Almost 70% of UK businesses still use landlines despite looming switch off

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A recent survey conducted by National Business Communications reveals that 69.5% of UK businesses are still using landlines within their company.

Whilst the pandemic forced many businesses to switch to different methods such as Voice over Internet Protocol using applications such as Microsoft teams and Zoom, it appears companies continue to use them alongside other options.

Although using landlines may be seen as an old-fashioned method and not a huge issue, businesses must begin thinking about switching to cloud-based technologies with the Big Switch Off coming in 2025. BT announced the Big Switch Off in 2015, yet only one in five businesses are fully aware of what it is, while 59.7% have no clue what it is.

John Griffiths, Chairman of National Business Communications, said: “Businesses need to start preparing for the switch off now. We anticipate a hold-up in 2025 due to unprepared businesses, which may mean the industry won’t be able to keep up with the number of last-minute orders, possibly leaving businesses without a service.”

The Big Switch Off will see all Public Switched Telephone Networks (PTSN) and Integrated Services Digital Networks (ISDN) turned off. This means that businesses will need to migrate to a single IP core network, replacing all legacy networks and creating a fully digital network. The Switch Off may also affect non-voice services such as CCTV, Alarms, Faxes, EPOS machines and door entry systems.

Griffiths added: “Although this may sound scary to businesses who still depend on landlines, there are alternatives such as VoIP and the transition can be made smoothly.”

The survey also revealed that mobile phones and VoIP are the main alternatives businesses will use once landlines are switched off – 86..2% of respondents stated they would make calls via mobiles phones and 62.5% stated VoIP. Around 4% of respondents say they aren’t sure what they’ll use.

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien