Are SMBs Ready for the PSTN Switch Off? Statistics Say… Probably Not

22nd February 2023

The big 2025 PSTN switch-off is just around the corner. It’s less than two years away, which means small to medium businesses need to prioritise moving communications over to VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) as soon as possible.

However, a survey undertaken by Spitfire Network Services suggests that the majority of British SMBs are far from ready. 72% of 400 UK respondents confirmed that they didn’t see the PSTN switch-off to be a priority.

This could be a dangerous move for business owners, as they may find the switchover requires more planning than they anticipate. Should they act far enough ahead of time, of course, they may be able to transition smoothly

Switch Off Hesitancy

SNS’ ‘Switch Off Hesitancy’ survey provides worrying reading. Not only do almost three-quarters of UK businesses not see the PSTN transition as a legitimate concern, but as many as 42% of respondents aren’t even aware of the switch off, full stop.

Legacy telephony services will be retired as of 2025, but for many business owners, this seems to be far enough away to put towards the backs of their minds.

It’s not too clear why there’s so much hesitancy surrounding the switch off – but one thing’s for certain. Businesses are, by and large, putting off moving to VoIP to keep their operations ticking over.

With that in mind, what are the dangers of not being ready for the big switch off?

It’s Not a Last-Minute Job

There seems to be a broad misconception that switching from PSTN to VoIP will be a one-day process – and that businesses can simply leap from one to the other on the day of switch off.

While setting up a VoIP service is likely smoother and more efficient than many imagine, leaving the transition until the last minute could have detrimental effects on the running of any given business.

Disconnecting and decommissioning a network takes time – and leaving moving over to VoIP until 2025 could leave a business with serious downtime and risk of cost leakage.

Failing to act before the deadline could leave business owners with gulfs of downtime that strand customers without support, and team members scrambling to get things fixed.

Ultimately, business owners may not know if there will be any potential delays to the transition. This means that while they may have best-laid plans, they could face haemorrhaging money unnecessarily.

 

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Why Does the Switch Off Matter?

BT’s retirement of legacy PSTN is a huge step towards the future of digital communications. While VoIP technology is by no means a new phenomenon, 2025 will mark the end of a long era in telephony. The lines and systems we’ve all used for decades will no longer work – meaning that, much like we all moved from analogue to digital TV, now is the time to embrace the future.

For businesses, moving to VoIP holds plenty of benefits. A data-based communications system, for example, will offer greater stability than traditional telephony. There is negligible risk of downtime as a result of weather or line problems, for example.

What’s more, VoIP is infinitely scalable in a world built around fast growth. While installing and scaling traditional lines and networks will have taken considerable time to process in years gone by, VoIP is simple to build up, scale back and add devices to.

This doesn’t mean, however, that moving from PSTN to VoIP is a one-and-done affair, however. That, in fact, may be where much of the confusion is coming from.

Why Move Now?

Telecommunications experts all agree on one thing – the best time to start transitioning from PSTN to VoIP is now.

Leaving the switchover until the last minute will not only prove difficult if problems arise, but will also leave employees with very little time to adjust to the new systems in play.

While VoIP is quick and easy to adapt to and scale up with, it’s always a good idea to account for training. This way, management and team members can easily continue working on projects and attending to clients and customers as they see fit.

Moving over to VoIP now will also give businesses time to settle into the new standard. Hitting the ground running on changeover day poses an impossible task! Even if you are running a small team, risking any kind of downtime or loss of business is out of the question.

Booking VoIP installation early will also give business owners the chance to explore any questions or concerns they may have with installers and experts. It’ll also provide them with the opportunity to hire or invest in new equipment that will work seamlessly with the new network in place.

Don’t Let Hesitancy Rule You

Moving from PSTN to VoIP can seem like a big leap – and you’re not incorrect for feeling this way. Undoing years of traditional telephony will feel strange at first, but the more efficient, reliable and overall cheaper standards available through VoIP will soon be worth the switch.

Business owners appear to be hesitant about the PSTN switch off because they don’t see it as a vital matter. What’s more, the same owners may feel that moving over is too much hassle or expense – and that they need to prioritise the running of their businesses.

Take it from VoIP experts – prioritising the future of your business is just as important, if not more so.

Planet Telecom offers a range of different VoIP services, solutions and packages to help SMBs move smoothly from PSTN to digital communications. What’s more, the sooner you move across, the sooner you can get ahead of other businesses before the 2025 transition.

There are many different benefits to moving to VoIP – and not just because PSTN is set to shut down! If you’d like to know more about how your business could benefit from a new standard in digital communications, call Planet Telecom today or take a closer look at the packages we have available online.