PSTN switch off FAQs

The PSTN switch off is fast approaching. Still leaving you con-fused? Check out our handy FAQ page where you’ll find answers to the most common queries on how the switch off will affect customers.

Why is the PSTN being switched off?

The PSTN is being switched off primarily because it uses outdated technology that relies on copper wiring, which is deteriorating and becoming too costly to maintain. The transition to newer digital communication technologies, such as VoIP and mobile networks, offers more advanced features, better scalability, and improved cost efficiency for both the network operators and end users.

When will the PSTN be switched off?

The PSTN will be completely retired on 31 January 2027. But there are other significant time limits ahead of this final deadline that need to be considered. In September 2023, Openreach commenced its UK-wide stop sell of several wholesale line rental (WLR) products as it begins to withdraw PSTN and integrated services digital network (ISDN) services.

What are my options to switch?

Several options are available when transitioning from PSTN. The most common alternative is adopting VoIP technology, which utilis-es the internet to transmit voice calls. Other options include mobile networks, which offer cellular-based voice services, and Unified Communications (UC) platforms that integrate various communication channels into a single system.

Will switching systems cost more, or will I save money?

In the long term, switching from PSTN to VoIP or other digital communication technologies will be cost-effective. While there might be some initial investment in upgrading infrastructure and equipment, the operational costs are typically lower for digital systems.

How long does it take to switch from a PSTN phoneline to VoIP?

The time required to transition from PSTN to VoIP depends on various factors, including the complexity of the existing infrastructure, the size of the organisation, and the chosen implementation strategy. It can be as little as a couple of weeks for everything from planning, equipment installation, network configuration, and user training.

If I delay switching, what will happen?

If you delay switching from PSTN to alternative communication technologies, you may face challenges in maintaining a working telephone service. There are over 25,000 connections to switch over before 2027, so some degree of backlog is to be expected. As the PSTN is phased out, service providers will gradually reduce support for and quality of analogue systems. So, switching sooner rather than later ensures your business is protected from disruption.

Does a VoIP package include devices?

When switching to alternative communication technologies, such as VoIP, the ownership of handsets and related equipment de-pends on the service provider and the chosen deployment model. In some cases, service providers may offer hardware as part of their service package, while in others, you may need to purchase or lease the equipment separately.

What if I do nothing?

If you do nothing and fail to migrate from the PSTN to alternative communication technologies, you will likely experience a loss of re-liable phone services. As the PSTN is retired, you may face in-creasing difficulties in making and receiving calls, maintaining connectivity, and accessing support for analogue systems. Ultimately, all connections will no longer work after January 31, 2027, so you will be left with no functioning phone system.

Does the PSTN switch off affect home phones and internet?

The switch-off of the PSTN affects both business and residential phone services. For home phones, alternative options include Voice over IP (VoIP) services that can be subscribed to through internet service providers (ISPs) or simply getting rid of the landline completely in favour of a mobile phone.

Please note that specific details, including timelines and available options, may vary depending on your location and service provider. If you have any other questions or queries, or would like to find out more about the services Crystaline offers, please contact us.