In 2025, the landline will cease to exist and UK businesses will need to find an alternative. While the switch to VoIP is inevitable, it's important to keep track of key milestones in this process.
We've compiled a timeline of important dates your small business needs to keep track of ahead of the BT shutdown.
November 2017: BT announced its intention to close the PSTN in 2025
Back in November BT announced that it will be closing PSTN which is a phone system that makes calls all over the world using analogue voice data by using copper telephone lines. BT decided to do this due to the equipment being too old and too much work to maintain.
May 2018: Openreach consultation on WLR withdrawal launched
In May 2018 BT had Openreach consultations for customers and industry groups to help them understand the move from analogue telephony to digital voice services.
July 2018: Openreach consultation closed
Consultation ran for ten weeks and closed on in July 2018.
December 2018: Formal notification to stop selling products to be withdrawn
In December 2018 BT gave a formal notification to the end of selling products. They are giving an initial five year notification of the intent to stop selling analogue network based products and services. This will be followed by a period of around two years for customers to migrate and complete withdrawal of the products.
May 2019: SOGEA/SOGfast planned Early Market Deployment Launch
BT confirmed that their new Single Order Generic Ethernet Access product, which enables consumers to buy a standalone fibre broadband line without the phone service, has now entered Early Market Deployment and put up prices.
March 2020: Target date for SOTAP to commence trials
This trial will be using test lines in a controlled environment to specifically concentrate on the migration journeys from WLR in the early stages.
December 2020: Five year reminder that WLR is being withdrawn
BT will remind everyone that there will no longer be landlines. It is important to mark this date on your calendar because the end of WLR will be coming soon. If you have not made a switch to another provider your business will need to plan for the switch. Target trial stop sell dates for Salisbury.
September 2023: Stop selling new supply of WLR PSTN, ISDN2 and ISDN30
In September 2023 BT will no longer sell new WLR PSTN, ISDN2 and ISDN30 lines.
December 2025: WLR withdrawn
By December 2025 the landlines cease to exist. Small businesses need to do now to plan their switch to other VoIP telephone systems before the shutdown because they will not be able to make phone calls.
How to plan
To see how bOnline can help your small business with the BT shutdown check out our packages or call our team on 0203 697 4166.