Lost in Transition: Overlooked Challenges in the Analogue Network Switch Off

Published on: 16th August 2023
Lost in Transition: Overlooked Challenges in the Analogue Network Switch Off

If you’re using card payment machines, lift phone, security or alarm systems, you could be directly affected by BT’s September 2023 end of sale for analogue phone lines and will certainly need to make changes before the UK analogue network switch off in 2025.

The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) will be switched off at the end of 2025. Analogue systems can no longer cope with the demands of today’s networks, and are being switched out for newer, more efficient alternatives. It’s likely that your home internet and landline will have been moved over to fibre recently if it wasn’t already, and this is all in a bid to ensure that by 2025, every phone line in the UK will be routing calls over the internet.

Whist telephony and internet connectivity has been the focus of conversation around the analogue network switch off, the implications are far more widespread. Many services within healthcare, offices and science parks use devices which currently rely on the analogue network, and these are exactly the things that are in danger of being overlooked. This includes alarm systems, Redcare, card payment machines, CCTV, fax, security cameras, entry systems, lift phone, information displays, equipment for monitoring and controlling networks and so on. These rely on some features of PSTN that are not fully replicated on VoIP based platforms. If you’re using any of these products, by the end of 2025 they will stop working unless you take steps to prevent that from happening.

2025 may feel like it’s far enough into the future that you don’t have to be concerned about it just yet, however, the phasing out has already begun, with manufactures reluctant to keep producing expensive and outdated technology. In fact, by September 2023, there is a national ‘stop sell’ on analogue lines. This means that if you experience a loss of service due to a faulty analogue line, technologies like lift alarms and payment terminals which rely on PSTN would stop working. If you needed to replace PSTN lines a ‘stop sell’ means that this wouldn’t be an option, and you would be forced into a costly and unplanned full reworking of your existing infrastructure, just to get back up and running. The downtime would inevitably be much greater than with a planned switch over.

Anyone who has managed a project knows that time goes quickly, and spending can increase rapidly in a bid to finish before the deadline. Hold ups like approval processes can take precious time and stop you from finishing the projects within expected timeframes. A planned migration of your analogue systems will give you better results and keep any lost productivity down to a minimum.

The best starting point would be to audit your existing infrastructure to quantify the situation. This is something which we can help you with if required. Many of your existing devices may still work with the addition of analogue terminal adapters (ATA) which can connect some types of analogue devices to a digital system as an interim solution.

A comprehensive audit today will allow you to budget and plan for all work required, from installing fibre if needed to installing ATA’s or replacing legacy devices. Most of our customers who are currently using analogue technologies see savings on their monthly bills right away, which is another good reason not to delay.

If you would like more guidance on the BT switch off then please get in touch and we can schedule a chat with one of our experts.

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