Managed.IT - issue 65

21 TELEPHONY The copper network is ageing rapidly and has become less reliable and more costly to maintain. The Big Switch Off is an initiative to modernise the UK’s telecoms infrastructure and ultimately to move the UK to a full fibre network. Back in September 2023 Openreach initiated a National Stop Sell, putting a stop to the order of any new PSTN analogue services including digital ISDN telephony and amendments or upgrades to existing services. This was a watershed moment, compelling businesses and organisations to migrate these services to IP-based communication. What services will be affected? With less than two years to the Big Switch Off, millions of broadband and telephone lines still rely on outdated network infrastructure provided by Openreach’s local access services. n Analogue lines – used by PDQ machines, lifts, fax, monitoring and alarm systems. n ISDN2e and ISDN30e lines – used with traditional telephone systems. n Broadband services using an analogue bearer line. Preparing for the 2025 Big Switch Off What services will replace these? While the move to all-IP is nonnegotiable, there are options within this framework based on budget, need and location. Dedicated Fibre Ethernet, FTTP & SOGEA Ethernet and Broadband, VoIP telephony and even mobile data and telephony all stand as suitable options, each catering to specific requirements and applications. Key to Spitfire’s IP connectivity products is attention to call quality. In contrast to the simplicity of copper-based systems designed for voice, the transition to allIP introduces a host of new considerations. For example, SOGEA Broadband includes 350Kbps of Real Time QoS and prioritisation on downstream data traffic (as standard) to mitigate against the risk of poor call quality when using IP for voice alongside data. For just a small price increase, SOGEA Ethernet is fully Voice Approved, with a performance Service Level Agreement similar to its big brother Dedicated Fibre Ethernet! Safeguarding voice traffic as it traverses both Local Area Networks (LANs) and Wide Area Networks (WANs) will become crucial to businesses. A Spitfire managed end-to-end solution can be a cost-effective option, particularly for large and complex network deployments, thanks to an integrated approach that enhances support, simplifies billing and reduces time inefficiencies associated with managing multiple supplier relationships. Where a simple replacement of an analogue telephone line is required, consider our IP Voice service. What should I do next? You must act now. Two years may still seem some way off. However, with millions of lines and numbers to be moved is it sensible to wait for the inevitable rush... and subsequent crush!? Assess existing services, define a migration roadmap, and explore suitable options to safeguard necessary voice quality and enhance resilience. This journey from copper to an all-IP future of fibre and cloud telephony is not just a necessity; it’s an opportunity to redefine how businesses and organisations communicate, collaborate and innovate in the digital age. Contact Spitfire to find out how their migration roadmap can help prepare your business for the switch off. In 2025 Openreach will shut down their PSTN analogue and digital network as an all-IP network is set to take over