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.
The equipment which runs the phone network is ageing. Manufacture of spare parts are being phased out, additionally, many of the people who designed, built and operated the system are retired or close to retirement so the skills are increasingly scarce. The aspiration to move to an all IP infrastructure without the dependence on older analogue/non-digital hardware.
The final switch off will be in December 2025 with no orders for new WLR based services (PSTN, ISDN, FTTC, GFast) 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 April 2023.
IDNet now provide both FTTP, FTTH, Mobile 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.
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 can offer our 'Centrex Single Line VoIP Service' which comes with inclusive UK landline and mobile calls and is comparable in price to existing landline services.
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.
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 (such as when upgrading to FTTP/H).
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.