How should businesses prepare for The Copper Switch Off?

Mar 1, 2023

The Copper Switch Off process has started, and all businesses throughout the UK need to get prepared for it. 

Many of our clients have already switched to using fibre-compatible telephone and internet systems ahead of The Copper Switch Off, and if you’d like to know more about what this process might entail for your business, then check out our case study on St Peter’s Garden Centre, in Worcester. 

This blog will tell you most of what you need to know about The Copper Switch Off – but before we get into it, one of the most urgent things to note is that BT Openreach have introduced something called ‘Stop Sell’. 

This is a phased retirement of their products and services, and if you want to check if BT Openreach have already placed a Stop Sell on your postcode, just click here

Will my business be affected by The Copper Switch Off?

Everyone’s talking about The Copper Switch Off, and we often get asked “will it affect my business?”. 

In short, the answer is YES. 

Come 2025, BT Openreach’s copper wire broadband and telephone line infrastructure will cease to exist, meaning all businesses will have to migrate to a new system if we haven’t already. 

So, what do you need to know ahead of The Copper Switch Off? Keep reading…

What is ‘The Copper Switch Off’?

The Copper Switch Off is the name given to BT Openreach’s plan to turn off their copper wire infrastructure – meaning that the copper cables that have facilitated our phone calls and internet use for decades, will be no more. 

Is this good news? In short – yes, and this is because of NEW technology. This year, The Copper Switch Off will see all business premises (and residential) migrating to a full-fibre PSTN (public switched telephone network). 

This means that our telecommunications and internet will be faster and more reliable than ever before. 

When is The Copper Switch Off happening?

The Copper Switch Off process begins this year (2023) and will complete in 2025. Now, we all know that for businesses, two years can fly by – especially when taking forecasting and budgets into account. 

For this reason, all businesses who are still relying on copper line infrastructure for their telecommunications and internet provision should be looking to migrate over to full-fibre as soon as possible. 

What is The Analog Switch Off?

The phone calls currently we make in the UK, are mainly done so via Openreach’s copper cabling infrastructure – otherwise known as the ‘analogue telephone network’.

In 2025 Openreach will retire the analogue telephone system, and will replace it with a new fibre network, which is known as an FTTP (fibre to the premises) system

Our traditional analogue telephone handsets will change too, and we’ll all be using VoIP (voice over internet protocol) handsets and software, such as 3CX and Yealink

There’s a lot to get excited about when it comes to VoIP phones, you’ll definitely want to know more about something called 3CX – a platform that offers incredible functionality and features to business users. 

And this forthcoming change over from analogue to fibre, is known as ‘The Analogue Switch Off’. 

Openreach have stated that once 75% of users have migrated to an FTTP system, copper products will no longer be sold.

How will The Copper Switch Off impact my business?

If your business is still reliant on a copper line for broadband and/or your telephones, then you will be impacted by The Copper Switch Off if you don’t upgrade your systems. 

Those who still depend on a copper line at the end of their contracts could end up losing their service – therefore causing all sorts of problems for their businesses. 

Essentially, businesses that haven’t upgraded to fibre will potentially be left without internet connection and/or working telephony systems.

If your business has switched to using a fibre service already, then The Copper Switch Off shouldn’t impact your business much – if at all! 

Will Worcestershire be affected by The Copper Switch Off? 

Also, there are a minority of areas that won’t be able to receive a new fibre connection. Businesses in these areas will, however, need to upgrade their systems, and will have to rely on services such as 4G service plans. 

Worcestershire’s access to the new fibre service is looking good, but if you’re needing specific  reassurance that your premises will be able to access the full fibre network, then you can enter your post code here to check.  

If your business currently has an FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) connection and not an FTTP one, then your internet won’t likely be impacted by The Copper Switch Off, as your copper line will run until your business premises switches over to fibre. 

How will The Copper Switch Off be rolled out? 

There are around 31,495 business enterprises in Worcestershire – all of whom’s premises will need to switch to a fibre service to avoid experiencing any disruption. 

This is no small task, as every single business premises will need its own, individual fibre connection. 

The process of ‘switching’ will involve erecting new masts throughout the UK, along with digging up ducts in new locations to lay down fibre cables, or to replace old and broken cables in existing ducts. 

Essentially, The Copper Switch Off is a mammoth task for the UK in terms of migrating the UK’s entire PSTN network over to fibre, so that business and residential users are all up to date. 

What do I need to do to prepare for The Copper Switch Off?

Many appliances operate through copper wiring, such as phones, internet routers, CCTV, and security systems. 

You might need to upgrade your telecommunications systems to a VoIP solution, which our team can talk you through so you fully understand what’s going on. You might also need to update equipment such as your internet routers depending on how new they are. 

Booking a business IT audit ahead of The Copper Switch Off will mean you’re fully ‘in the know’ and completely prepared for what’s coming – just click right here to get your free IT consultation!

Any questions? Get in touch

Our team realises this is a lot of info to take in! That’s why we welcome you to get in touch with us to ask us questions, and so that you feel prepared, reassured, and relaxed. 
Just call our friendly team on 0330 205 0250 or visit us here.

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