The BT Copper Switch-Off – Will my business be affected?

Jan 2, 2024

As we move into the New Year, 2025 may still seem a long way off however, for businesses which rely on landlines, it’s important to start planning for the switch to digital phones now. Leaving the decision until later could impact your organisation as telephone service companies become increasingly busier due to engineers upgrading other organisations business telephone systems.

BT Openreach has since September stopped selling new phone and internet services that use copper which is not just by the 2025 deadline. The reason for this is that BT Openreach is going to stop using old copper wires for internet and phone services. This is called The Copper Switch-off. This might make you wonder if it will affect your business. Keep reading about the Copper Switch-off to learn more.

The BT Copper Switch-off Deadline

In November 2017, BT announced its intention to switch off the PSTN (Public Switch Telephone Network) lines by 2025. From 2023 providers have stopped selling ISDN (integrated Services Digital Network) and PTSN services based on Openreach’s plans with the aim in 2025 of all significant analogue technologies being withdrawn altogether. 

This withdrawal process is already well underway, and from 2023, we started seeing copper-based broadband and voice products ‘stop sales’ across BT exchange areas in the country, making some existing telecommunications and telephony systems obsolete. 

Which business technologies will be impacted? 

  • Analogue telephone systems 
  • Digital ISDN telephone systems 
  • Broadband supported by WLR (Wholesale Line Rental, this may be described as FTTC business broadband on your monthly bills)
  • Copper-based landline phones (these may be described as premium SL on your monthly bills)

Impact of WLR and Copper Withdrawal

The copper withdrawal will affect approximately 25 million premises across the UK. More importantly, these implications will affect tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of businesses across the UK utilising an ADSL, FTTC, EoFTTC or an EFM connection. 

Network connections supported via copper and analogue technologies will need to be replaced with a fibre-based alternative. The copper withdrawal might present itself as a problem, but it is an opportunity for your business to have a technology refresh to fully take advantage of the benefits a full Fibre connection can bring. 

Benefits of a fibre connection 

Fibre broadband offers a variety of benefits over traditional copper and analogue technologies for connectivity. Whether you are a new customer or an existing one looking for support or to upgrade, Spire can provide various solutions using respected UK Full Fibre network providers.

Spire uses BT’s phone and internet system to give our services to organisations throughout the UK. However soon, we won’t be able to offer certain services anymore because BT is switching to a new system called fibre. This means we need to help our customers move to the new system too. BT has set a deadline for when they will stop using the old system, and we need to make sure everyone is ready before then. It’s important to start planning now so we don’t miss out on any opportunities.

Here are a few tips to help make the transition to fibre as smooth as possible.

Step One We would advise that your first step is to contact your service provider if you notice that any of your bills have the following listed items.

  • FTTC Fibre
  • ADSL Broadband
  • WLR Line
  • Single Line
  • Premium Line
  • Analogue Line
  • Exchange Line
  • ISDN2
  • ISDN30
  • EoFTTC
  • EFM

Step Two Once you have found a suitable service provider the next step is to determine what type of digital phone* service your organisation will require in the future. Do you for example need a VoIP telephone service that uses an internal fibre connection, or a digital line that uses a standard phone network? Again, your decision depends on your specific needs including the number of personnel located on one or multiple locations.

Step Three Finally, it is important to consider an installation and setup plan to ensure the business can continue to operate with minimal disruption during the transition. When choosing a service provider ensure the company has experience with ensuring your current numbers are ported correctly. Ask them to explain the process to ensure you are satisfied including the typical challenges and what contingencies they have allowed for. Once everything is done you can enjoy the many benefits of digital phone lines, including clear call quality and low monthly rates.

Digital Phones and landlines, known as Voice Over Internet Protocol -(VoIP) is a phone system that transmits voice data (calls, etc) over the internet or data (3G/4G/5G+) rather than physical copper lines. This means calls from any device whether a mobile, laptop or IP phone can be made anywhere in the world as long as there is a stable internet connection or mobile data. These digital and virtual phone lines, unlike copper landlines, have had a wide array of technologically advanced features added over the years, and are much better suited for business communications 

If you require advice and some options to support your business through this transition then please get in touch with Spire Technology Group on 0330 2050250 and speak with one of our specialists who will be able to provide you with some options for the future.

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