This year, the first steps were taken towards retiring the PSTN. There’s no turning back now, so businesses must be prepared. And they can be, with a little helping hand from… a piece of clay?
Earlier this year, you may remember that we published a series of guides about the ‘Big Switch Off’. While the public switched telephone network (PSTN) will still be around for a little while yet, the process is now officially underway, and as of September, you can no longer buy new PSTN services.
If you’re thinking, ‘Hang on, we use the PSTN and we’re still OK!’, that’s because existing PSTN services are still running as normal. During this first stage of the switch off, BT Openreach are stopping customers from purchasing new services relying on the PSTN or the integrated services digital network (ISDN). The expected date for complete discontinuation of the network isn’t until 2025.
But don’t let that lure you into a false sense of security.
Now that the nationwide stop-sell has been initiated, it’s all systems go. And if you haven’t yet thought about life in the post-PSTN world, it’s time to start making a plan and getting prepared.
So how can you ready yourself for the change? By being more like Morph.
Be like Morph
One of our partners, Gamma Communications, has teamed up with Morph (yes, the little Plasticine guy who lives in a box!) to raise awareness of the Big Switch Off and help businesses understand more about their options. And here at Reliable, we think it’s time we were all a little more like Morph.
Morph does what many of us might think of as being impossible. He can’t communicate in the usual way: through language. Yet we all somehow understand him, don’t we? When he mutters ‘ba ba ba ba, ba ba da!’, we just ‘get it’. And we get it because he’s perfected the art of communicating in a different way; it’s a way that we might not think of as being the norm, but it’s one that still works.
This is exactly how we need to approach the Big Switch Off.
We may not be able to rely on the PSTN, just like Morph can’t rely on language. But we can embrace other methods – alternative methods – that can help us maintain high levels of communication.
Exploring your options
Just as Morph can use different facial expressions and tones of voice to convey his messages, businesses have multiple non-PSTN voice and data options available to them. The most similar option is to switch to a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) service, which is designed to replicate the old PSTN. However, instead of sending data via Openreach copper cables, it transmits it digitally. Another option would be to shift to the cloud entirely, forgoing a traditional phone service in favour of 100% online communications through apps like Teams and Skype in Microsoft 365.
It may still be a couple of years before the PSTN disappears entirely. But the sooner you shift to a new system, the sooner you can start enjoying the benefits that come with more modern technology.
Whatever alternative you choose, chances are you’ll be relying on your internet services more than ever. So a good starting point for preparing for the future is to check you have a solid digital foundation. This may mean assessing your internet connection, or making sure you’re cloud ready.
Whatever you need, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us here at Reliable to find out more.