The Big Switch Off 2025: Navigating the UK Phone Line Transformation

The Big Switch Off is a nationwide initiative by Openreach, to gradually retire the aging Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). These technologies have been the backbone of the UK’s telephone infrastructure for decades. However, they are becoming increasingly outdated and inefficient in comparison to newer, more advanced digital alternatives like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP). 

The goal of The Big Switch Off is to modernise and streamline the telecommunications infrastructure, enabling faster and more reliable voice and data communications. The switch off aims to facilitate the shift towards a fully digital, IP-based network, that can accommodate the growing demands of modern communications. 

What you need to know about The Big Switch Off:

  • Timeline: The Big Switch Off is a phased approach that began in 2020 and is expected to conclude by December 2025.  
  • Impact on Services: The switch to digital technology will have implications on services dependent on traditional phone lines, such as landline phones, fax machines and certain alarm systems.  
  • Migration to Digital Services: Businesses need to be informed about the benefits of migrating to modern digital services like VoIP and FTTP, which include (but is not limited to) enhanced call quality, increased bandwidth, increased accessibility and higher scalability.  
  • Equipment and Upgrades: Businesses may need to upgrade their equipment to be compatible with the new digital infrastructure. Being aware of these requirements is essential for a smooth transition.

 Businesses and The Big Switch Off

Most businesses telecoms use a copper line, meaning that The Big Switch Off is a massive job. It is not just about telephone services, any service that uses this infrastructure will be impacted. Analogue voice telephone services and any service that use these lines including fax, alarm systems, modem, PDQ machines. ISDN 2e and ISDN 30e lines which are mainly used by phone systems. Broadband services that run over an analogue telephone line, e.g., ADSL and FTTC Fibre Broadband 

If your business hasn’t managed to switch over from an ISDN connection yet, you should start thinking about upgrading to a cloud-based system sooner, rather than later. Here are some points to consider: 

  • Switch to VoIP telephony services as soon as you are released from your current contracts. This will save you a great deal of money in the long run. 
  • Begin growing new users and clients onto the cloud-based system. Even if your business hasn’t fully switched onto the new system yet, it is beneficial to use the new system in order not to waste money or time updating the old system that will be switched off in 2025.  

Ashdown Solutions and The Big Switch Off

At Ashdown Solutions we are committed to ensuring that our customers fully understand the impact of The Big Switch Off. We are offering a choice of technologies to ensure every customer has a suitable service for the future for both connectivity and telephony. Ensuring our customers have a smooth migration to the new services is crucial for us, so we them informed of the elements of the project that impact them and their business, so they can make timely, informed decisions.  


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