Businesses are being urged to make plans to update their telephone technology before older voice and data communication lines are turned off, according to a story from the Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.
From 2025 ISDN (integrated services digital network) and PSTN (public switched telephone network) lines are set to be permanently deactivated in what is popularly known as The Big Switch Off.
However, according to new research, only 15 per cent of small and medium-sized businesses and 20 per cent of larger firms have plans in place to migrate to alternative technologies that will replace them.
Data released by Zen Internet, based on 2022 figures, also shows that preparations to make the switch is low and that a third of UK businesses are still spending £10,000 or more annually on traditional telephone systems.
It also revealed that fewer that one in five companies have decided on an alternative offering – roughly the same level as in a similar survey from 2020.
The switch off follows a decision made by Openreach UK (BT) to phase out the copper wiring system, used by PSTN and ISDN, in the UK by 2025.
ISDN is being replaced by gigabit-capable fibre to premises (FTTP) broadband, which uses no copper wiring at all. Traditional analogue voice services (PSTN) are migrating to digital IP-telephony.
Alternatives that businesses can move to include SIP trunks, VoIP, Leased Lines and Hosted Voice.
Stafford Chamber Manager Declan Riddell said: “With an ageing analogue phone network due to reach the end of its life by 2025, new digital services will be in use.
“Research suggests that whilst 97 per cent of businesses were aware of the proposed changes, less than one in five (17 per cent) businesses said they already have an alternative offering.
“The clock is ticking and we urge businesses to plan ahead and be ready for a new era of digital communication”