What is the 2025 Big Switch Off? - Country Connect

What is the 2025 Big Switch Off?

June 24, 2022

Getting Gigabit Ready for the 2025 Big Switch Off.

You are probably wondering what is the 2025 Big Switch Off? BT Openreach plans to switch off its PSTN and ISDN networks in favour of new services starting in 2023 and fully switching off in 2025. This transition will happen gradually over the next few years as the legacy systems are phased out. This change is part of wider story of upgrading all UK communications infrastructure as driven by Government in order to make the UK Gigabit ready and future-proofed. It is the biggest change that the telecoms and communications industry has seen in 30 years and you might be wondering what action you need to take. 

Jargon-busting! What are PSTN & ISDN Networks?

This falls into the category of ‘things you didn’t know you needed to know’. However, it will help you to understand the forthcoming changes to the national phone system.  The UK’s telephone system is called PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network). It's a network of analogue copper lines that has been around since 1876! Since then, it has been developed and updated but it is a very old system that isn’t fit for today's digital needs.  Capabilities have been added to the PTSN network including the first wave of digital broadband lines in the 1980's. These are called  ISDN (or Integrated Services Digital Network) lines.  

Why are legacy phone systems being switched off?

PTSN and ISDN systems are now out of date in terms of capability and are costly to run and maintain. Despite having been updated radically over the decades, these lines are still essentially the same as the original ones of the 1800s! All other fields of technology are advancing at lightning speed around us. Therefore  we need upgraded systems that can cope with the increased demand for data. Or in other words, a Gigabit ready network.

What does the Big Switch Off mean for consumers?

What will happen to landlines when the old BT legacy systems are switched off in 2025? Many people have already migrated to digital voice services or VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). VoIP is a technology that allows you to make voice calls using a broadband Internet connection. This will replace the the legacy (PTSN analogue) phone lines.  Full fibre broadband is Gigabit ready and being rolled out across the country already. Customers are also being offered the option to ditch their traditional (PTSN) phone line altogether and make the move to VoIP.  Traditional phone services will continue to work for a couple of years but from 2023 they won't be available to new or current customers. By December 2025 they will be withdrawn entirely. The switch from analogue phone lines to VoIP is coming so why wait?!  With a broadband connection it’s simple to add on VoIP services and keep your existing landline number. Here at Country Connect we offer VoIP services as a cost-effective add on to your full fibre broadband. You can read more about our VoIP packages in this blog: VoIP - Everything You Need to Know .

What does the Big Switch Off mean for businesses?

2.4 million UK businesses aren’t ready for the switch off and still rely on ISDN lines for their telecommunications. Here are a few steps that businesses can take to future proof their systems:
  • Ensure you have a dependable and strong internet connection, such as full fibre. If not, it’s a good time to think about upgrading.
  • Find out when your contract ends. This will give an idea of timings to plan for making the switch.
  • It's not a wise idea to simply renew your current contract for the sake of convenience. Switching now will save time and money in the long run.
  • Avoid purchasing outdated hardware such as desk phones and phone lines as they will soon become obsolete.
  • Choose a cloud-based telephone service. This will allow the workforce to work from anywhere and provide big savings on contracts and rental of phone lines. 
Start preparing now for the 2025 Big Switch Off to avoid negative impacts on your businesses or costly last-minute solutions! 


Take action now before the 2025 Big Switch Off. Whether you’re a consumer or a business, moving to VoIP and using full fibre broadband is the most flexible and cost-effective solution AND you will beat the rush that will come as 2025 approaches!  Contact us on 01633 530519 or
email at [email protected]
if you would like some help or advice from our expert team about the best solution for your home or business.