What is the BT ISDN switch off?

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

What is the PSTN?

PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. 

It 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 then implemented a new network, ISDN. 

What is the ISDN?

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network.

The ISDN was an upgrade over the traditional PSTN that was introduced by BT in 1986. It replaced old analogue landlines to digital lines, adding features that were unavailable with classic telephone systems however, the time for an upgrade is needed once again.

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 your school may be at risk!

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!