The ISDN Switch Off – Don’t be left in the dark!

What is ISDN?

ISDN stands for Integrated Services Digital Network. This network is the current infrastructure that the UK uses for voice and data communication. The current network is built up of two elements, traditional ISDN (in the form of copper cables) and new superfast fibre (in the form of fibre optic cables). The copper cable is what is called the ‘ISDN network’. This infrastructure is currently maintained and operated by Openreach.

A lot of businesses and homes in the UK currently use the ISDN network, even those with fibre to the cabinet user a part of the network. However, many cities are now converting over to the alternative: fibre to the premises. This means your connection uses no copper wiring at all, it’s fibre direct from the cabinet to your door.

When will it switch off?

Openreach has a duty of care to it’s customers, and doesn’t want the switch off to leave people in the dark. If everything is on schedule, then Openreach will stop accepting new ISDN orders in 2020 with the whole switch off will be in 2025.

Why are they switching it off?

ISDN is really a very outdated technology now, with the advancement of new technology the fibre to the premises and IP telephony is far more superior. It’s a bit like when mobile networks phased out 2G for the far superior 3G, 4G and now 5G. Many businesses have already opted for IP telephony for it’s higher call quality and cost saving benefits.

What should I do?

First of all, don’t panic – ISDN is still going to be around for a few more years so there is plenty of time to upgrade your business to IP technology. Secondly, if you would like to have a look at what your options are, give us a call 0333 9969 334 or by emailing us on Thirdly, find out when your system is up for a renewal. Renewing your telephone system is a great way to upgrade to our VoIP systems. Finally, discover your options. The alternatives to ISDN are better for your business, offering higher quality calls and reduced running costs.

What is the alternatives to ISDN?

At Service Central, we can provide a full hosted telephony VoIP system. VoIP is a ‘internet phone call’ and can be made from mobiles, desk phones and soft phones (applications on computers and laptops). A good example of VoIP is FaceTime Audio or WhatsApp calling. With VoIP, there is no need for additional dedicated lines, this can reduce your businesses running costs.

What are the advantages of VoIP?

Cost Saving – Your business can upgrade to VoIP from as little as £10 per month, making it very cost effective

Superior Quality – With a good internet connection, a VoIP voice call will have a higher quality than a traditional telephone line

Scalability – VoIP is a very scalable solution. You can quickly and easily add more users and lines when required to suit your business

Mobile Ready – Our VoIP telephone systems integrate seamlessly with your mobile, meaning employees can take VoIP on the road

Fast Provisioning – VoIP can be provisioned at a much quicker time than waiting for a Openreach appointment.  

Number porting is available to retain your existing recognised telephone numbers. Or you can get a new one.


Let’s break this down – Voice over IP (VoIP)

You may have heard the term ‘VoIP’ or ‘Voice over IP’ banded around. VoIP is a type of phone call that uses a digital internet connection rather than an analogue line. It’s so simple, in fact, that VoIP is already a very common feature and you probably already use it. Good examples of a VoIP call would be FaceTime Audio, a WhatsApp call, or a Skype call from a computer.

Voice over IP (VoIP) diagram


Find out more about our telephony systems by clicking HERE or by contacting us HERE

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