Tom Melhuish 5 min read

PSTN ‘stop sell’: All you need to know

You may have heard about the big switch off of analogue landlines in 2027, but have you heard of PSTN ‘Stop Sell’?

In this blog post, we look deeper into the end of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and what this means for your business.

What is the PSTN ‘stop sell?’

The PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) ‘stop sell’ is a policy by Openreach to halt the sale of analogue phone lines and Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) services in the UK.

Openreach is in the middle of its full-fibre rollout, has already connected 10 million premises, and aims to connect 25 million by the end of December 2026.

The ultimate goal is to transition everyone in the UK to Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) lines, but this is a work in progress as many areas still lack this service.

Consumers lacking access to full fibre business broadband can still sign up for ADSL and FTTC broadband until the FTTP rollout is complete.

You can check Openreach’s fibre availability here to see the status in your area.

From September 5, 2023, FTTC and ADSL broadband and phone line packages will no longer be available to new users if FTTP is available.

Existing FTTC or ADSL customers will have until December 2025 to switch to an FTTP package, if available.

Additionally, changes to existing legacy telephone infrastructure will also be restricted in FTTP areas, marking an end to the analogue era in the UK.

Why is Openreach switching off the PSTN

The existing Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) still relies on outdated copper cables, which are increasingly costly and complex to maintain.

As the demand for faster and more reliable connectivity grows among businesses and consumers, the copper-based system is rapidly becoming obsolete.

Openreach mandates that all UK providers transition to a fully digital, IP-based network over a fibre infrastructure.

What does the PSTN ‘stop sell’ mean for me?

Starting 5 September 2023, you will no longer be able to switch to any PSTN-based telephone or broadband services if you’re in an area where the full-fibre (FTTP) rollout is complete.

If you are using PSTN-based business phone lines or broadband, you will need to upgrade your services by December 2025.

At Business Broadband Hub, you can make this transition seamless by switching business broadband providers before these deadlines.

Simply insert your postcode into our comparison tools to compare business broadband deals.

Are there any exceptions?

There are no exceptions to the PSTN ‘stop sell’ policy.

Once full-fibre is available in your area, you’ll be unable to switch to FTTC or ADSL broadband packages or add new lines or extra channels to your existing ISDN setup

When the final switch-off occurs in December 2025, your current services will be fully phased out.

At Business Broadband Hub, we offer assistance in transitioning both your business and home to full-fibre broadband and telephone services, making the switch seamless and timely.

What is the Priority Exchange programme, and will it be rolled out?

In preparation for the full-fibre transition by 2025, Openreach is implementing a phased “Priority Exchange Programme” across the UK.

To see if your local exchange is part of this programme, you can check the list on Openreach’s website.

New exchanges will be added to the rollout on a quarterly basis.

Source: Openreach

What do the order restrictions mean?

There’s no cause for concern regarding the PSTN ‘stop sell.’ If you’re in an area with full-fibre coverage, you won’t be able to switch to traditional broadband or telephone services after September 5, 2025.

Only FTTP broadband and VoIP telephone services will be available to you with Openreach. Alternatives like Virgin Media‘s cable network, 5G and Starlink are options.

Find the best business broadband provider for your company using our business broadband comparison service to evaluate your options and make the transition effortlessly.

If you currently have an FTTC or ADSL broadband (and perhaps phone) package, you won’t be able to modify your service and must transition to full-fibre by December 2025.

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