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What's New and Why You Should Act Now

The Great British Switch Off Delayed: But Don't Delay Your Switch!

Grant Thain, Voice and Connectivity Vendor Alliance Manager at Chess, discusses the upcoming Great British Switch Off, with the latest updates and what it could mean for your business. 

Hey there! We've got some important news about the big switch from the old telephone network to the new digital systems. It's something you definitely want to be on top of, especially if you run a business. Let's break it down together.

What's the Deal with the PSTN?

For over a hundred years, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) has been our go-to for voice and broadband. You know, those old copper wires? They’ve done a good job, but it’s time to move on to something better: Internet Protocol (IP) systems. These are faster, more reliable, and ready for the future.

On September 5th, 2023, BT Openreach stopped selling PSTN-based products. This was a huge step towards embracing digital technology. No more new ADSL, Fibre Broadband, or old-school phone lines from that date on. The phase-out had begun!

What’s New?

Initially, BT Openreach said they'd fully close down the PSTN by December 2025. But in May this year, they announced a new date: January 31, 2027. Why the delay? They want to make sure that everyone, especially vulnerable customers using medical devices, can switch over safely and smoothly.

Some small businesses are already on board with digital phone lines, but a surprising 26% don’t even know about the change. If you’re part of the 43% still using the old PSTN services, it’s time to think about making the switch.

Why You Should Act Now

Don’t wait until the last minute! Switching to an IP-based system can save you from future headaches. You'll get faster internet, more reliable connections, and improved productivity. Plus, you need to check if your current phones, alarm systems, CCTV, and payment terminals are compatible with the new network. If they aren’t you could end up in a position where you are without these business-critical services.

Waiting too long could also mean you’re stuck in a queue when everyone else rushes to switch. And trust us, you don’t want to be left without services.

Plan for the Future

Think about where your business is headed. Maybe you’ll need more video-based customer service or new hardware. Planning now means you’re ready for whatever comes next.

This switch from PSTN to digital is a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Just be proactive and start planning now.

Need Help? Chess Is Here for You!

If you have any questions or need help making the switch, Chess is here to guide you. Whether you’re ready to go all-IP or need a bit more time, we’ve got solutions to fit your timeline and business needs.

Remember, the sooner you act, the better off you'll be. Let’s make this transition smooth and stress-free! Book a consultation today.


Some Chess customers can continue to use pre-existing legacy PSTN services until the complete switch-off in December 2025, a proportion of Chess’ customers' pre-existing products will continue to operate beyond the 2025 PSTN closure. In fact, Chess has positioned itself as one of the few service providers with access (dependent on location and availability) to continue providing traditional services such as FTTC and ADSL, which could allow customers to avoid any last-minute decisions, complications, delays, and disruptions a move to a full IP-based solution may cause despite BT Openreach's stop-sell from September 5th, 2023. This applies only to a specific segment of existing Chess customers. Please talk to one of our specialists today to find out more.

About the author

Grant Thain

Grant Thain is an experienced Connectivity and Voice specialist. He’s undertaken a number of roles at Chess, and is now Vendor Alliance Manager. He supports Chess customers, vendors and people with his in-depth experience and knowledge of the solutions that are both available now, and under development.

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