and calls to drive better collaboration all round.

The switchover might be a big change – but with change comes opportunity. Going digital with BT now opens up new possibilities, fuelling better connection with your customers, driving more effective ways of working, and building a stronger future for your business.

What’s happening?

The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) will close in December 2025. By then, every phone line in the UK will have moved to a fully digital network that uses Internet Protocol (IP) across a fibre-based service. This won’t just affect voice services; it may also mean you need to upgrade your broadband.

Any equipment that remains connected to the PSTN will stop working alarms, EPOS machines, door entry systems, CCTV, faxes, and so on. The Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) will also stop working.

In readiness for this, Openreach are rolling out Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

Why is this happening?

Our current network is old and difficult to maintain. As an essentially 20th century technology, the PSTN is increasingly out of kilter with the demands of 21st century communications.

Traditional phone usage is changing everywhere as people switch to mobile and internet communications. We all expect much more from modern phone services than the traditional technologies can deliver. Digital is the answer.

At some point before 2025, customers will need to move from PSTN to the latest IP technology.

To help make that possible, Openreach is busy rolling out the full fibre network (fibre to the premises or FTTP) in phases across the UK. We’ll stop selling traditional phone lines in all exchange areas by September 2023.

What does this mean for lines with equipment other than phones connected to them?

Any equipment connected to fixed phone lines will need to be IP compatible for it to continue working after 2025. This means anyone who supplies these products and services may need to carry out testing to make sure that their products and services will continue to work on an All-IP network.

Analogue Terminal Adaptors (ATA): These devices can be used to connect a traditional analogue device to a digital system to convert to IP. Consumer hubs provided have an Internal ATA.  An ATA is an interim solution and testing is essential.

Click here to explore our special services for businesses and find out what else you can do to make sure your business is ready for the switchover.

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