Prepare for the PSTN Switch Off !
The UK’s phone network is changing ! Copper wires carrying analogue voice signals since Alexander Graham Bell discovered telephony in 1876 are now changing. Because it's been around for a long time, the UK telephone network is no longer as efficient as it could be. Replacement parts are harder to come by and, to be honest its not as reliable as we all want it to be. This is why Openreach are retiring the existing phone network at the end of 2025.
By this point everyone in the UK will have been upgraded to a digital phone line, providing us with a greener, faster, and more reliable service. This means landline voice calls will soon be transmitted digitally - in the same way your broadband works. By creating a 21st century digital network this will enable the UK to stay competitive on the global stage too.
To enable this change, we’ll need everyone in the UK from big organisations, to small local businesses, data hungry families, to elderly relatives using their landline as a lifeline to answer the call and get ready for the upgrade to digital phone lines.
Keep track of the UK's march to All IP
In parallel to switching off the PSTN network, Openreach are rolling out their fibre broadband network.
To expedite the transition between networks, they have identified and published a list of Priority Exchanges throughout the British Isles where they will be focussing their efforts to get FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises) rolled out. When FTTP is available to more than 75% of properties within the catchment of an exchange then they will move to Stop Sell with WLR products, meaning everyone (business and consumer) will need to move to an IP service for new orders.
The current list of Priority Exchanges and their intended Stop Sell dates are shown in the map below (dates correct at time of publication).
How do I use this Priority Exchange Switch Off Map?
This map plots which exchanges will undergo a “stop sell” as the nation moves to an All IP.
Openreach has announced 297 priority exchanges for stop sell of PSTN services by April 2022
You can track which exchanges are switching off, and when via our map
- This map is built on Google Maps, and so can be navigated as you would use any online map
- The priority exchanges have been categorised into 4 “tranches” which go in order of “stop sell” dates – these can be viewed on the left-hand side of the map
- Each Exchange has detailed information including exchange code, postcode, SI number, stop sell date, and helpful FAQ’s.
When is the PSTN Switch off Happening ?
BT Openreach has announced it intends to switch off the traditional, copper-based telephone network in 2025. This is commonly referred to as the PSTN Switch Off. While 2025 may seem a while away, from December 2023 you won’t be able to purchase any new ISDN or PSTN-based services, with many locations affected by a stop sell much sooner than that.
Why should I care?
The PSTN Switch Off will affect all businesses currently operating using PSTN and ISDN services. If you fall into this category, you will need to move to the new network to keep your phone and your number working.
The All IP network delivers voice calls using the same infrastructure as data and using VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology.