Will the ‘Big Switch Off’ affect your business?

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February 22, 2022
An alarm call has gone out to Gloucestershire businesses over the planned BT Openreach switch off.

BT Openreach has announced that all analogue (PSTN) lines and ISDN lines will be switched off by 2025 – in fact, in some areas even earlier.

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.

So why are they being switched off? Simon Gardner, sales manager for Stonehouse-based Lister Unified Communications, said: “The short answer is that both ISDN and PSTN are old and outdated legacy technologies that have some serious drawbacks and maintenance costs.”

The replacement is Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA) which enables providers to order broadband without a phone line – so you’ve got everything you need within a single order.

Mr Gardner added: “SoGEA can be cheaper than the combined costs of a phone line and standard broadband package. And with both from the same provider – everything’s in one place. This means you can easily report and resolve faults if something goes wrong. No more having to ring one helpdesk for your phone line and another for your broadband.”

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is a solution that transmits voice calls and data using an internet connection. Most small to medium-sized organisations require a telephone system. When you look at what is required to do this using legacy PSTN or ISDN lines, it can be quite expensive.

Simon Gardner

Mr Gardner warned: “I compare it to the big TV switch off of 2012 when analogue televisions went. There was press and adverts everywhere but no one from Ofcom or the Government side seems to be telling anyone about it yet.

“I’m sure lots of people are not aware and unless people like us tell people they are just going to end up panicking towards the end of the end of 2024. We envisage a big rush as we get closer to 2025 so advise you to get sorted before everyone else!”

“We are shouting and hollering and telling businesses you need to do this. Don’t stick it under the ‘to do’ pile.”

“The physical changeover of the technology is simple and fairly quick. It’s not necessarily the product itself, it’s how it affects the business.”

Any businesses looking for help and advice over the Big Switch Off are welcome to contact Lister Unified Communications.

Mr Gardner added: “We are here to advise, help and support all our customers during this switch-off and can help you look at all the options available to you and some that may even save you money and help your business work more efficiently. So please contact us and don’t leave it too long!”

For more information and advice, email switch@Lister-communications.co.uk or call 01453 829200 option 3.

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