A third of small firms in the UK are unaware of, never mind prepared for, upcoming changes to the UK telecoms network resulting from the forthcoming 2025 PSTN & ISDN Switch Off.
The 2025 PSTN Switch Off, also known as the copper stop-sell, is set to affect UK businesses over the next few years. From 2025, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – the UK’s traditional telephone network – will be fully decommissioned and retired from service. In anticipation of this, products that utilize the PSTN network, such as Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), will stop being sold from 2023 and will not be used for line installations from that date.
Many of the UK’s small businesses are ill-prepared for the infrastructure overhaul that will be brought about by the 2025 PSTN Switch Off, as they are still reliant on traditional telephony systems, recent research has found. Traditional telephony systems remain the backbone of communications for many UK businesses, with 62% of a recently polled 500 UK small businesses using them for customer communications. The poll also found that over half of them use traditional telephony systems for engaging with partners and 61% for communication with colleagues.
Despite many UK businesses still utilizing the systems, one in three are not aware of the impending copper stop-sell. Furthermore, many UK businesses find themselves locked in communication agreements that are set to become obsolete – some 13% of businesses quizzed say that the next opportunity to terminate their agreement with their current, traditional telecoms supplier is more than 3 years away. As a result, UK businesses could find themselves spending on legacy communications systems that are no longer functional. And the costs of this could be quite staggering, with over a quarter of SMEs in the UK spending between £5,000 and £40,000 a year on their traditional telephony systems.
While undoubtedly, the copper stop-sell will result in short-term upheaval for many small business owners in the UK, it will also allow them to transition from traditional telephone networks to the latest cloud-based technology. SMEs in the UK are currently lagging behind larger businesses when it comes to making the move to a cloud-based model of communication – 60% of large firms in the UK use a cloud-based solution for integrating their communications channels, compared to 40% of SMEs. However, over half of small businesses that don’t currently use a cloud-based system say they are actively considering it.
Jon Perkins, director of strategy at a leading UK ISP, said: “It’s clear that the forthcoming changes to the UK’s telephony network are set to impact businesses large and small – however, what has become clear from the research is that smaller businesses could be at risk of being left behind in the switch-over if they don’t start to act and plan now.
“Ultimately the planned changes open up the opportunity to migrate to cloud-based alternatives, making communication channels more reliable and suited to modern ways of working. This means businesses no longer need to be tied down to a fixed-line at a fixed location.”
Why wait to switch to a powerful cloud-based telephony system? Save yourself unnecessary cost and stress by making the switch in advance. Contact us today to find out how easy and cost-effective it is for your business to embrace an all-digital cloud-based communications system with the new Chilli Comms Hosted system.
You can find out more about the PSTN network switch off here.