The Extended Deadline for the Big Switch Off: What This Means for You

8th July 2024 | Blogs

In a recent development, BT has extended the deadline for switching off Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines to January 31, 2027, a change from the planned December 2025. This extension allows businesses and individuals to transition smoothly from traditional analogue phone lines to new digital technologies. As the UK moves towards a fully digital future, it is crucial for those using PSTN or ISDN lines for calls, alarms, fax machines, PDQ machines, CCTV, or broadband services to prepare for the shift. Workflo remains committed to informing customers about these changes and helping them adapt to the new digital landscape.

Why the Extended Deadline?

Originally set for 2025, the PSTN/ISDN Switch-Off deadline has now been pushed to 2027 to address several critical issues:

  1. Support for Vulnerable Customers: The extension allows for a more thorough approach to migrating vulnerable individuals and those with additional needs to digital landlines, ensuring they receive the necessary support and equipment to stay connected. This decision responds to concerns from people relying on telecare devices, such as personal alarms, which failed during the initial switch-off. Nearly two million people in the UK depend on landline-based personal alarms, so the revised timeline aims to ensure a stable transition for these critical services.

  2. Transition Time: Many organisations and consumers, particularly in rural areas, need more time to transition to IP-based systems. The extra time helps ensure that these groups can move smoothly to new digital technologies without disruption.

  3. Technological Challenges: The rollout of the necessary infrastructure for IP networks has encountered delays due to various logistical and technical hurdles. The extended deadline provides additional time to address these challenges, ensuring a seamless transition for all customers.

  4. Pandemic Impact: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted supply chains and slowed down the progress of technological upgrades, necessitating more time for the transition.

Additionally, the delay gives BT more time to collaborate with suppliers and partners to ensure a seamless transition for all customers. This involves:

  • Conducting extensive testing and validation of new digital landline solutions to meet required standards and compatibility with existing systems.

  • Addressing any technical issues that arise during the transition.

  • Performing thorough quality assurance checks to ensure all services are fully functional and meet customer expectations.

What Does It Mean for Consumers and Businesses?

Impact on Consumers

The extended deadline to 2027 provides consumers, particularly the elderly and those in remote areas, with additional time to adapt to new technologies. This extra time allows them to explore options like VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services, ensuring continued communication without disruption. Additionally, the extension offers more opportunities for awareness campaigns and educational programs to help people understand the benefits and functionalities of IP-based systems. Consumers will also need to upgrade their devices, and this additional time allows for better financial planning and saving for these investments.

Impact on Businesses

For businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the extended deadline offers more time for strategic planning to ensure a smooth transition to digital technologies without disrupting operations. It also allows for better infrastructure investment planning. Communication service providers can pace their investments in new infrastructure, spreading costs over a longer period and making more informed decisions. For sectors heavily reliant on traditional telephony, such as healthcare, telecare, and security, the extension ensures that critical services remain uninterrupted while alternative solutions are implemented.


Although the deadline has been extended to 2027, staying proactive is essential. The move to IP-based networks is unavoidable, and postponing preparations might cause last-minute issues. Consumers should start exploring VoIP services and digital communication tools right away. Businesses need to review their current systems and begin implementing necessary updates. Telecom providers must keep upgrading their infrastructure and set up strong support systems. By using this extra time wisely, everyone can ensure a seamless transition to a more advanced, efficient, and versatile communication network.

At Workflo Solutions, we specialise in helping businesses navigate this transition smoothly. Our expertise in managed IT services, digital workflow solutions, and unified communications ensures that you stay ahead in this rapidly evolving digital landscape. Let us be your trusted partner in making the shift to IP-based networks effortless and efficient.