Six steps to prepare for the landline/PSTN switch-off

Telephony 2nd May 2023

As of December 2025, landlines and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will no longer be available, having a direct impact on telephony for businesses as well as domestic settings.

Put simply, the PSTN will be switched off and replaced with Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems meaning telephones will run over the internet rather than copper wiring and switchboards.

This method of communication originated in the 19th century and is becoming more difficult and more expensive to maintain. Therefore, this switch is helping to bring telephone communications, along with other systems, up to date with current technology.

Instead of waiting until 2025 to make the switch, we would advise you to consult our checklist below to get ahead of the curve and adapt to the changing landscape.

1. Check your devices

Although the main focus of the switch, it is not just your telephones that use the landline/PSTN system. Other systems will therefore be affected by the change too.

These services and systems include but are not limited to:

  • Lift emergency lines.
  • Cash machines.
  • Payment terminals.
  • Panic alarms.
  • Door entry systems.
  • CCTV.

As a standard, you must check which devices are in use within your business so all vital systems can be upgraded accordingly ahead of time, giving you and your team a suitable amount of time to adjust to the new technology.

Some of the devices listed above can be switched to IP mode which will use the VoIP network; however, you will need to speak to your current specialist service provider as others may need to be individually upgraded.

2. Review your connectivity

Now your devices are in check, you must review your current internet connection to ensure it is strong enough to support the quality of voice calls and HD video conferencing.

Forgetting to review your connectivity may leave you with buffering videos and phone call audio delays both of which can reflect negatively on your business and your ability to operate online.

If you have taken a look at your internet connection and you’re not satisfied with how it currently performs you have a few options. There is the option to invest in a second connection for telephony which also serves as a great backup if one connection goes down, or alternatively, you could switch to a different provider altogether.

Either of these two choices will put you in a better position from an operational perspective when you come to make the switch to VoIP systems, and from a business resilience perspective as you are actively prioritising your connectivity and futureproofing your business.

3. Think about your hardware

Considering how you use hardware is the next step on our checklist.

It is key that you make the decision now whether you want to continue with your current option or move to a more digital approach.

For example, if your workplace uses desk phone systems on a regular or daily basis you may wish to stick with these devices and convert your handsets to VoIP systems using an adapter.

On the other hand, in our current digital age, phone calls can now be made using tablets, laptops, PCs, and mobile phones, lessening the requirement for the hardware you currently use.

Switching to softphones such as these will give you agility and flexibility to work from anywhere and will save you money that would have been spent on new and improved hardware. Review your set-up and check to see if making switches could improve your day-to-day business communications.

4. Select your solution

Now that you reviewed your devices, hardware, and connectivity you need to choose a solution that best fits your business needs.

Much like introducing any other new technology into the business, you have a wide range of choices from a host of different providers, but ultimately you need to review your options and consider how telephony currently functions within your business and how it will work in the future.

A good starting point is to begin by considering how many employees will be using the system, what extra features are required for your business to run as normal, and then assess the benefits and drawbacks of each option available to you.

5. Involve your employees

Once your solution is in place and your business is set up on VoIP systems, setting up training sooner rather than later is crucial.

Encouraging your employees to be genuinely interested in your solution is also vital. But how can you make a phone system seem exciting? The whole point of technological advances is to make aspects of daily operations easier and more efficient!

Understanding the benefits VoIP will deliver will help with this, but also understanding current frustrations your employees have will allow you to identify if these can be resolved with the change in your telephony system.

First and foremost, your teams must be able to confidently use the new systems and technology as it’s likely your new phone systems alone will come with a range of features such as call redirects, customised greetings, and automated menu options.

Each new feature will certainly serve you and your team well however they are useless if not used and managed correctly. Training your team on your newly chosen systems will allow you to prioritise smooth communications.

6. Embrace the change

More often than not change is seen as a negative as if it’s not broken, why change it at all?

It is important for you and your team to view the PSTN switch-off as an opportunity rather than an inconvenience as digital transformation is a top priority for many businesses now and transitioning to newer systems opens doors for innovation.

Ultimately when December 2025 arrives, landline and PSTN will no longer be an option so it’s a good idea to get to grips with your new solution sooner, rather than later.

Not only do VoIP systems come with lower costs, but they offer flexibility that switchboard communications do not. This is a huge benefit of the switch-off as businesses and communities worldwide are moving increasingly closer to more digital and more remote ways of working across all sectors.

The bottom line

Allocating time to prepare for the 2025 switch-off will help you avoid getting caught out in the months leading up to it. It will allow you to take time to choose the best option for your business and remain operational throughout the switchover.

Our team is here to help you with every step of the journey, supporting your business to ensure security and resilience.

To start assessing your telephony needs ahead of 2025 or to book a demonstration of the different solutions we have available, get in touch with our team today.

Further reading:

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