BT announces delay to the 'Big Switch Off'

May 21, 2024
BT has announced a year-long extension to the 'Big Switch Off' of analogue lines.

BT Openreach had previously announced that all analogue (PSTN) lines and ISDN lines would be switched off by December 2025. But this has now been extended to January 31, 2027.

This gives householders and businesses over a year longer to get ready for the switch-off.

You may be using analogue or ISDN lines for calls, alarms, fax machines, PDQ machines, CCTV or to support your broadband services and these will need to be replaced.

The announcement brings several benefits, particularly for vulnerable demographics and those in remote locations.

The additional time allows for a smoother transition. It gives more time for the elderly, who often rely on traditional BT phone lines for communication. Many in this demographic may not have internet or mobile access, and the extended timeline provides more opportunity for education and support in adapting to new technologies.

Also remote locations, which benefit from PSTN lines that continue to transmit during power outages, will also benefit from the delay. This ensures that these areas maintain reliable emergency communication capabilities while alternatives are explored and implemented.

Tom Blumsom

Tom Blumsom, Lister’s head of IoT, said: "It was almost always inevitable that it was going to have to be pushed back because otherwise they would have failed to have met their objectives.

"From within the industry it was not a surprise that this was going to happen because the challenge was great and the time remaining was not sufficient. 

"Changing over millions of analogue lines was never going to be quick and it's really only been in the last 12 to 18 months that there has been a real increase in momentum along with the technological advancements. But it's the right move."

Mr Blumsom said the delay would give everybody more time to adapt. 

He said: "Every year that goes by there's improved technology and communication bringing with it more options. There are still places all over the country where they can't get fibre internet services yet and this needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.

"The extended deadline gives more time for infrastructure upgrades and the rollout of alternative communication methods, ensuring that no community is left behind during the transition."

Lister Communications can support business customers in benefiting from the extended PSTN switch-off transition period through several key services and solutions:

Mr Blumsom added: "Lister Communications can provide expert consultation to help businesses develop a comprehensive transition plan. They can assess current communication systems, identify needs, and create a tailored roadmap for upgrading to modern technologies.

"They can offer cost-effective solutions for transitioning from PSTN to VoIP or other advanced communication systems. By spreading out the investment over the extended period, businesses can better manage their budgets."

Moving from PSTN to IOT (Internet of things) can increase efficiency while slashing costs making it an ideal upgrade path.

Lister Communications can also assist in upgrading infrastructure to support new communication technologies. This includes installing new hardware, configuring software, and ensuring compatibility with existing systems.

Offering ongoing support and maintenance services, Lister Communications can continue to support the legacy services, minimising disruption to business operations during the transition.

Mr Blumsom added: "For businesses in remote locations or those with critical communication needs, Lister Communications can provide solutions that ensure reliable communication during power outages, similar to the reliability of PSTN.

"They can offer customisable service packages that meet the specific needs of different businesses, ensuring that each company gets the most suitable solution for their unique requirements."

Lister Communications can also work closely with suppliers to ensure a seamless transition, coordinating efforts to prevent supply chain disruptions and ensuring that businesses have the necessary equipment and services in place.

Businesses wanting more information and advice should email  or call 01453 829200 option 3.

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