The Delay of the PSTN Switch-Off

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The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switch-off has been a significant transition within the telecommunications industry, aiming to move from traditional copper-based networks to modern IP-based networks. Recently, the switch-off has been delayed by a further two years due to various technical, regulatory, and market readiness factors.

The PSTN has been the backbone of global telecommunications for over a century, providing reliable voice communication. However, technological advancements have rendered PSTN outdated compared to the capabilities of Internet Protocol (IP) networks. The planned switch-off and migration to IP networks promise enhanced services, lower maintenance costs, and increased flexibility.

The additional two-year delay in the PSTN switch-off reflects the complexity of the transition, addresses unresolved issues, and ensures a smoother migration process. This delay aims to mitigate risks associated with network reliability, customer adaptation, and regulatory compliance.

There are many reasons for the delay, including technical challenges, regulatory and compliance factors, market and customer readiness, and business continuity. Businesses both benefit and suffer from this delay in different ways. Firstly, it offers them more time to comprehend the shift and move to the best IP-based alternative. Secondly, it prolongs the time that their current infrastructure is available.

However, as the process is still ongoing and now is a crucial time to make the shift to the future of connection, companies still need to be ready for the eventual switch-off. Due to the considerable risk involved with using outdated equipment, maintaining analogue services is quite expensive.

In a further update, Openreach stated that they anticipate the migration to proceed at a rapid rate and that they would still be ending current WLR contracts for Internet service providers by the end of December 2025. (LINK)

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