Openreach, a subsidiary of BT, is undertaking a nationwide project which will see millions of phone lines upgraded from analogue technology to new digital-based services, and through its pending Call Waiting List, it’s looking to raise awareness and understanding of the upgrades among businesses.
The waiting list will look to provide timely information, guidance and advice for businesses of different sizes, in different sectors and with different needs, to help them make informed decisions about upgrading.
This is particularly important for vital critical national infrastructure (CNI) organisations, to ensure the upgrade can be completed smoothly, and with minimal disruption for the wider public.
BT has announced the switch off of all public switched telephone network (PSTN) services by 2025, and to keep phone lines operational for companies of all sizes, Openreach plans to migrate over 14 million traditional lines across the UK onto new digital services over the next five years.
Openreach’s phone line transformation initiative not only looks to upgrade traditional landlines, but would also affect other systems which are dependent on phone lines impacted, such as alarms and lifts.
To retire the analogue phone network by the end of 2025, an average of 50,000 analogue lines will need to be upgraded to digital per week.
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“This is an important early step in upgrading the UK. We know businesses are time-poor and the choice to upgrade may sit at the end of a long-list of other priorities that will seem more pressing,” said James Lilley, director of managed migrations at Openreach.
“By launching the Call Waiting List, we hope to help those businesses plan their upgrades effectively, with regular updates about our activities and the potential implications on their operations, as well as guidance and examples of how they can make the transition a smooth one.
“We’re also working closely with service providers to make sure any changes happen as smoothly as possible. This upgrade will ultimately provide the nation with faster and more reliable services, so we encourage all businesses in the UK to take steps now to understand what they’ll need to do.”
Matthew Evans, director of markets at techUK, commented: “I encourage all organisations, particularly those in the CNI sectors or those that depend on services provided over analogue lines, to sign up to the Call Waiting List newsletter.
“The upgrade to digital services will bring us into the 21st Century, as well as being a key stepping-stone on the path to full fibre.
“Whilst 2025 seems a long way off, it is essential that businesses and organisation start to take action today – and the best first step is to sign up to the newsletter to stay engaged in the migration and find out more about the action you need to take.”
UK businesses can sign up to Openreach’s Call Waiting List newsletter here.