What is the 2025 digital switch over, will it effect your business?

All traditional landlines in the UK are set to be switched off by 2025. The analogue, copper wire phone network, also known as the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN), is being retired, rendering landline phones unusable. If you have other systems connected to your phone line, such as alarms, telecare systems, CCTV, or certain electricity meters, they will also cease to function unless you make the switch to digital.

So, what does this mean, and why is the old system being phased out? If you’re one of the 62% of business owners still using a landline in 2023, here’s everything you need to know.

What is the Digital Switchover 2025?

To keep your landline and other PSTN systems operational, you’ll need to transition to a digital, internet-based alternative, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). In 2016, it was announced that all analogue phone lines in the UK would be updated to digital internet-based services by 2025. If you currently use a landline in your home or business, you’ll be affected by this transition.

Openreach, the BT Group company responsible for UK phone and broadband lines, is on track to complete the switch on time. However, it’s advisable to start considering the switch to digital sooner rather than later.

ACUTEC can assist you in transitioning to superfast business broadband and a VoIP telephone line to future-proof your business. VoIP phone services offer numerous features beyond current landline technology, so making the switch now could positively impact your business operations. We’ll take a closer look at the pros and cons of switching a bit later, but first – why are we going to the trouble of switching everything off?

Why is the Analogue Copper Landline Network Being Switched Off?

The digital switchover is happening because the current PSTN system needs updating. The ageing analogue system is becoming increasingly expensive to run, and although a lot of work is needed to switch to digital, using the internet to make calls should be more cost-effective and even offer clearer calls with faster connection speeds. 

The first copper phone line network was set up in 1877 and was designed to transmit voice calls. That’s why internet speeds aren’t as fast when data is sent along copper wires.

The first fibre lines were introduced in 1977. This meant larger amounts of data – not just voice calls – could be sent more quickly and paved the way for the current broadband network. 

The copper wires will no longer be used when PSTN is switched off, meaning all voice calls and other systems that were connected to the network will need an internet connection to work.

Digital voice services are already being offered by some phone companies, but the main phone providers (BT, Sky, TalkTalk) have different timescales for their mandatory switchovers. However, they are on target and expect all home phone and business customers to be digital by 2025.

The switch won’t just affect landline phones, it will affect anything that connects to PSTN, including alarms, CCTV, and door-entry systems. To avoid disruption when the switchover happens, you should check with your provider to see if these systems will be digitally compatible or if they’ll need upgrading.

What Will Replace Landlines in 2025?

Although the official date for the digital switchover is the end of 2025, the test rollout has already commenced, with many businesses transitioning to VoIP. The UK is adopting VoIP at a faster rate than other European countries.

But it looks like there’s still a lot of work to be done. Figures from a National Business Communications survey show that while more than two-thirds (62.1%) of businesses still use a landline, more than a third (37.9%) have no idea what the big analogue switch-off is.

As Neil Fletcher, Technical Director at ACUTEC, advises, businesses should make the switch sooner rather than later to avoid potential issues as the final switch-off date approaches. ACUTEC can guide you through the transition process, ensuring a smooth switch to digital services.


VoIP or ‘Voice Over Internet Protocol’ means voice calls can be made via the internet rather than using a wire like the current system.

A lot of phone users already use VoIP systems without even realising it. For example, the most popular examples of VoIP are Skype and WhatsApp. Often VoIP options are good for businesses as calls and messaging costs less than regular calling or texting. 

What are the other alternatives on offer to replace analogue? When your devices get switched over, they will be using an IP system like VoIP or SoGEA, which will be connected by either FTTC or FTTP.

What’s the difference between voice and data traffic?

Data is anything you send or receive via the internet, like photos, videos and web pages.

But with voice traffic, phone and video calls, the whole message has to travel in sequence in one continuous chunk.

Although all these choices may sound overwhelming, the tech-enabled team at ACUTEC will be able to help you work out which option is best for you.

What systems will be affected by the analogue switch-off? 

Although the digital switchover should run smoothly, business systems need to be checked for compatibility issues of ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to research the main systems you use in your business, not left until the last moment. 

