Why will traditional landlines stop working?
In 2025, the technology that currently powers landline telephones will be switched off automatically. Work has already begun to bring traditional phone lines to the end of life, with work set to be completed in 2025.
But don’t worry! You won’t find yourself suddenly stuck without telephone communication.
Traditional landlines are currently powered by The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), which facilitates telephone communication using copper cables. Openreach has already begun work to replace these copper cables with a more modern solution; an internet-based telephone connection.
The move to internet-based phone systems, enforced by the government, comes as a response to the natural decline of traditional landline usage. Increasingly, copper cables are being replaced by fiber-optic cables. In fact, a survey conducted in April 2021 discovered that approximately 40% of households in the U.S had stopped using landlines altogether.
Telecom companies also stress the benefits of switching to internet-based phone systems, emphasizing that they’re less costly to maintain and call quality tends to be better.
How will traditional landlines being end of life affect me?
For U.S households:
- Most old landline telephone handsets will continue to work after the network changes, but some older models may need to be replaced
- Most people will retain the same phone number
- Existing phones will be connected to a different system behind the scenes
- You may need to plug your phone into your internet router or new wall socket
- Once PSTN is completely switched off, you will need an internet connection to make telephone calls. According to telecoms regulator, Ofcom, if you don’t have broadband internet connection, you will be given the option to buy a simple connection, rather than having to pay for high-speed services
For U.S businesses:
- The biggest impact will be felt by businesses who still use landline telephones or fax machines
- Those businesses will need to take steps to transition to cloud phone systems (whereby telecommunication occurs via the internet) as soon as possible to prevent disruption. Cloud phone systems are cost-efficient, easy to install, and include a number of advanced capabilities
- We recommend removing fax machines entirely rather than taking steps to maintain old systems after the switch. Businesses should instead take advantage of more modern technology to enable them to communicate more effectively and boost productivity
- Note that other services that rely on the traditional telephone network may also be affected, including alarm systems and payment terminals
- Businesses should consult their IT support provider for more specific advice on managing their telephone systems as landlines are gradually made redundant
What is the difference between traditional phone lines and cloud phone systems?
The table below outlines the differences between cloud phone systems and traditional landlines, demonstrating the benefits of using cloud-based telephony in terms of cost, efficiency, and productivity.
So, what do I do need to do now?
If you’re a U.S household, you don’t need to panic, the transition will be gradual and you will, at no point, be suddenly cut off from telephone communication.
For more information, telecom providers have come together to create a new website, Future of Voice, specifically aimed at addressing any concerns. Similarly, if you have a complaint or would like to speak to an expert, you can contact Ofcom.
If your business is reliant on landline telephony, we recommend switching to a cloud phone system as soon as possible. Not only will this ensure you don’t experience any unexpected interruption in 2025, but you’ll also benefit from cost savings, enhanced capabilities, such as call forwarding, recording, and transcribing, and a more efficient phone solution.
To find out how to switch to a cloud phone system you will need to speak to your IT support partner.
If you’re already partnered with Adaptive Information Systems, you can contact your dedicated Business Technology Advisor directly or call us at 831-644-0300.
If you’re not currently an Adaptive Information Systems client and would like to learn more about our IT support, consultancy, and security expertise (including how we can help you transition to a cloud phone system), please contact us today.