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BT was once the UK’s sole home telephone operator, but with the advent of recent innovations from leading competitors like Virgin and TalkTalk, the landscape is changing. Competitive presence and technological advancements have led to BT beginning the transformation of its infrastructure, something which was announced in 2015.

BT is going to stop taking ISDN orders in 2020, with intentions to deactivate its ISDN network entirely by 2025. As a BT customer or someone who intends on getting an ISDN phone line installed, it’s useful to be aware of these circumstances so you can plan accordingly!

But before we go any further, let’s begin by taking a look at what ISDN is:

What is ISDN?

An Integrated Service Digital Network (ISDN) is a telephone network that simultaneously delivers voice and data services via digital lines. The digital switch occurred in 1986 when BT integrated digital technology to phase out what was becoming outdated.

When the ISDN was first introduced, its revolutionary inception was welcomed by users, as one of the first networks to support both analogue phone lines and video-conferencing systems. Remarkably, it offered the fastest internet access available at the time, boasting an impressive 128 kbps. It really is an eye-opener to think about how far we’ve come since then!

What was unique about the ISDN was how data could be transferred without distortion, from one source to another. This offered consumers a much better service than what they’d experienced previously.

However, the ISDN concept has served its time. Though it was exceptional for many years, bringing reliable connections to consumers, new broadband internet services like Cable Modems, WAN and DSL have rendered it somewhat obsolete.

It has become a legacy system, one which is a great backup phone system in the event of main line failures. With this being said, you’re probably intrigued to learn about BT’s incentives for switching off the ISDN.

Let’s delve a little deeper…

Why is BT Disconnecting its ISDN?

Technology is developing at a rate that’s difficult to comprehend. Companies are operating under an evolve or be extinct rationale, where it’s a case of incorporating digital innovations or risk retaining a competitive edge.

After all, with digital disruptors emerging by the second, companies must be vigilant and utilize a digital adoption approach, embracing the latest technology. 

This is where BT stands, which has encouraged a commercial decision which will drive costs down and increase profits. What’s amazing about ISDN technology is that the network has remained unchanged since 1986, despite necessary infrastructure changes which modern innovation.

BT has invested in VoIP, a technology which eradicates the need for the legacy ISDN. The entirety of BT’s services will be switched to IP, enabling BT to meet the ever-evolving demands of the modern consumer, and the challenges the business will face in the not too distant future.

BT will be focusing considerable resources into VoIP, but what exactly is this?

BT ISDN Switch Off

What is VoIP Technology?

BT has been planning to move its entire voice network to VoIP (Voice over IP) for some time. The technology doesn’t run over copper lines, meaning these antiquated lines are now redundant. Nowadays, the only thing consumers need is an active internet connection.

Switching to a VoIP solution offers many benefits, as a modern, progressive technology promoting the following advantages:

  • Reduced line rental due to less physical lines needed
  • The luxury of adding new lines with ease
  • An incredibly scalable and flexible solution

By pairing a cloud-based telephone system with a SIP line, you can easily transfer calls between locations. The ability to use your work line from anywhere in the country is a luxury. Businesses can benefit from greater flexibility, with the chance to see which users are available in real-time to take calls.

How Should Businesses Prepare for the ISDN Switch-off?

Essentially, after this year you won’t be able to add any more lines to your ISDN. You should really consider a plan to migrate over to VoIP phone calls, which will leverage the power of the internet for maximum advantage.

You’ll have until 2025 to review your options when the ISDN will be switched off. Though it’s difficult to believe, in many instances ISDN is one of the best services available, used by millions of businesses to this day!

That’s why BT must introduce a useful alternative service long before 2025.

If your current ISDN contract is up for renewal, now is a good time to talk to Leap IT and see how we can you with the switch.