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September 1, 2020

BT ISDN Switch Off – What’s all the fuss?

BT ISDN Switch Off – What’s all the fuss?

Traditionally, ISDN technology allowed inbound and outbound voice calls through a ‘digital’ line. BT first launched ISDN in 1986 to migrate outdated landlines technology to digital.

SIP trunking is now replacing ISDN services, which means ISDN will be phased out completely by 2025, starting with some areas as soon as January 2021.

OK, but what exactly is ISDN?

For example, a doctor’s surgery may have four receptionists managing four phones. These 4 phones will all use ISDN lines so multiple callers can phone into the same local number and avoid an engaged tone. The more ISDN lines you have the more callers can phone in at one time.

Television was digitalized in 2012 when analogue switched to Freeview or satellite channels. Where we had 4 then 5 simple channels, we can now purchase a Freeview box for a one-off cost and watch multiple channels for free.

We are now bringing phone lines into the digital age.

How the turn off will affect you

Openreach have been advertising ‘The Big Switch Off by 2025’ for many years now. Many businesses decided not to prioritise the switch as 2025 was just too far in the future and many people did not understand how they would be affected. Now you may have an ISDN line for calls and an analogue line for your broadband and fax. However, Openreach is starting the process to switch off all analogue and ISDN services at the beginning of 2021 meaning many will have little time to prepare. In the interim, you will be able to continue using the ISDN services until 2025 but will be unable to make any changes to services such as call diverts, additional lines and numbers. This could cause issues during an office move, if we were to lockdown again and would restrict any flexibility you currently have.

The first exchange is Salisbury beginning early 2021 and this will be rolled out to other parts of the UK until completion in early 2025.

How can businesses prepare for the ISDN switch-off?

If you’re one of the millions of businesses who rely on ISDN you need to review your options and make the change to avoid disruption to your service.

Now is the right time to start exploring your option of switching to SIP technologies.

Does your current phone system support SIP?

If your current phone system isn’t compatible with the new SIP technology, you will need to change or update your communications system.

Now is also a good time to consider Cloud solutions for your business. Channel Cloud includes innovative features such as videoconferencing, instant chat with colleagues, send and receive large files and dial out displaying your work number. All via a mobile app, your laptop or tablet. Enabling you to work anywhere – anytime.
The solution

Switching from ISDN to SIP really isn’t as complicated and technical as you might think.

It’s a simple and cost-effective solution. Everything will now be based in the internet with ISDN moving to SIP trunks (internet-based telephone lines) and broadband will be connected by fibre into your office with no analogue line required.

The benefits
• Cost effective line rentals
• UK landline and mobile calls included
• Current or new telephone numbers become instantly portable to any location
• Call quality improved
• Set up within minutes
• Highspeed quality broadband
• Cost effective optional in-built resilience for your SIP trunk (meaning if one connection went down you are backed up)

Who can I speak to about my options of switching from ISDN?

Channel of course! We are already helping businesses nationwide prepare for the ISDN switch-off.

We work with industry leading manufacturers to provide our customers with the best of breed products that improve efficiency and significantly decrease maintenance costs paid on legacy technology. Using the latest technologies, we provide telecoms solutions for businesses of all sizes across a range of different sectors to meet their unique requirements.

No obligation – no fuss.

For more information and advice about the ISDN Switch Off speak to one of our team today!

By Hollie Boyd

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