No more new landlines from September: Is your business ready?

July 25, 2023

From September 2023, BT Openreach will no longer sell analogue landlines. Known as the ‘stop-sell’ it forms an important part of the UK landline shutdown that’s set to complete by December 2025.

Who will the landline stop-sell affect?

Anyone looking to buy a new UK landline, both residential and business customers, will be affected by the landline stop-sell.

Why is the landline switch-off happening?

Existing landline technology is several decades old and becoming harder to maintain. Digital (cloud-based) systems like VoIP allow you to make calls over the internet, rather than through traditional copper wires. So all you need is a reliable (preferably fibre) internet connection and away you go! You can even keep your old landline number.

I run a small business and use a landline. What should I do?

Openreach has recently published figures showing that around 70% of UK businesses are still using landlines to run their business. Findings also show that approximately 40% of people still don’t know that the Big Switch Off is coming.

Although it’s tempting to put a switch to VoIP on the back burner for the time being, we say that’s best avoided. Getting clued up on the facts now means your business stands less chance of being left behind, plus you’ll avoid any last-minute rush to sign up to digital alternatives like VoIP. Furthermore, not all VoIP packages are the same, so it’s well worth spending time choosing one that best matches the needs of your business. At bOnline for example, we say that tying small and micro businesses into long contracts is unfair, which is why our pricing packages are all only 12 months long. We also offer an incredibly comprehensive range of business-friendly VoIP features which help us stand out from the crowd.

I just use my mobile to run my business. Why would I switch to VoIP?

When you first start out as a freelancer or micro business, you may well manage just fine with your mobile phone. But as call volumes increase and you look to grow your team, you’ll probably find it’s not enough. If potential new clients or customers call out of hours or when you’re on holiday, you could miss their call entirely which will ultimately affect your profit. And what if your battery runs out or there’s no signal? Soon you’ll be juggling work at all hours of the day and night while customers become annoyed that they can’t get through. Nightmare!

The other problem with relying entirely on your mobile phone is that as soon as you take on any employees you’ll need them to use it too. This really isn’t practical - which is where a digital phone system like VoIP really comes into its own.

Why else should I switch to VoIP?

When you sign up with VoIP you’re not only protecting your business from the landline switch-off, you’re benefiting in other ways too.

For instance, VoIP systems can be accessed from your laptop, tablet or smartphone - not just from a handset. This is perfect for remote working, with as many members of your team able to have access as you like. The sound quality is also better.

As mentioned earlier, there’s also the wide range of business-friendly features available that not only give your business a more professional appearance but help improve your customer service too. For instance, call divert means you can divert calls to specific members of your team who are best placed to deal with them. You’ve also got things like voicemail, video calling and hold music too, plus access to call data to help you make informed business decisions.

Then of course there’s the chance to save some money. VoIP packages are often a fixed monthly amount that include line rental and call minutes. At bOnline we also offer an additional international calls package that you can ‘bolt on’ from just £5 a month. If you make a lot of internal calls, this could save you some serious cash.

It’s actually also possible to transfer your existing landline number over to your VoIP line if you want to. This works particularly well if your business has been around for some time and you don’t want to end up with a number that your customers don’t recognise (not to mention the costs of changing vehicle livery or stationery). You can even opt for an 020 number, to attract more London-based clients for example. This is perfectly legal, even if your business isn’t actually based in London at all! In fact it can be a useful way of broadening your customer base.

Is your business at risk of being left behind

With the stop-sell just weeks away, now is the perfect time to sign up to a free 7-day VoIP trial with bOnline. It’s a great way of testing out all of the product features, including call divert, voicemail, video calling and call analytics data, with no obligation. If you do then decide you’d like to sign up to a monthly package (again, no pressure!), you can do this quickly and easily by logging on to your dashboard.

The best bit is we’ll handle every aspect of your switch to VoIP for you remotely, with no downtime or technical knowledge needed by you. Our expert team is also on hand if you need us.

Questions or concerns?

Feel free to call our team on 0208 125 3219 or check out our Help section.


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