Openreach plans to switch off its analogue copper lines including the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and ISDN for businesses by December 2025. Openreach is aiming to migrate to an all IP (internet protocol) network, so that telephone calls will be made with Voice over IP (VoIP). If you are using Skype, WhatsApp calls, or any internet-based telephone service, video services (Zoom, MS Teams), you are already using VoIP. VoIP has advantages as it reduces cost and allows more service providers to offer their services.
Across the country, PSTN switch off will have a major impact on services that rely on the traditional analogue telephone line. For example, many businesses use analogue phone lines for their payment gateways, ATM’s, and point of sale machines. Hospitality venues still use analogue phones in rooms, bars, and even lifts have telephones connected for emergency calls. Burglar Alarms and Home Security Monitoring systems also rely on the analogue copper line in case to call the Police or emergency services. Many meters and traffic lights use the analogue phones to connect to their national grids. For many residents, they may have a facility like telecare or elderly monitoring systems that again use the traditional copper phone lines. So, businesses and residents need to be prepared for the changes in the future, as with the PSTN switch off, all of these services will be impacted.
Whilst much of the country in towns & cities are predominantly using their mobiles for voice calls, in rural areas such as Grayshott and other villages, where the mobile signal is not as strong and widespread, fixed telephone lines are a necessity and a lifeline to many residents. So, it may cause major disruption, unless there are more Mobile masts to cover our rural areas, or there is a new all IP network that connects to each home & business by 2025.
We know that Openreach have a plan to do a migration of their telephone exchanges to all IP and have announced their plans (1). The challenge is that the network from the exchange/cabinet to each home/business is still over the legacy copper which may not be migrated in time, especially in rural areas, and so, some disruption may be faced by residents & businesses.
The government has initiated a plan to make sure at least 85% of the country by 2025 will be enabled with gigabit connectivity, and therefore many operators are trying to build new Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) networks to meet these aims and get 85% of the country connected. This is a big challenge as in the UK, only 18% of the country to date has fibre connection, and there is a major push to connect the urban cities and large towns first. The challenge will be for rural villages and smaller communities that by 2025 have not yet been enabled with a new fibre network, as they will suffer greatly since the same date is also the planned date for the PSTN switch off.
Grayshott Gigabit aims to solve this issue at least in the areas we are looking to build our new FTTP network. We hope to cover Grayshott, Headley Down & Headley starting in Summer this year as part of Phase 1 with our rollout of full fibre infrastructure. Our plans are then to start building our full fibre connectivity to other rural surrounding towns & villages in 2022. Our aims are to cover the rural parishes covering East Hampshire & Waverley in phase 2.
With full fibre & gigabit speeds, residents & businesses can take advantage of Wi-Fi Calling, better Skype, Zoom & Video Calls, and also can take much better priced VoIP call plans from the VoIP service providers.
If you are interested to take advantage of gigabit full fibre, please register your interest at www.grayshottgigabit.com