A new report has highlighted how the majority of UK firms set to be affected by the impending PSTN switch-off are unaware of the discontinuation.

BT Openreach’s Public Switched Telephone Network – the traditional analogue system for telephone calls – is set to be switched off for good by December 2025, along with the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).

They will be replaced by IP (Internet Protocol) fibre-based network and infrastructure.

Gamma Communications plc, in collaboration with the Centre for Economics Business Research (Cebr), has published ‘The Big Switch-Off: Are UK Businesses Aware and Prepared?’

It highlights that nearly one third (30%) of UK businesses are in the dark.

According to the analysis, which also surveyed 400 business decision makers in the UK, only 54% of businesses that will be directly impacted by the Switch-Off are currently aware of discontinuation. This is a cause for concern as businesses are unknowingly putting their continuity at risk. 

Why your business needs to think about the PSTN switch-off today

Though the Switch-Off is already underway, three quarters (74%) of businesses are yet to complete essential migration tasks. 49% of businesses haven’t started researching alternatives to form a migration plan to ensure a seamless transition. 

The report also shows that there is a significant disparity in awareness across different regions as well as industry verticals in the UK. Businesses in Northern Ireland have the lowest rate of awareness at 44% followed by businesses (47%) in Southeast England. However, in London, three-fifths (59%) of businesses are conscious of the shift, potentially giving them a competitive edge for future proofing their business. 

It warned that scrambling to adopt new digital solutions at the last-minute could overwhelm providers who are already managing numerous projects, potentially leading to inadequate support for all. 

“The next 12 months are crucial for UK businesses still using PSTN,” said Chris Wade, chief marketing and product officer at Gamma. “Our report highlights that there is still a significant number of businesses currently reliant on legacy services for customer communications, order taking, internal communications, security and even lift operation. 

“To ensure a smooth transition following the Switch-Off, businesses need to act now and explore alternative digital communications available to them. This way businesses can understand the benefits that come with switching to modern solutions, such as a positive impact on the business’ bottom line as well as increased flexibility and scalability. 

“By doing so, businesses can make sure they don’t make a rash decision – instead, find the right solution for their business needs.”

The report follows the national ‘Stop Sell’ announced by Openreach – where the ordering, change or upgrade of analogue phone systems ceased – in September.

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