Is the Openreach Copper Switch Off going to affect your business?
In summary, yes. It’s a major technology infrastructure change that will see all Openreach copper-based services replaced by fibre. This includes traditional analogue lines and ISDN services used on traditional telephone systems. Many businesses feel that the Copper Switch Off is still in its infancy—we’ve got until 2025, we don’t need to do anything in order to prepare yet…do we?
Probably, Openreach is rolling out the service exchange by exchange and when 75% of homes and businesses can be connected via fibre in a particular exchange area, you will not be able to buy any of the old copper-based services. Between now and August 2022, Openreach will stop selling copper-based services in over 550 exchange areas.
One thing is for sure, it’s going to affect businesses across the UK and the reality of the situation is that it’s going to become a problem for those still relying on copper a lot sooner than expected.
What is the Copper Switch Off?
Throughout the UK, businesses and households are supplied with their dedicated internet through copper cables, which are being replaced by a full-fibre alternative providing ultrafast connectivity as we speak. By 2025, all copper services delivering network connections will be switched off in order to future-proof and pave the way for new technologies and fibre rollout.
Removing copper-based services saves on running costs and energy, and all copper services are being withdrawn from sales from telephone exchanges up and down the country already.
“We now send as much data every 10 minutes over the internet that was produced from the beginning of time to 2003 and it’s only increasing – so we need a network that can cope.” - BT Openreach
It's anticipated, with the rate at which copper services are being transitioned to fibre, we'll see the Switch Off complete before the 2025 deadline—or even sooner given the pandemic and the necessity for home offices, schooling, and businesses needing to use cloud-based services now more than ever.
The Copper Switch off sees the end of two different copper-based telephone systems. PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network used in businesses for alarm systems) and ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network which allows businesses to make internal departmental calls) will all be switched to a fibre-based network connection which will cause substantial disruptions for many businesses relying on copper services.
BT Openreach has stopped offering new PSTN and ISDN services at over 118 UK telephone exchanges across the country already, and they’ve announced a further 550 locations where they’ll stop selling copper products by August 2022. It’s anticipated that this transition will be in place across the UK fully by September 2023, meaning that new customers won’t be able to buy or add new features to their PSTN or ISDN services.
What are the benefits of the Copper Switch Off?
Ultra-fast Gigabit speeds (10x faster)
70-80% fewer faults often seen with copper cabling/ mixed copper cabling and fibre
Exceptional streaming (consider household services such as Netflix as well as 4K, 8K)
Improved video conferencing/VoIP services (Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype) including screen share and recording
Cutting edge voice technology
Save on running costs and energy
Future-proofed for the digital age
With everything in mind, now is the time to start discussions for your business’s next steps when it comes to the Copper Switch Off. Whilst it might seem like a daunting task, it’s relatively simple and we can support you and your business every step of the way when transitioning to full-fibre connectivity.
Get in touch with our expert team to discuss your requirements and when you should consider making the switch. We’re working with Openreach and alternative network providers like CityFibre and the ITS Technology Group with their Faster Britain network, which has an ultrafast, digital infrastructure across the UK