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  • Writer's pictureAngela Sanna

ISDN switch off: The ultimate jargon buster

Updated: Jun 13, 2023

Businesses throughout the UK are facing a deadline to refresh their telephony services. Are you switched on about the PSTN switch off?


While Openreach continue their march towards an All IP (i.e., ‘full fibre’) network, the industry is a-buzz with jargon. Whether you’re dealing with copper or ethernet cables, it’s easy to get tangled up in the terminology.


With time almost down to the wire, we present to you what all those 'Techy' words really mean:

  • PSTN: Public Switched Telephone Network – old network that powers traditional telephone lines and legacy connectivity solutions.

  • ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network, – old network that transmits both data and voice over a digital line.

  • VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol – allows you to make and receive calls over the internet.

  • PBX: Private Branch Exchange – the general term used to describe a business telephone system.

  • FTTC: Fibre to the Cabinet – a broadband connection that runs from your provider to roadside cabinets and connects to your business via a copper wire.

  • FTTP: Fibre to the Premises – fastest type of fibre on the market, offering a dedicated fibre optic cable connection from your local exchange to your business – no copper connections required!

  • SoGEA: Single Order Generic Ethernet Access, a broadband connection that doesn’t require an analogue phone line.

  • Exchanges: A telephone exchange is a telecommunications system that, through ‘switching’, ensures calls are made and received. A phone call will be routed through several switches which operate on local, regional, national, or even international systems.

  • All IP: All Internet Protocol (All IP) could be described as the language that broadband-connected devices use to speak with each other and transmit data. When it comes to business telephony, All IP networks (or the latest mobile technology) are what businesses should be functioning on.

  • Stop Sell: Openreach are using the term ‘Stop Sell’ to describe the locations in which it will no longer be possible to buy WLR products. This includes all ISDN and analogue lines.

  • End of Life: Sounds pretty final, right? Once Stop Sell is completed throughout the UK, all WLR products will move to End of Life.

The PSTN switch off will see many businesses finally bid farewell to the days of traditional dialling, and for good reason. All IP solutions are set to boost productivity by around £59 billion each year.

There are savings to be made by making the right choice at the outset, but businesses must consider migration sooner rather than later.

Using the internet to route calls is more economical, offers improved customer experience and promotes efficiency and collaboration within your teams.

Acknowledging the PSTN switch off and acting now will bring your communication services up to date and improve business functionality. Now that you’re armed with the terminology, it’s time you made the right call for your business.

All IP solutions can be scaled and suited to your needs. Speak with one of our experts today to find out how the PSTN switch off might impact you, and what the perfect fit for your company looks like.






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