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UK faces continuity risk as nearly half of businesses unaware of impending PSTN switch-off

  • Only 54% of UK businesses that will be impacted by the 2025 PSTN Switch-Off are aware of the discontinuation.
  • 74% of UK businesses do not have migration plan in place ahead of 2025 PSTN Switch-Off

Today, leading technology-based provider of communications services across Europe, Gamma Communications plc (“Gamma”), in collaboration with the Centre for Economics Business Research (Cebr) launches a new report looking at the impact of the impending 2025 PSTN Switch-Off on businesses in the UK.

The report, titled ‘The Big Switch-Off: Are UK Businesses Aware and Prepared?’ highlights that nearly one third (30%) of UK businesses are in the dark about the discontinuation of BT Openreach’s Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) due to be completed by December 2025. According to the analysis, which also surveyed 400 business decision makers in the UK, only 54% of businesses that will be directly impacted by the Switch-Off, are currently aware of discontinuation. This is a cause for concern as businesses are unknowingly putting their continuity at risk.

Though the Switch-Off is already underway, three quarters (74%) of businesses are yet to complete essential migration tasks. 49% of businesses haven’t started researching alternatives to form a migration plan, to ensure a seamless transition. The report also shows that there is a significant disparity in awareness across different regions as well as industry verticals in the UK.

Businesses in Northern Ireland have the lowest rate of awareness at 44% followed by businesses (47%) in Southeast England. However, in London, three-fifths (59%) of businesses are conscious of the shift, potentially giving them a competitive edge for future proofing their business. Businesses are urged to make the transition sooner rather than later. Scrambling to adopt new digital solutions at the last-minute could overwhelm providers who are already managing numerous projects, potentially leading to inadequate support for all.

Chris Wade, Chief Marketing and Product Officer at Gamma, says: “The next 12 months are crucial for UK businesses still using PSTN. Our report highlights that there is still a significant number of businesses currently reliant on legacy services for customer communications, order taking, internal communications, security and even lift operation.

To ensure a smooth transition following the Switch-Off, businesses need to act now and explore alternative digital communications available to them. This way businesses can understand the benefits that come with switching to modern solutions, such as a positive impact on the business’ bottom line as well as increased flexibility and scalability. By doing so, businesses can make sure they don’t make a rash decision – instead, find the right solution for their business needs.”

Gamma’s report comes at topical time, following the national ‘Stop Sell’ announced by Openreach – where the ordering, change, or upgrade of analogue phone systems ceased –earlier this year (5th of September 2023). The important message here is that businesses without the awareness, regardless of size, could be left out of service and unable to effectively trade. The Switch-Off is happening and there is no safety net, but the benefits of moving to a digital alternative far outweigh any effort to migrate.

To read the ‘The Big Switch-Off: Are UK Businesses Aware and Prepared?’ in full, please visit https://www.gamma.co.uk/solutions/pstn-switch-off/

 

Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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