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ISDN & PSTN Switch Off: Is Your Business Prepared?

Posted on 19th June 2023 at 11:10

The telecommunications landscape is undergoing a major transformation. BT Openreach has announced plans to switch off Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) and Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) services by 2025, replacing them with modern alternatives like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP). This change will impact businesses across the country, requiring them to adapt their telephony systems to stay connected.

Read our tips below to ensure your business is ready for the upcoming switch off:

Begin by evaluating your existing telephony infrastructure. Understand the number of ISDN and PSTN lines your business relies on and the functionalities they provide. Take note of the various features, such as call forwarding, voicemail, and conferencing, and identify which ones are critical to your operations. This assessment will help you understand the scale of the transition required and enable you to plan accordingly.

VoIP and SIP offer flexible, cost-effective alternatives to ISDN and PSTN. Research different VoIP and SIP providers and assess their offerings based on your business needs. Consider factors such as call quality, scalability, reliability, and compatibility with your existing hardware. Engage with vendors and request demonstrations to ensure their solutions align with your requirements.

With the switch to VoIP and SIP, your telephony system will rely on your internet connection. Ensure your network infrastructure can handle the increased data traffic. Assess your current bandwidth and consult with your internet service provider to determine if an upgrade is necessary. Adequate bandwidth will guarantee smooth communication and prevent issues like dropped calls and poor audio quality.

Review your existing telephony equipment to determine if it is compatible with VoIP and SIP. Some legacy hardware may need replacing or require additional components for integration. Consult with your chosen solution provider to understand the hardware and software requirements for a seamless transition. Consider factors such as IP desk phones, conference units, headsets, and any necessary software installations.

A well-planned migration strategy is crucial to minimise disruption during the transition. Define a timeline for the migration process, considering factors such as employee training, hardware installations, and porting existing numbers. Prioritise critical departments and functions for an organised and phased approach. It may be beneficial to run parallel systems during the transition period to ensure a smooth switch-over.

Maintaining uninterrupted communication is vital for business continuity. Develop a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery plan to mitigate any potential disruptions. Consider solutions such as failover systems, redundant connections, and alternative means of communication like mobile networks. Regularly test your backup systems to identify and resolve any issues before they impact your operations.

Introduce your employees to the new telephony systems well in advance of the switch-off. Conduct training sessions to familiarize them with the features and functionality of VoIP and SIP. Address any concerns they may have and provide ongoing support as they adjust to the new technology. Training will help maximise productivity and ensure a smooth transition for your workforce.

Review your marketing materials, including websites, brochures, and business cards, to reflect your new contact information. Notify your customers and suppliers of the upcoming switch-off and inform them about the alternative contact methods. Update your business directories, online listings, and any other platforms where your contact information is displayed to ensure a seamless transition for your stakeholders.

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