Your AF guide to
PSTN Switch-off

Robert George, from your AF Telecoms team, explains the upcoming changes to UK telecoms.

 

What is the PSTN Switch-off?

Openreach is closing Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN) services in December 2025. Traditional landline telephone numbers on copper lines will be ceased.

 

Why is this happening?

PSTN services are outdated. They are fragile, prone to faults and difficult to maintain as replacement parts are scarce.

 

What does this mean for you?

Services using the PSTN product such as some broadbands, alarms, Electronic Point of Sale (EPOS) systems, entry systems, security cameras, and lift phones will be affected.

 

What is the replacement technology?

Internet Protocol (IP) telephony also known as Voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP

Enables a landline number to work over the internet.

Already adopted by businesses globally, especially during the pandemic when home working boomed. Calls can be handled from anywhere in the world without loss of functionality.

Can be one or more handsets plugged into internet connections or can be as simple as an app on a mobile phone or laptop.

If you want a geographic telephone number after the switch off you must have replacement technology before 1st January 2026.

 

What are your options?

If you have a landline installed at your home, office, farm building etc, ask yourself how you use it –

1. You use internet but don’t need a landline for calls.

Your provider will convert the broadband to a type that works without a PSTN service called SoGEA, which is cheaper as there is no PSTN line rental to pay.

Your provider can also check if your property can get Fibre to The Premises (FTTP) broadband, which replaces a copper line with a fibre optic line. FTTP download speeds can be up to 1000 MBPS, much higher than SoGEA.

 

2. You use internet and you need a landline for calls.

While your broadband is being changed to SoGEA or FTTP your telephone number will be converted to VoIP. Packages range from a single number with one handset or app for a home/small office to unlimited packages for big businesses with direct dials for lots of staff.

Simple solutions can be agreed in a telephone call. For complex set-up’s AF suppliers have specialists who’ll visit you, listen to what you need and talk you through options. If you’d like to meet a specialist let us know.

 

3. You don’t have broadband, or it’s really slow, but need a landline. Let us move your landline number to an app that will run on your smartphone – straightforward and low cost. Can be put onto a desk phone if your broadband options improve in the future.

If your line doesn’t have broadband, but can get SoGEA, you can order it and get a VoIP package for your phone number to work on.

Openreach are about to release a new type of broadband called Single Order Temporary Access Product (SoTAP) – to replace ADSL broadband which will stop working when PSTN is switched off. You can have an IP package running over it in the same way as VoIP packages run over SoGEA or FTTP. Eventually SoTAP will be replaced with FTTP.

 

When should you make the change?

Now! Get a better service for less cost. Many people will leave it to the last minute to make the changes and there may be shortage of engineers, the price could rise and availability of hardware reduce.

Your AF Telecoms team is working hard to ensure our Members are prepared. If you buy affected services through AF, our suppliers will contact you to talk through your options and build a bespoke plan to help you to transition to the new technology. Any packages they quote you will be at AF rates.

If you’d like us to start exploring your options today, complete our short online questionnaire. We’ll be in touch.

Alternatively email telecoms@af.farm or call 01603 881 909.

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