Skip to content
How Can We Help?
< All Topics

How to Switch to VoIP Before the PSTN Switch Off

Businesses simply cannot survive these days without some form of digital communication, whether that’s social media, email or video conferencing. As such, every business owner needs to be aware of the Big Switch Off in 2027 and how it will impact their connectivity.

Keep reading as we explain everything you need to know about this fibre-optic takeover, including how to switch to VoIP in five simple steps.

What is the Big Switch Off?

In a recent study, 72% of companies revealed that while they had heard of the Big Switch Off, they didn’t fully understand what it meant. This is worrying because being unprepared could seriously grind business to a halt.

Basically, the Big Switch Off is when BT Openreach moves from the analogue Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) to a fully digital solution. This means traditional landlines will be powered by Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology instead of old copper wires. Sky, BT, Virgin Media, 02 and TalkTalk had scheduled the changeover for 31st December 2025. However, it is now being pushed back to 31st January 2027.

How will the Big Switch Off affect my business?

Even if you don’t have a landline phone, your technology probably relies on a landline connection. In the same study as above, around 62% of businesses still relied on the PSTN internal and external communication. Of course, with the switchover, this will be disrupted unless you’ve upgraded to VoIP software.

“Offline” companies (if there’s such a thing) aren’t immune either. You’ll still need to switch over if you use card machines, alarm systems and printers. Honestly, very few organisations will be unaffected by the change.

How to switch to VoIP: 5 simple steps

Now that you know more about the Big Switch Off and what it means for your business, it’s time to explore how to switch to VoIP in five simple steps. Thankfully, it’s not rocket science, and trustworthy providers should walk you through the process step by step.

  1. Choose the right service provider

Above all else, you must find a trustworthy VoIP service provider that aligns with your business goals. Some of the things to look out for include:

  • Reliability – check out review sites like Trustpilot and ask for recommendations so you can make an informed decision.
  • Customer support – who do you contact for help, how and when can you get in touch and what does the support process look like?
  • Scalability – can VoIP packages grow alongside your business, or will you be constrained by what the service provider offers?
  • Features – are packages customisable or off-the-shelf?
  • Budget – are the plans within your budget (cheaper isn’t always better).

On top of this, read through the contract exit terms so you know your rights if you aren’t happy with the service provided.

  1. Conduct a VoIP readiness assessment

The next step is to conduct a VoIP readiness assessment to check whether you have a robust enough framework to support the new technology. For example, some providers will require a certain internet speed and bandwidth to support their more feature-heavy packages.

Unsure whether you meet the criteria? Don’t worry. Your VoIP provider should advise you on required software or equipment upgrades. Simply follow their guidance for a seamless migration with minimal downtime.

  1. Create a migration plan

On the topic of seamless migrations, you’ll need a comprehensive plan that outlines exactly what will happen and when, who it will impact and whether any individual action needs to be taken. Ideally, this should be a collaborative exercise with your service provider. Here are a few questions to kick-start the process:

  • Do you want an immediate or phased transition?
  • Do you have a disaster recovery plan?
  • How will you handle security during the migration?
  • How will you minimise business disruption?
  • Do your employees know how to use the new technology?

Security is especially crucial because VoIP shares network resources with other computer systems and apps. Plus, calls are made via the internet, meaning they can be intercepted by hackers. You can mitigate the risk by creating strong passwords, introducing data encryption and training your team on how to stay safe online.

Here, it’s also helpful to get a little more technical. Let’s say you’re an ecommerce shop – your plan might look something like this:

  • Replace the landline with a VoIP system.
  • Move customer and supplier data to the cloud.
  • Double-check that POS and payment systems work properly.
  • Get feedback from employees to identify gaps in their knowledge.
  • Review the VoIP package in 12 months.
  1. Train employees

As mentioned, you must ensure that all employees know how to use the new digital technology. Otherwise, they’ll become increasingly frustrated, your IT department will be inundated with support tickets and your customers will undoubtedly feel the knock-on effect.

Expect a few teething issues at this stage because nothing is ever perfect. However, with open communication and forward-thinking, you should bypass the more serious issues while your business adapts to the change.

  1. Test and streamline systems

The final step is to test, test and test again. While it might sound laborious, it’s best to catch any teething issues before they spiral out of control. Over time, you’ll get a better idea of whether you need to invest in new infrastructure or find a more suitable package.

How much do VoIP packages cost?

So, how much can you expect to pay? Most VoIP packages are really reasonable, with average costs between £5 and £40 per month. The exact amount depends on how many features you’ll need and the contract type.

Prepare for the Big Switch Off with competitive VoIP packages

Now you know how to switch to VoIP, it’s time to get the ball rolling. With our cutting-edge technology, you’ll have access to tonnes of exciting new features, such as multiple extensions, bespoke menus and superior voicemail capabilities.

Most importantly, you’ll be able to connect with customers and employees in real time via crystal-clear voice and video calls, instant messages and shared files.

Need more information? Call 03330 347500 or email today. We’ll respond as soon as possible.

Table of Contents