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WLR Switch Off

What Is Happening?

Openreach are planning to retire all traditional phone services (PSTN & ISDN) and require all communication providers to move their customers to internet based phone services (VoIP) instead.

Why?

The equipment which runs the phone network is ageing. Spare parts are becoming out of manufacture and, additionally, many of the people who designed, built and operated the system are retired or close to retirement so skills are increasingly scarce. The aspiration to move to an all IP infrastructure without the dependence on older analogue/non-digital hardware.

When?

The final switch off will be in December 2025 with no orders for new services being accepted at any exchange after September 2023.

Some exchanges where there is almost universal FTTP coverage will stop accepting orders earlier than that and have an earlier withdrawal date. Salisbury is the first such exchange which stopped accepting new orders in December 2020 and will cease all traditional phone services in December 2022.

How will this affect my broadband?

IDNet now provide both FTTP and SOGEA (FTTC with no line rental) broadband services which do not require the traditional phone service to be present.

If you only use your landline for broadband this will be a cheaper option and we are anticipating that most customers will switch to the new services voluntarily.

Existing customers can switch by using the 'Modify Broadband' option in our customer portal.

How will this affect my landline phone services?

For customers that have ISDN or PSTN MultiLine services - we can offer our 'Centrex Hosted Telephony' service to provide an affordable, flexible and portable alternative to your existing PBX.

For the majority of users who have a single PSTN line - we will be officially rolling out our single line VoIP offering (with inclusive UK landline and mobile calls) in the first half of 2021 which will be comparable in price to the equivalent PSTN service.

What about my alarm system? or other essential telephone connectivity?

All good monitored alarm suppliers will be liaising with Openreach regarding the switch off and will be migrating to alternative IP based connectivity.

Openreach are considering providing access to some basic IP connectivity services for those requiring essential telephone connectivity without the need for internet access.

In locations where there is not appropriate connectivity available Openreach may grant a short term exception to the switch off.

Do I have to switch to the new services?

No customer will be forced to switch at this point. We would rather that customers switched voluntarily to new services when it is convenient for them to do so.

We will contact customers when their switch off date is approaching to warn them that they must switch or lose service.

The first exchange to be switched off is Salisbury in late 2023.