The ISDN Switch off

Don't be left in the dark.

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ISDN review
UK ISDN Switched off

What is ISDN?

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network. The ISDN network is the current infrastructure that the UK uses for voice and data communication.

The UK's current voice and data network (built and maintained by Openreach) is made up of two elements: traditional ISDN (in the form of copper cables) and new superfast fibre (in the form of fibre optic cables).

This copper cable is what is called the 'ISDN network'.

Do I have ISDN?

A lot of businesses and homes in the UK use the ISDN network. Even businesses with fibre to the cabinet use a part of the ISDN network for their broadband and voice connections.

However, cities are now converting over to the alternative: fibre to the premises. Fibre to the premises (FTTP) means that your connection uses absolutely no copper wire. It's fibre direct from your door to the telephone exchange.

You can always give us a call and we can check if you have ISDN.

When does ISDN turn off?

Openreach have set goals to ensure that the ISDN switch off doesn't leave people in the dark.

If certain criteria are met, and everything is on schedule, then Openreach will stop accepting new ISDN orders in 2020.

If they continue on their target to switch everyone over to fibre broadband and IP telephony, then the UK's ISDN network is set to be switched off in 2025.

Why are they turning it off?

ISDN is becoming an outdated technology. It's replacement, fibre to the premises and IP telephony, is a far superior product.

As with all technology, telephony services have a lifecycle. Just as the mobile networks phased out 2G for the superior 3G and 4G, Openreach are phasing out ISDN for digital and IP communications.

Many businesses have already opted for IP telephony for it's higher call quality and cost saving benefits.

What should I do?

Firstly, don't worry. ISDN isn't going anywhere for a few years - so there is plenty of time to upgrade your business to IP telephony.

Secondly, you should check whether or not you have ISDN, you can do the by giving us a quick call on 01934 882200

Thirdly, find out when your telephone system is up for a renewal. Renewing your telephone system is a great way to upgrade to SIP Trunks or VoIP to future proof your telecoms.

Finally, discover your options. The alternatives to ISDN are better for your business, offering higher quality calls and reduced running costs. You can have a look at ISDN alternatives below.

What are the alternatives to ISDN?

ISDN is being replaced by digital and IP infrastructure. Here are some alternatives to traditional ISDN:

SIP Trunks
SIP Trunks are a form of voice connectivity that allows you to make and receive voice calls using your existing broadband line - rather than traditional telephone lines. Learn more about SIP

Voice over IP or 'VoIP' is an 'internet phone call'. VoIP calls can be made from mobiles, desk phones and soft phones. A good example of VoIP is FaceTime Audio or WhatsApp calling. Learn more about VoIP

Leased Lines
Leased lines are the champion of connectivity. Offering up to 1Gbps of totally dedicated 'full fibre' connectivity straight to your premises, a leased line is a great replacement for old copper cables. Learn more about leased lines

Hosted Voice
Hosted telephone systems are a modern alternative to traditional onsite hardware offering great flexibility and a wide variety of features such as call recording, hunt groups and more. Learn more about hosted voice

What if I still have ISDN in 2025?

Openreach's goal is to convert the UK's infrastructure to digital IP by 2025. If, in 2025, they fail to reach their criteria, then they will be unable to switch off the ISDN network as planned.

If your business is still using ISDN, then you should think about upgrading to there alternatives listed above so that you're ready for the change over.

If you have any questions about ISDN, fibre, VoIP, SIP or just want to chat about how the ISDN switch off may affect your business, you can give us a call on 01934 882200 for a no obligations chat. You can also email
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