The Big ISDN Switch off 2025
UK PSTN switch off begins - how will it impact your business?
What is the PSTN and ISDN switch off?
The Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) operated and managed by Openreach is being shut down in December 2025.
The PSTN supports a number of Openreach products which Communication Providers (CPs) i.e. Vir2ue Communications purchase at regulated pricing to sell to businesses, to support their basic voice and broadband packages including Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).
In 2023 Openreach will stop the sale of new services of analogue and ISDN and at the end of December 2025 the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) will be switched off and withdrawn from service i.e. all Analogue Line Types and all ISDN (ISDN2e and ISDN30e)
Why Are Openreach Shutting Down the PSTN?
Over the last 10 years, broadband services have improved in terms of quality and reliability. The PSTN has evolved to support the transition to an almost completely digital network using digital technology.
As technology changes, there will no longer be a requirement for the majority of traditional fixed line telephony users for fixed-analogue services in the coming years and traditional fixed lines and calls will therefore cease to exist.
The priority for Openreach is to maintain a high availability fibre first network, and as a result, their legacy infrastructure and equipment serving the PSTN is becoming too expensive to maintain with the vast majority of customers moving to IP.
Who Will This Affect?
The Ofcom 2018 Report indicated that 33.1 million fixed landlines in the UK will be affected.
All services that are currently supported via the PSTN will be affected including WLR, ISDN2 and ISDN30, Local Loop Unbundling Shared Metallic Path Facilities (LLUSMPF), Narrowband Line Share and Classic Products and any overlay services such as broadband, Redcare Alarm and CPS as there will be no underlying WLR telephone service to support these services.
Don’t panic, Vir2ue are here to help make your migration as easy as possible!
For businesses that still use ISDN for their voice services or analogue lines for Redcare, ADSL and faxes who want to understand how they could be affected and what they need to do in the future, please contact us so we can set up a call or meeting to confirm how we can assist with this process to ensure this does not impact your business in the future.
The PSTN Withdrawal Process?
Openreach’s process of withdrawal of WLR and ISDN telephony products is still to be confirmed.
Their strategy is still undefined in regards to if this will be at exchange level, geographical area or premise technology availability.
They have started trailing the withdrawal in two exchanges, with the first starting as early as September 2019.
This is the date CPs expect Openreach to issue a formal notification of stop sell in their Salisbury Exchange, Wiltshire. This exchange is the Openreach Full Fibre Trial and is the first of two Openreach Trial Exchanges, which will see full withdrawal of WLR and ISDN by December 2022.
The second exchange is the Mildenhall Exchange which will see the first Single Order (SO) trial begin circa January 2020. This exchange will focus on a complete withdrawal of services by December 2022 also, even if no fibre is available.