Preparing your business for the PSTN switch off

With the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switch off date in January 2027 fast approaching, upgrading your connectivity sooner rather than later is crucial.

However, it can be difficult to know where to start. To ensure you get the most out of your futureproofed business comms setup, check out the steps you should take to prepare your business for the switch off.

An image showing a man with his head in the sand advising businesses to prepare for the PSTN switch off
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Step 1 — Determine which systems use the PSTN

 

If your business phoneline uses the PSTN’s copper wires, then you will need to upgrade to digital phone lines in advance of the January 2027 switch off.

Although Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines use digital transmission for calls, they will also be retired alongside the PSTN. Additionally, Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) broadband connections also rely on the PSTN and will no longer work after the switch off.

While much of the information available on the PSTN switch off focuses on business comms tech, many lifts and monitored security and fire systems use the PSTN to operate.

For example, older fire and security systems use PSTN lines to alert the monitoring centre when an alarm is raised. These services can save lives and ensure that your business complies with health and safety regulations. Therefore, it is important to contact your provider to determine whether your system uses the PSTN, and whether they can offer an alternative solution.

Step 2 — Consider internet speeds

The PSTN switch off means you will need to switch to a digital phone line that handles all calls over the internet, using a system such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

This makes it essential to assess whether your current broadband package offers sufficient speeds to handle the volume of voice and video calls your business needs.

Although PSTN-supported fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) broadband will only be switched off when full fibre is available nationwide, you should consider whether it is fast enough to handle all your business comms.

The PSTN’s copper wires have limited bandwidth, so opting for a futureproofed broadband option such as full fibre would provide sufficient speeds.

Graphic explaining how full fibre broadband will enable ultrafast speeds for businesses to use digital phonelines and business PSTN alternatives

Step 3 — Analyse your business tech needs

Once you know which business systems need replacing and the broadband speeds required, you should find out which PSTN replacement is most suited to your business.

Performing an audit of your current tech setup is a great way of finding this out. For example, if you are staff often work remotely and need to share files, video call and instant message, a unified communications (UC) system can help to streamline this process.

This step will also help you figure out the number of user logins and features that you will need.

Whether you choose to carry out the audit internally or opt for an IT consultancy service, analysing what comms tech your business needs ensures you can find a setup that works both now and in the future.

Close-up image of a hand holding a digital phoneline system ahead of the PSTN switch off

Step 4 — Check your hardware

 

After selecting the best suited PSTN replacement, you need to make sure you have the right hardware to implement it.

If you are looking to save money, all you will need is an internet-enabled device such as a smartphone or tablet to use your digital phone line. Since VoIP phonelines and UC software are both available as downloadable applications, it is easy to run these systems on pre-existing devices that your business has already purchased.

 

Step 5 — Provide staff training

Now you have implemented a PSTN replacement such as VoIP or UC, making sure your staff know how to use it is essential.

Not only can poor knowledge of a tech setup result in wasted time and costly mistakes, it can also impact staff satisfaction and retention.

Whether you choose to train staff yourself or select a small business tech support service that offers advice and maintenance, making sure your workforce is proficient in your chosen system is key.

Image of office workers being trained on business PSTN alternatives such as digital phonelines ahead of the PSTN switch off

Crystaline’s PSTN switch off support

 

To assist your business with preparing for the PSTN switch off, Crystaline offers several tailored support options.

We will audit your existing systems to create independent recommendations based on your business needs. These recommendations will be presented in a simple way, cutting the jargon often present in B2B solutions.

All of our services come along with our service promise, which guarantees 24/7 email or telephone support, as well as ongoing reviews of your setup.

Ready to make the switch? Get in touch with our expert team:

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