First 118 Openreach exchanges to withdraw copper services

Openreach starts the migration from analogue to a digital phone network, withdrawing the copper-based network from June 2021 and will complete the switchover from Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to IP by December 2025.

Whereas PSTN requires a complex network of physical lines, IP services only need the Internet to function, meaning communications providers can simply deliver a digital voice service over the top of a more modern Broadband system.

What’s changing? EVERYTHING!

Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA), is the new system being rolled out across the whole of Openreach’s network, to enable the switch-off of the UK copper telecoms infrastructure by December 2025.

Once an exchange area is served by full fibre, Openreach will withdraw the copper network to every business and domestic connection. Moving all customers from analogue to Voice over IP means that when fibre does arrive, the copper network can be switched off. This will happen by December 2025 at the latest.

Openreach have trialled this in Mildenhall and Salisbury with the next 118 exchanges now announced. 75% will have access to full fibre by June 2021 and Openreach will then accelerate deployment in these areas.

What does this mean for businesses?

2 Million UK businesses use ISDN lines and phone systems. All ISDN will be withdrawn, starting April 2025. All 2 Million businesses will have to have changed to Voice over IP by cut-off day – or lose their numbers. Moving to Voice over IP now will avoid the 18 months of panic and chaos that ISDN cut-off caused in Germany in 2018, as well as provide huge workability, integration and cost reductions Voice over IP brings.

How do you get the Inside Line?

Call Voice over IP specialists Pink Connect on: 0345 450 9393 or email tellmemore@pinkconnect.com.