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2025 seems a long way away, especially as many of us are only just starting to ‘live, trade, and operate’ again post-lockdowns. It has however been known for some time, and those in my networks have seen many of my presentations and posts on the subject, that by the end of 2025, the phone system that carries the calls over the copper network (known as the PSTN – Public Switched Telephone Network) will be closed down and all calls will move across the internet as VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) traffic.

Research suggests that a high percentage of businesses of all sizes have yet to make the switch or have even considered their options. A survey published by Comms Dealer in May, reveals that 83% of the 400 SMEs surveyed have no visibility of when their services will be switched off, and over three quarters haven’t prepared for the potential disruption.

Time is ticking and it WILL happen.

However, what is even less well known, is Openreach Stop/Sell scheme. Openreach have currently successfully converted two exchanges, Salisbury and Mildenhall to full fibre and are rolling this out to another 200. There are 5,600 exchanges in total. When the rollout starts in the target exchanges Openreach implement Stop/Sell, which means that no WLR (Wholesale Line Rental – which are analogue, ISDN2 and ISDN30) lines can be sold and any further installs must be without any voice element.

The national implementation of Stop/Sell (i.e., when no WLR/PSTN services can be sold and installed) is September 2023, a mere 2 years away.

It means that despite any WLR services a business may have, it will be unable to add to it and will need to convert to a VoIP solution to enable growth.

2023 is as important a date as 2025 as no ‘old-fashioned’ services will be available. Do not leave it to the last minute and run the risk of your business suffering due to a hasty and potentially bad decision.

If you move to an internet-based service now, you are future proofed, and all these changes will simply become background noise.

Do not delay – contact me now to review all your options and decide, calmly, what’s best for your business.

Jon Pentel

Tel: 020 8150 9300

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