Frequently asked questions about the 2025 landline switch off

March 16, 2023

The 2025 landline switch off is something of a big deal. So at bOnline we decided to put together a helpful page of FAQs so you can see at a glance what it’s all about.

What is the 2025 landline switch off?

The technology behind traditional phone lines is actually around 100 years old. We’re now moving into a new digital era, so that by 2025 old landlines are set to be switched off. No matter whether you’re a business or home user, analogue equipment will soon be obsolete so now is the time to upgrade.

Bear in mind that broadband services will need to be upgraded too, as well as anything that connects to the PSTN. So this will include CCTV and EPOS systems for example.

Why is the landline switch off happening?

The change is being led by phone and broadband companies, supported by the government and Ofcom.

The current landline network isn’t really fit for use any more as it doesn’t work with future technology. Essentially, rather than using copper wires to make phone calls, you’ll instead make them over the internet.

When will my landline be switched off?

The migration is taking place in different areas at different times. The company that provides your landline will get in touch with you to let you know when it’s your turn. They may refer to the new service as VoIP, IP voice or Digital Voice. Some companies, like Sky for example, may call it something like 'Sky Voice'. The focus is on upgrading customers to digital services at the point when they move broadband providers or enter into a fibre broadband contract.

Although traditional phone services are expected to work for another couple of years, time is still of the essence - particularly for small businesses. From this year, no more traditional phone services will be offered by providers at all, with the expectation that they’ll be withdrawn completely by December 2025. However, as mentioned you might well end up being migrated much sooner than 2025 depending on what area of the UK you live in. Other things may affect the timing of your migration too, for example if a copper line or exchange malfunctions it won’t be replaced.

What does PSTN stand for?

PSTN stands for the Public Switched Telephone Network. It traditionally consisted of a huge series of copper wires put together so that analogue voice communication could be achieved.

By the later part of the 1980s, ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) was then introduced into the PSTN. ISDN is a digital version of the analogue phone line, allowing the transfer of data and voice over copper PSTN lines.

What is replacing PSTN and ISDN?

VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is the key piece of technology set to replace ISDN. It basically means that your phone service will work by transmission across the internet, rather than through copper phone lines. You only need an internet connection for a VoIP phone system to work, plus there are other benefits like greater flexibility and better call quality. A VoIP phone service from bOnline also offers a broad array of features like call waiting, video calls, voicemail, call analytics, call divert, hold music and much more.

Why not take a look at our latest VoIP phones and headsets.

How do Digital Voice Services work?

Digital Voice Services or VoIP phones don’t use traditional wires. Instead, calls and data are made over the internet. When you speak, your voice is digitally converted into something called “digital packets” and it’s these that are transmitted through the internet.

Does VoIP work during a power cut?

Your VoIP phone system needs to have access to the internet to make calls. This means that when there’s a power cut it unfortunately won’t work. However, calls can be forwarded to your mobile phone, so you’re not completely cut off if there’s no power.

Is it expensive to get VoIP?

This is something many individuals and small businesses are worried about, not least with the cost of living being as high as it is. But the good news is VoIP phone systems are not as expensive as you might think, particularly as a bOnline VoIP system comes with a whole lot of extras like call waiting, call diverting, voicemail greetings, call analytics and much more. If you often dial international numbers, you’re likely to find a bOnline VoIP phone system much cheaper too. For example, at the time of writing, calling the USA from the UK at the standard BT international rate costs as much as 68.53p per minute. But with bOnline, international calls can be added from just £5 per month when bolted on to one of our great value VoIP packages.

Can I keep my landline phone number?

This is something we hear quite a lot at bOnline. We understand too! You’ve built up your customer base and have had the same number for ages, so the last thing you’ll want to do is change it. That would mean new business cards printed, new livery on your vehicles and your website will need updating too. So you’ll be pleased to know that when you switch to a VoIP phone with us, you can keep your existing number. Just let us know and we’ll move it over for you with no down time. See our help page on this for more details.

Who will be impacted by the landline switch-off?

Everyone will be affected by the switch off - both businesses and individuals. Although mobile phone use has skyrocketed making landlines less popular these days, millions of people still use them. Additionally, some businesses still use fax machines which will also be affected by the switch off.

But there are many other systems that use the copper network which you may not have even thought of. Things like card machines, emergency alarms, burglar alarms and ATMs for example will also be affected, which could really impact small businesses that aren’t ready.

How will digital voice services be connected to my home or business?

You’ll ideally need full fibre broadband, however if you plan to just migrate to a digital phone line using standard broadband then you’ll simply need to connect your phone via your router. However, if you do decide to upgrade to full fibre broadband, fibre optic cables will need installing into your property. This requires a visit from an engineer who will then also connect you to either underground or overground cables. Openreach has several ways of doing this, and engineers will generally come up with a solution that causes as little disruption as possible. Sometimes they can place the cables underneath your garden or driveway for example. It’s simply a case of having a small hole drilled into your outside wall to get you connected up.

Need further advice? Get in touch

At bOnline we work with small businesses day in, day out to get them the best VoIP phone systems and business fibre broadband they need. As a small business ourselves, we also understand that every penny counts, which is why our products offer maximum value for money at the lowest possible prices.

As the landline switch off continues, we will update our range of articles to help. Why not also check out our various pricing packages to find one that suits your business requirements, starting from just £6+VAT per month. Feel free to call us too, on 0203 514 0949.


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