What you Need to Know about the PSTN Switch Off?

It may come as a surprise that much of the infrastructure supporting communication in the UK is still coming from copper wire telephone networks that have been in place since 1876.

But BT Openreach have confirmed that they are turning off the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) in 2025 as part of their ‘Big Switch Off’ campaign. This has left businesses and individuals that still rely on these lines with the task of finding a new service before then.

When is the PSTN Switch Off Happening?

BT Openreach have scheduled to disconnect the traditional copper-based network in 2025. That may seem like a long time away, however, BT Openreach is terminating the sales of new ISDN or PSTN-based services from December 2023, and earlier than that in some areas.

VoIP Core Networks set to Replace all the Legacy PSTN

At FourNet, we understand that your business needs to be able to communicate quickly and efficiently to succeed. That’s why VoIP technology has grown as a direct alternative to traditional phone systems.

VoIP is a straightforward alternative to traditional phone systems that requires minimal hardware. It is delivered through Over the Top (OTT) applications that frequently add new features. VoIP also gives your business greater flexibility, allowing you to use VoIP on a range of devices, including desk phones, mobiles, tablets and computers.

Keeping Track of the UK's March to an All IP Voice Network

In parallel to switching off the PSTN network, Openreach are rolling out their fibre broadband network.

To expedite the transition between networks, they have identified and published a list of Priority Exchanges throughout the British Isles where they will be focussing their efforts to get FTTP (Fibre-to-the-Premises) rolled out. When FTTP is available to more than 75% of properties within the catchment of an exchange then they will move to Stop Sell with WLR products, meaning everyone (business and consumer) will need to move to an IP service for new orders.

The current list of Priority Exchanges and their intended Stop Sell dates are shown in the map below (dates correct at time of publication).

In parallel to switching off the PSTN network, Openreach are continuing the ongoing expansion and roll out of their fibre broadband network.

How do I use this Priority Exchange Switch Off Map?

This map plots which exchanges will undergo a “stop sell” as the nation moves to an All IP.

Openreach has announced 297 priority exchanges for stop sell of PSTN services by April 2022

You can track which exchanges are switching off, and when via our map

  • This map is built on Google Maps, and so can be navigated as you would use any online map
  • The priority exchanges have been categorised into 4 “tranches” which go in order of “stop sell” dates – these can be viewed on the left-hand side of the map
  • Each Exchange has detailed information including exchange code, postcode, SI number, stop sell date, and helpful FAQ’s.