Preparing for the PSTN switch-off? Here are three key considerations

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UK firms have been advised to ramp up preparations for the PSTN switch-off in 2025 amid concerns that many are falling behind on plans. 

Originally announced in 2020, the full PSTN switch-off is now just under two years away, and, despite several advisories from UK authorities, research conducted by cloud service provider M247 suggests that 54% of businesses don’t think switch-off has been well publicized.

More alarmingly, the same research states that 88% of UK businesses are still currently operating dated analog services on the PSTN.

There are some simple steps businesses can take to ensure they’re prepared for the move, however.

Work the PSTN switch-off into wider digital transformation strategies

The hesitancy of many businesses to embrace the switch-off is understandable, with various core alarm systems or legacy voice systems still relying on the PSTN. 

Any business still reliant on the PSTN could face huge problems when the switch-off comes into effect, though it might be better for businesses to consider the rewards of switching over rather than the punishments of not. It's less of a switch-off and more of a switch-over.

Out of the businesses that have already transitioned away from the PSTN, 63% did so as part of a proactive digital transformation strategy, according to M247.

More than ever businesses should look to capitalize on technology, with a recent report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) finding that 87% of SMBs now have a website. Taking a proactive step away from the PSTN is a great place to start.

Upgrade existing IT hardware to utilize digital benefits 


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Research from M247 suggested that 54% of businesses that have transferred away from the PSTN are enjoying improved flexibility, while 42% have reported increased technical capabilities such as call recording and call transcription

To take advantage of these improvements, however, businesses need to upgrade their hardware. Older handsets, for example, may not be able to support the increased demands of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

IT departments need to undergo a thorough audit of their hardware capabilities so that businesses can reap the rewards of the PSTN switch-over.

Specialist support could help businesses navigate the switch-off 

Businesses still operating on the PSTN may lack the technical expertise necessary to ensure a smooth transition to a new, fully-digital network.

With the support of specialists, however, business leaders can gain access to important technical knowledge and assistance, helping them to streamline the migration process.

Support providers can also offer businesses internet connectivity options, such as Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA) or Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) broadband connections, as well as workforce education on potentially unfamiliar digital solutions.

George Fitzmaurice
Staff Writer

George Fitzmaurice is a staff writer at ITPro, ChannelPro, and CloudPro, with a particular interest in AI regulation, data legislation, and market development. After graduating from the University of Oxford with a degree in English Language and Literature, he undertook an internship at the New Statesman before starting at ITPro. Outside of the office, George is both an aspiring musician and an avid reader.