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Stephen Dracup, COO at Chess, breaks down the risks the PSTN and ISDN switch off pose to your business, including:

It's a big problem!

Although December 2025 is over 1000 working days away, over 25 million lines will go end of life by the end of 2025. This means that the industry needs to be moving over 24,000 lines per day onto new products and services.

From our experience, we don't think that this is on our customer's radar yet, and that means very few are taking steps to switch and future-proof their business. So while there are some early adopters, the majority haven't really thought about what they are going to do and when.

This means that the number of people per day needing to move is likely to continue growing until it becomes impossible to get everyone moved in time. Yet BT are adamant that the switch off will happen in December 2025 regardless.


And it's worse than that! The WLR Switch Off.

In December 2023, there will be a stop sell on products affected by the WLR switch off, which means that if you want to add or reduce your capacity and use a WLR product, you will not be able to.

And it's even worse than that! The FTTP Rollout.

Running in parallel with the WLR switch off, we also have the rollout of FTTP priority exchanges. If your service is in one of these exchanges, you may already be heading to an earlier stop sell or end of life date. You may then be forced to take FTTP if it's available regardless of if you want to or not.

And it's even worse than that! The switch is complicated.

Depending on where you are and what services and suppliers are available in your area, the options available to you may vary compared to someone just around the corner. This is being compounded by the information from BT Openreach being drip-fed to the industry and the emergence of many new ALTNET suppliers who are springing up on the back of the perceived opportunity around full-fibre. Not only that, but because of the difference between the way Voice is provided in the new world, you may need to have extra wiring done or upgrade a range of devices that you depend on to run your business.

Is your phone system holding you back or helping you fly?

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So what can you do?

Act Now! This is a problem that is not going to go away and is a real risk to your business. Our advice is to get an expert involved as early as possible and put it on your risk register.

We offer all our customers a free consultation to help them agree on their strategy and take back control of the situation. We can then understand what your business needs and help you decide the best course of action for you to take. So act now and avoid the chaos.

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Stephen Dracup

Stephen Dracup

Stephen is an experienced telecoms & IT professional with over 35 years industry experience. After graduating from the University of Manchester, Stephen started his career with Lister and Co PLC working for them for 12 years, rising to the position of Head of IT.

Stephen then set up Hoodpoint Communications, specialising in providing ICT, Data and Voice communications and business phone systems. The business was sold to Chess in 2005.

Stephen stayed on at Chess, rising to the role of Group Managing Director in 2012. He became Chief Operating Officer in 2020 and runs the operational teams day to day as well as Marketing and Commercial. He is also closely involved in Chess M&A activity.

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