The Copper Stopper – PSTN Switch Off Looms Large

by | Nov 6, 2023 | All Articles, Latest News, Water

Openreach Announcement on PSTN Switch Off Could Leave Many Businesses in the Lurch.

Openreach has recently announced an additional 51 UK exchanges under Tranche 11 of their PSTN Switch Off project. The aim of this project is to switch off the old copper analogue PSTN lines (public switched telephone network) to a fully digital network IP (internet protocol) network.

To switch off the old network in an exchange, 75% of premises in each area must be able to obtain and connect to FTTP broadband ( Fibre-to-the-Premises).

As a reminder, there are two different, but related, phases to move away from the old copper line infrastructure (these can sometimes cross-over each other).

Phase 1 – Migration to Digital IP Technologies

The first starts with the gradual migration of traditional analogue voice (PSTN) services to digital all-IP technologies (e.g. SoGEA), which is due to complete by December 2025 and is occurring on both copper and full fibre line.

NOTE: Openreach’s full fibre currently covers over 9 million UK premises (build rate of c.62,000 per week) and their aim is to reach 25 million (80%+) by Dec 2026.

Phase 2 – Rollout of “Fibre-to-the-Premises”

The second phase involves the ongoing rollout of gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband infrastructure – using light signals via optical fibre instead of electrical signals via slow copper lines.

Only after this second stage has largely completed in an exchange area can you really start to switch-off copper in favour of fibre, which is a longer process as you must allow a few years for user migration.

The Wider Impact on Businesses

The overall affect reaches much further than telephone lines and broadband connectivity. It will affect alarm systems, fax machines, payment terminals and more.

Our partner is a specialist in both broadband connectivity and digital technologies. As an early adopter of pure Digital and VoIP technologies since 2010, they are well positioned to guide businesses through the myriad of options and improvements these coming changes will create, transforming they way in which businesses work during the entire process.

If you have any questions or concerns in relation to how this could affect your business, then please feel free to contact us using the form below for more details.

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