UK PSTN Copper Network Switch-Off Delayed Until January 31st, 2027

In a significant development for the UK’s telecommunications landscape, the planned switch-off of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) copper network will be delayed until January 31st, 2027. This move responds to various technical challenges and feedback from the general public. 

Understanding the PSTN Switch-Off 

The PSTN has been the backbone of the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure for decades, facilitating voice calls and early internet connections. However, with the advent of IP technology, the ageing copper-based network, which includes analogue and ISDN business lines, is becoming increasingly obsolete. The switch-off aims to transition the UK to a more reliable, future-proof digital network based on fibre optics. 

Reasons for the Delay 

Consumer Education: With no public awareness campaign by the Government, councils or OFCOM, the telecom service providers were primarily responsible for informing the public about the upcoming changes, the benefits of the new digital network, and the steps needed to prepare for the transition. Many businesses and home users still need to learn about these changes. 

Public Feedback: In December 2023, there was an industry-wide pause in the fibre network rollout as many households that relied on their analogue lines for essential services, including alarm and medical alert systems, found themselves without support as fibre lines into their homes were installed. Digital landlines will not work in a power cut, which has led to concerns that older or vulnerable people could be isolated, mainly if they rely on care alarms that use traditional phone connections. 

Looking Ahead 

The delay in the PSTN switch-off reflects the need to balance progress with preparedness. BT Openreach is beating all targets to install fibre into the premises and, in many telephone exchanges, withdrawing the sale of old technology (ISDN and Analogue) services and upgrades. This delay allows more time for critical dependencies, especially for over 2 million telecare device users, and ensures alternative solutions are in place. 

Vidicode UK’s role in the 2027 PSTN switch-off 

As the UK moves towards a fully digital telecommunications network, the extended timeline will help ensure that the transition is seamless and that no one is left behind. We will continue supporting UK businesses with existing ISDN or analogue call recording systems as long as the existing copper network is in place. We aim to make the transition to IP-based solutions as seamless and cost-effective as possible with discounts, monthly payment options and FREE benefits, including pause recording for PCI compliance.