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The UK’s PSTN network will switch off in 2025


Are you digitally ready to embrace UK’s PSTN Network switch off?

The UK’s PSTN network will switch off in 2025. It may seem that simply replacing the telecommunications hardware is an adequate measure, however there are other services that depend on the use of the PSTN network. Strategic guidance is provided below suggesting how to manage and guide the current services relying on the PSTN network to adopt the changed environment by 2025. The transition to the new service will continue the smooth running of your business whilst being more cost effective.
So, what is changing? British Telecom (BT) are moving away from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to a fully digital network, affecting both home and business networks. The following list of services are currently identified to be affected by the change:

  • Telecommunications - including switchboard, analogue, ISDN and iSDX phones, lift phones, emergency phones, transmitters, fax machines

  • Renal dialysis units (standalone) coupled with off-site medical records and telemedical patients

  • Medical equipment - including health monitors, telemedicine/telecare and home dialysis

  • Pathology - including blood fridges and freezers

  • Alarms - including lift emergency call systems, security/intruder alarms, fire alarms (plus fire suppression systems and fire alarm auto dial), nurse call, lockdown/access control intercoms, staff attack systems, plant

  • Building management systems (BMS) - alarms (oxygen, gas shut out, fuel alarms (leak and level), ventilation, generators)

  • Bus stops

  • CCTV

  • Car park barriers

  • Catering fridges and freezers

  • Chip and pin machines/credit card terminals – pharmacy, retail outlets, charity, canteens

  • Retail kiosks

High-speed, high-quality Internet Connectivity is the replacement to the PSTN/ISDN. This new infrastructure can maintain the required telecommunications services needed as well as all other communications services needed by the services listed above.

In a business environment, it will require gradually implementing changes through the following process:

Identification: Identify the services dependent on PSTN/ISDN network and the incumbent suppliers should be able to help you with this. If your Trust is operating on a complex set-up involving a lots service as listed above, please consider appointing a specialist consultant to run an audit. A consulting organisation can be appointed via the Analysis and Reconciliation Framework Agreement.

Engage: Engage with your stakeholders to find out what alternative routes can be explored as a service solution for connectivity. Engage with your Suppliers to see what options they can offer to continue the service once the changes are active. Engage with your current service provider for Internet Data Services to find out their capacity and if that is effective for you.

Consider options: From the information collected above, assess what your business will need. Are there existing solutions that will mitigate the demand? Can the existing service providers offer alternative connectivity? Will there be a cost for that, or do you need interfacing with a 3rd party? Is there a need for going out to market and see what alternative options are there?

Sourcing: Negotiate existing contracts or run a new tender opportunity.

A range of Framework Agreements are available covering this service and are available to NHS employees and Public Sector organisations by NHS Commercial Solutions and its PiP Partners. For further information, please visit the Framework Agreement for IM&T on NHS Commercial Solutions website.