Education Buying - Are you ready for the UK's big network switch?

Are you ready for the UK's big network switch?

Telecoms throughout the UK are changing forever in the coming years. BT recently announced that by 2025 the UK’s PSTN network will be switched off in its entirety, meaning all schools will need to start making plans regarding their current telecoms contracts.

The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) has played a crucial role as the country’s mobile network backbone for decades, with some of the copper wires originally placed in the 19th century still being used today! The technological world has developed a staggering amount since the 19th century and BT has made the decision to move to a fully digital service instead – Openreach.

How does this affect you?

From this change, everything will need to be switched over to the new digital service. Anything that currently makes use of mobile networks such as:

  • Telephones
  • Alarms
  • Door Entry Systems
  • CCTV
  • EPOS Machines
  • And much more…

All educational establishments will have to take this into account, and while it seems like the perfect storm for you to get taken advantage of when renewing contracts, if you make use of outside help, you’d be surprised at how you can turn this into a savings opportunity.

Even if you are currently with a different provider other than BT, their Openreach systems still own the majority of the UK’s telecom line network, meaning that unfortunately, no school can ignore this change.

Depending on how large your current telecoms contracts are, it will require a lot of planning, doubly so if you are a multi academy trust with lots of schools. Remember, 2025 is the official switch period so make sure you check your notice periods sooner rather than later, before it becomes a much bigger financial risk!

What can you do about this?

With the news of this change, telecoms suppliers may look at adding extra charges to renewed contracts to take advantage of the situation – overcharging you for systems and potentially trapping you in their contracts in extreme circumstances. It’s key to get your telecom’s budget in line for these upcoming changes, but if you are struggling, now is the perfect time to get outside help, especially if you are a MAT!

Potential savings are always a possibility, have you checked your contracts recently? Have you audited recently? Have you been letting your contract renew without properly managing the supplier? Do you know the expiration date of your telecom’s contracts?

If the answer to these questions were ‘no’ then you are putting your school at risk. It may seem difficult, but we are here to ease your burden!

Education Buying’s telecom’s framework has been developed by schools, for schools to ensure your school is always getting the best value for money, no matter what the future looks like. If you’d like to get in touch with our procurement experts for a consultation or see how else we can help, please don’t hesitate to do so.

Let’s work together and start saving!