The switch off

The ISDN switch-off: What it means

The ISDN switch-off is coming! This has far-reaching consequences for businesses around the country, but it’s not spoken about nearly enough. As communications providers here at RHM, we’re in the perfect position to keep you informed about what the switch-off is, and what your next move should be.


What is the ISDN switch-off?


In 2015 BT announced a gradual phase out of the analogue phone lines that have been supporting UK businesses for decades. This move applies to PSTN (public switched telephone network) and ISDN (integrated services digital network) lines. In their place, businesses will have to use a fully digital, IP-based network to communicate.

This sounds very technical, but it essentially means that analogue phone lines, or landlines, will switch off and will be replaced with internet-based services.

The switch-off began in 2015, and will continue until 2025 when the last analogue exchange will be decommissioned.


How will this affect your business?


If your business currently uses PSTN or ISDN for your communications, then you’ll need to switch to an IP (internet protocol) service before 2025. Otherwise, your lines will switch off and you could lose your business phone numbers.

This doesn’t sound like an enormous issue, but if you have your phone number on physical marketing materials, it could cost you a fortune. This isn’t even mentioning the downtime that could come from potential communication issues.

It’s not just phone lines that will be affected either. Many security systems and intercoms are also powered by analogue lines. This could present businesses with some serious security challenges.

Many businesses have already recognised the risk and have made the switch to services that run off the cloud. Thankfully, it’s worth the effort and cloud systems have a huge number of benefits. To incentivise you further, BT have been rapidly increasing the price of analogue services prior to the switch off.


Why is this happening?


There’s a lot of reasons that have led up to the decision to switch off analogue services. BT have decided that changing working habits have made an en-masse switch to IP more viable. We work far more flexibly now, which shows the weaknesses that many analogue systems have.

BT has also made this decision as they now feel that businesses around the country now have the internet connections required to power cloud services. This is due to the rollout of superfast FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) connections that while partly delivered by BT, has recently been spearheaded by some fantastic alternative connectivity providers.

At RHM we’ve been staying on top of these changes. We’ve helped many of our customers move to the cloud to avoid unnecessary stress and costs. We’ve also developed great relationships with alternative providers in the South West and beyond. This has helped businesses who aren’t sure if their connectivity service can support cloud services to make the switch.


What steps do you need to take?


A couple of years ago, we’d have said not too much. As the final deadline for the switch-off gets closer though, there’s a little bit more to do.

The first is to check which analogue services your business still uses. This means everything from your phone systems to your intercom and CCTV services, across all your sites. The next step is to check your connection. Cloud services rely on a stable internet connection to carry out calls, and their brilliant additional features are also powered by your broadband. If you’re not sure how to check these things, you can get in touch with us and we’d be happy to help you with this.

To truly future-proof your business, you need to make sure your connectivity service matches your needs. We recommend for most businesses to be using FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) or even more powerful FTTP connections depending on their scale.

The final step to preparing your business for the switch-off is choosing the right VoIP service to support your team moving forwards. At RHM, we recommend many businesses start looking at cloud communications services, like our Horizon platform. These secure platforms allow you to access voice, video and instant messaging through a single dashboard. They can be accessed from any location with an internet connection, which is not only fantastic for remote workers, but protects your business if your office isn’t accessible.


Why RHM?


The switch-off is important to get ahead of, but as long as you have the right support behind you, it shouldn’t be a panic. That’s what we’re here for at RHM.

We’re an independent technology provider from Gloucestershire, who this year are celebrating our 30th year in business. We’ve helped businesses across the country to make the switch and access a phone service that can support them for decades to come. We’ll happily talk you through the options available and how they can actually benefit your business.

If you work with us and one of our cloud solutions, you’ll receive your own named account manager who will be your first port of call moving forward. We’ll keep your cloud service up to date with the latest features, security updates and additional services. To get in touch and get the ball rolling, call us on 0800 041 041 or email


Need more information or advice? Call us now 0345 136 60 60

© rhm telecommunications 2024