Jera, a provider of business IT support and IT security services, including expert assistance with telecoms and communications networks, has reiterated the need for UK businesses to act before outdated phone lines become redundant next year.
While the transition from copper-wired landlines to fibre-based and digital phone systems has long been known about, the latest data from September 2023 indicates that 62% of British companies are still using landlines and that 44% are unaware of how the PSTN and ISDN switch-off would impact their organisations.
The Effects of the PSTN Switch-Off for Business Phone Users
Plans to deactivate long-standing phone systems were originally announced in 2017, giving businesses and residential users a good period to consider their options or select their preferred fibre or digital-based phone system and provider.
However, there remain urgent concerns that many are unaware or misinformed of this planned transition. Commercial entities and private households with security services, alarms, and assistance devices may also be unaware that when the copper-wired phone system is turned off, all these phone-connected devices will cease to function.
Jera, a professional IT support provider, has raised the matter to try to increase awareness and to explain the advantages from a business perspective of making key decisions now rather than waiting until the switch-off is imminent and options may be limited.
Jera Director, Ally Hollins-Kirk says, ‘With the PSTN switch off it is an excellent time for companies to consolidate telecoms and IT systems and ensure they have completed the transition to new systems and software ahead of 2025.’
Systems such as VoIP or Microsoft Teams provide ultra-fast, low-cost, integrated, digital communications and collaboration solutions. They can be used for hybrid working, multi-site coms and significantly reduce the cost of calls, particularly for businesses with international suppliers, clients or partners.
Moving quickly will ensure businesses are eligible for the most appealing introductory offers, with prices expected to rise sharply for packages closer to the final switch-off date as tens of thousands of phone line users scramble for last-minute deals.’
Understanding the Alternatives to Conventional Landlines
In some cases, businesses may leave their phone lines as-is, where their provider will normally transfer them to a standardised package, with calls routed through the localised fibre broadband network. There are, however, complications related to alarms and entry systems reliant on phone cabling, cost efficiencies and hardware compatibility.
Analogue phone lines are the primary signalling method between systems like monitored alarms, including BT Redcare, fire alarms, emergency evacuation alarms, lift call points, and CCTV surveillance systems.
Businesses with no plan in place may have little option but to choose the alternative with the fastest deployment time, without the capacity to make informed decisions and consider which telecom upgrades will benefit their operations.
Hollins-Kirk explains that a sense of urgency shouldn’t solely apply to business phone users with interconnected alarm systems. He says, 'One of our primary objectives when we consult with a commercial client about their telecoms is to achieve the most efficient, responsive and advanced solution, with optimal connection speeds that deliver against budgetary expectations.
Much depends on the particular business, but many look at features like cutting-edge call handling and monitoring to enhance their customer service functions, phone systems with video conferencing facilities, and automated call management where phone lines can identify the caller, route them to the appropriate colleague, and integrate call data with CRM software suites.
Since every company and organisation with a wired phone line will have to transition within the next 12 months, this is the perfect time to evaluate these options and seek expert, independent advice to choose telecoms software and hardware that will remain beneficial for the years to come.’
Getting Ahead of the PSTN Phone Line Switch-Off
All copper phone line users must be conscious that their existing phone lines may be disconnected and switched to broadband sooner than anticipated. BT has announced that all PSTN lines will be disconnected by the end of 2025 but has been urging customers to take action since 2016.
Hollins-Kirk notes, ‘Although there are still a few months to go, we know that in some regions PSTN and ISDN lines have already been made redundant, and even though the full switch off won’t occur until 2025, the reality is that this is a staggered process, and many have already been affected.
Even if your area is one of the last scheduled for the transition to fibre, the core issue may relate to a lack of availability. When demand for new telecoms integrations and hardware spikes, engineers will be hard-pressed to respond to every request urgently, with avoidable and potentially costly disruption for businesses.’
Further information about Jera and its telecoms and IT support packages is available through the company’s website.
Jera provides fully managed IT support, cybersecurity services, telecoms systems, and IT strategy consultancy to businesses based in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow and the surrounding areas.
Source Company: https://jerait.co.uk
Publicist: Woya Digital
Published by: Steve OBrien
Source: Woya - Digital PR
Release ID: 876036