Prepare your business for the ISDN switch off

The threats, risks and dangers posed by the big ISDN switch-off, and how to respond.

What’s happening?

As you may have heard, BT Openreach will soon be closing down all ISDN lines, meaning an end to landlines in the UK and the lines most commonly used to make phone calls across the world.

Once the shutdown is complete, a fully digital network will take its place, but it’s a move that could pose big risks to all businesses, not just those currently relying on landlines.

Am I behind in getting ready?

If you’ve only just heard about the Big Switch Off, you aren’t alone. A recent 'Which?' survey showed that 74% of those with a copper landline connection are unaware of the migration.

What’s more, 83% of organisations said they had no visibility of when their services would be switched off, and 77% said they have not prepared for any disruption the switch off of these services may cause.

Meanwhile, 46% have no idea that their existing analogue phone and ISDN services will be switched off completely by January 2027.

What are the risks?

If businesses are not prepared before the switch off date, they might find that they’re at a back of a long queue of instillations while also having no telephone system. This could cost both customers and revenue.

And while it may not be finalised until early 2027, businesses still using ISDN might feel the effects ahead of time, resulting in poor quality calls and unreliable services. This is because less ISDN-trained engineers will be available to fix faults, and availability of parts will decline.

Similarly, a lack of investment in the ISDN infrastructure and fewer resources means that any issues that arise won’t be resolved at speed.

Your ability to scale will also be restricted. This is because since 2020, ISDN customers haven’t been able to add new lines. This will limit your ability to expand or scale back your telecommunications service.

Are there benefits too?

VoIP, which replace many of the systems that sit on ISDN, only requires an internet connection to work. This means you’ll be able to say goodbye to costly, old-fashioned analogue phone lines in your offices.

Because of this, businesses will benefit from better call quality and faster networks. This will in turn improve innovation, increase productivity, and keep teams tight via hyperconnectivity. The move towards more flexible and inclusive hybrid experiences will therefore be bolstered and future-ready operations and intelligent workspaces will be better enabled.

How should I prepare?


Panic. There’s still time to get your ducks in a row. But, at the same time, it’s vital that you don’t stick your head in the sand.


Try to switch sooner rather than later.

Also, take time to understand your infrastructure. This will include thinking about the number of locations, the amount of bandwidth you have at each site and the telephone numbers you own.

There are several great partners out there who can support with your migration. Be sure to research your options and look for a company who can help make this process a smooth and successful one, readying your business for the future.

For more support, guidance and free 121 business advice, you can also speak to one of our V-Hub Digital Advisers

Get switched on before the big switch-off

Prepare your business for new ways of working and get ahead of the PSTN switch-off.

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Available Monday to Friday, 8am-6pm, our friendly team are here to provide guidance and support on the topics that matter to your business.

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