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As the UK’s leading communications provider, BT is preparing to make a huge transition that will affect UK businesses. The Big Switch Off deadline is looming, yet a survey revealed that 45% of UK businesses are unaware of this change.

Even more concerning, 62.1% of UK businesses are still using landlines within their company despite the fact that Openreach by BT plans to cut off service at the end of 2025.

During this article we will explore the risks of ignoring BT’s Big Switch Off deadline and how UK businesses can prepare for the transition.

BT's Big Switch Off Deadline

What is BT’s Big Switch Off Deadline?

By 2025, BT is planning to migrate all of its customers to an entirely digital phone network by disconnecting from the old PSTN.

In other words, by 2025, every phone line in the UK will be digital, and every conversation will take place using the internet instead of over phone lines. And yes when they say everyone, they include everyone. Those with jobs and homes. And this is only one part of the new cellular plan.

You need to worry about the fact that other services using the PSTN or ISDN lines are obsolete as well. System like alarms, point of sale machines, door entry systems, CCTV, and fax machines.


The consequences of ignoring the deadline

In spite of the fact that BT announced the Big Switch Off in 2015, National Business Communications recently found that 44.8% of businesses are unaware of the plan.

59.7% of survey respondents confessed to not knowing about the move to Internet Protocol (IP) in 2021, although only about a quarter of companies have ditched landlines in two years.

In the words of John Griffiths, Chairman of National Business Communications:

“Businesses need to start preparing for the switch off now. We anticipate a hold up in 2025 because of unprepared businesses, meaning the industry won’t be able to handle late-orders, leaving businesses without service.”

Also called the Integrated Services Digital Network, this is a digital form of the analogue phone line introduced within the PSTN back in the 1980s. This may also impact both voice and non-voice services, like CCTV, alarms, fax machines, POS, and door entry systems.

Steps businesses can take to prepare for the switch off

In the survey, it says that people want to use their mobile phone the most for making calls in the coming years (86.2%), followed by VoIP (62.5%). Compared to the last survey, 44.3% more people said they were unsure of the way they will make calls to businesses.

John added “Even though it sounds terrifying to businesses who still depend on landlines, there are solutions like VoIP, and a seamless transition is possible.”

How can you prepare for the change?

Firstly, you will need to find out whether you already use a VoIP system or whether you are still on a traditional line. If you are still on PSTN or ISDN, Fluent can offer a wide variety of choices for your needs. If you are unsure, we will help you figure out which service you are already using.

2025 sounds like a long way away, but jumping ahead of the mass conversion to digital is more beneficial than it may seem. Basically, the Big Switch to digital will cost businesses less, and provide more growth for companies as they expand

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