During the digital switchover, there will be changes to the way some older equipment works with new digital technology. If you use devices that are directly linked to your phone line you should speak to the provider of those services to check if they will be compatible with the digital system.

What happens to a digital phone line if there’s a power cut or broadband is down? 

The current analogue system is linked to your local telephone exchange which has its own power supply. At the moment your landline will work even if your electricity supply isn’t working, you’ll still be able to make calls if your electricity is down.

But the new system will rely on your own electricity supply. 

This means if there is a power cut in your premises, you won’t be able to make or take landline calls using the digital network. Any other devices and systems connected to the digital network will also stop working during an outage. 

An alternative is to have a battery backup for your broadband router, then you will be able to access the internet even if there’s been a power cut. A mobile phone is also good to have as a backup. 

You can contact your provider directly to discuss your options or speak to the team at ACUTEC. Many of our preferred suppliers offer 4G backup as standard or as an add-on to make sure you’re never without a connection. 

When will the switch-off happen? 

Tests are already happening in some parts of the UK and have been for the last few years. All analogue systems will be turned off by December 2025, but Openreach will be switching off UK services at different stages. 

The first stage of the digital switchover is called the ‘stop sell’ phase and is already underway. Stop sell means that no new analogue services will be sold to customers after once an exchange area is 75% full-fibre enabled.

When this happens, no more traditional phone line services and FTTC broadband will be sold to new and existing customers in that area. Openreach has stopped selling traditional phone lines in all exchange areas as of September 2023.

This means that no new customers will be able to sign up for analogue services and those who want new services will have to go digital. Customers with current analogue services won’t be able to change anything about their analogue tariff either. 

To help with the transition to fully digital services. You can read the full Openreach timeline here.

Steps take to prepare for the digital switchover.

Conduct a digital readiness assessment

If you’re currently using systems linked to the analogue phone network, it’s essential to start the transition now. Our team can help you each step of the way, some of our assessment process cover:

  1. Conduct a digital readiness assessment.
  2. Develop a digital transition plan.
  3. Update or implement new technology.
  4. Provide training to staff.
  5. Test and optimise systems.

ACUTEC’s tech-enabled team is available to assist you in determining the best options for your business and ensuring a seamless transition to digital.

Developing digital transition plan.

Our team are here to help you to make an action plan outlining what you need to do for the transition. This could include:

  • Replace the landline with a VoIP system
  • Move all customer and supplier details to the Cloud
  • Check if the existing payment terminals work with the digital system
  • Explain the transition with your employees to make them aware and discuss any training that’s needed.

Update or implement new technology

You may have found some systems that need replacing or upgrading to work with a digital system.

  • It’s best to upgrade to a digital phone system if you are currently using a traditional landline. There are several different VoIP handsets that are usually available, and in most cases, you can keep your existing phone number.


  • You’ll need to transfer all your important files to a digital cloud system — think of customer and supplier details that you need to access regularly. A cloud system normally comes as part of a digital phone system in a web-based app that you can install on your business computer, laptop or smartphone.


  • Remember that if you don’t update all your systems that run on an analogue network, they will stop working when the switch is carried out.

Test and optimise systems

As with anything new, it doesn’t always go to plan the first time around. Expect some teething issues as your staff get used to new ways of working and monitor how your business operates using a fully digital system.

If you’re using any adapters — like for VoIP telephone — check over time if they are reliable. If things aren’t working properly, it may be better, in the long run, to upgrade your equipment to a digitally compatible alternative.

Are there any legal compliances in place for businesses?

Since VoIP systems work by storing data online, you’ll need to be clued up on data protection regulations or (GDPR) if you aren’t already familiar with them. These regulations apply to all businesses in the UK.

Other regulations that you should be aware of when using electronic communications, including The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) set out by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

Stay Informed and Stay Connected

The digital switchover presents both challenges and opportunities for businesses. By preparing early and utilising the expertise of ACUTEC, you can navigate this transition with confidence and ensure your business remains connected.

We can compare VoIP options and provide advice on different digital avenues that might be best suited to your business. The switchover is fast approaching, so why not get it sorted sooner rather than later?

Check out our range of Business Communication Solutions here

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