The Full Roadmap to the BT PTSN Switch-Off


The Full Roadmap to the BT PTSN Switch-Off

Wed, 9 Aug 2023

As part of the ongoing evolution of telecommunication technologies, BT, the largest provider of fixed-line, broadband, and mobile services in the UK, has decided to switch off the traditional Public Switched Telephone Network (PTSN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) by 2025. This fundamental change, known as the BT PTSN switch-off, is driven by the rise of more flexible, scalable, and cost-effective communication options like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP).

The BT PTSN switch-off means that BT will cease selling these traditional services in 2023 and will complete the transition to fully digital services by 2025. For businesses, this means re-evaluating their current communication infrastructure, including their phone systems, alarm lines, and card machines, which may still rely on PTSN or ISDN.


How to Allocate a Budget for the Switch

Determining a budget for this digital transition is crucial. The budget should be comprehensive, considering all facets of the transition, from new equipment and software to installation, employee training, and ongoing support.

Get quotes from different service providers for the digital services you need. Remember, cheaper is not always better, as reliability and customer service should also be key factors in your decision. Calculate the total costs, including any charges for installation and setup. Don’t forget to account for disruptions during the transition period. Allocate funds for testing and unforeseen issues that may arise.


How to Create a Plan for the BT PTSN Switch Off

Given the magnitude of the impending switch-off, it’s vital that businesses start planning for this transition now. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create your plan:

  1. Audit Your Current Infrastructure: Identify the communication services you currently use that rely on PTSN or ISDN. This may include your phone system, fax machine, alarm systems, payment terminals, lift lines, and more.
  2. Evaluate Your Options: Consider your alternative options for each of these services. BT recommends transitioning to digital solutions such as VoIP for phone systems, IP-based alarm systems, and broadband or mobile for internet services.
  3. Choose the Right Provider: Once you know what you need, research providers that offer these services. Consider factors like reliability, cost, scalability, and customer service.
  4. Make a Transition Plan: Outline a plan for transitioning each service from PTSN/ISDN to the new provider. Include a timeline and contingency plans to minimise business disruption.
  5. Test the New Systems: Before fully transitioning, test the new systems to ensure they meet your needs and function correctly. This may involve setting up a parallel system for a short period.
  6. Implement and Monitor: Once you’re satisfied with the new systems, you can proceed with the transition. Ensure you monitor the new systems regularly to identify and resolve any issues promptly.


The Full Roadmap Ahead for Businesses

Here’s a suggested roadmap to navigate the BT PTSN switch-off:

2023 Q1-Q2: Complete the audit of your current infrastructure and begin evaluating your options. Contact various service providers to understand their offerings and pricing.

2023 Q3-Q4: Finalise your decisions on new service providers and create a detailed transition plan. Begin testing new systems if possible.

2024 Q1-Q2: Start the transition of your services from PTSN/ISDN to the new systems. Begin with less critical systems to minimise potential disruption.

2024 Q3-Q4: Continue the transition process. By the end of the year, most, if not all, of your systems should be off PTSN/ISDN. Regularly monitor and adjust your new systems as necessary.

2025 Q1-Q2: Complete any remaining transitions. Ensure all systems are functioning as expected and make any necessary adjustments.

2025 Q3-Q4: Monitor the performance of your new systems and continue adjusting as needed. Celebrate your successful transition to a more modern, flexible, and cost-effective communication infrastructure.

The BT PTSN switch-off is a significant milestone in the evolution of telecommunications, signaling the end of traditional telephony services. While it may seem daunting, it’s also an opportunity for businesses to upgrade their communication systems to more modern, flexible, and efficient technologies. Start planning your transition now to ensure a smooth and successful switch.


Become Future Proof

The best way to ensure you can keep up-to-date with IT changes is by partnering with a proactive IT support provider. They can continuously monitor your systems, applications, and software, ensuring that they are always up-to-date and functioning optimally.

As your leading IT support specialists, we strive to provide the best possible service. Our team of experts can provide comprehensive guidance on the latest technology that aligns with your business needs.

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