The withdrawal of legacy PSTN copper phone lines in the UK is underway, and due to complete by 2025. Part of this plan requires moving broadband customers to a new type of connection that we call SOGEA.
The analogue or "PSTN" switch off will affect every business and consumer who is using traditional phone lines and broadband services in the UK.
There's a lot to take in, but the key thing to know is that Openreach, who install and maintain the bulk of the UK's communication networks, are removing much of their legacy services and infrastructure, in favour of deploying newer, faster, more stable kit.
Traditionally, if you wanted broadband, you had to have an analogue (PSTN) phone line. You could use this line as a normal phone line, and the broadband service would be installed on this line. This usually meant that you would be paying for a PSTN phone line rental, and a broadband service at the same time. An I write (2023), most of our broadband customers still have this arrangement in place.
With the impending switch off of PSTN services, the phone line part of this arrangement will cease to work, which is usually not an issue, as most people have moved to using SIP / VOIP based services which use an internet connection rather than a copper phone line.
What does this mean for me?
If you're using FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband, your service will be migrated to the new SOGEA system, communication providers love an acronym, we pronounce this one "so-gee-ah". The "SO" in SOGEA stands for Single Order, meaning there is only one service involved, not two.
This migration means that you will no longer have, or pay for a PSTN service. If you're a client of ours, this will disappear from your bill, and instead of paying for FTTC broadband, you will see "SOGEA" broadband listed instead.
The cost of the SOGEA service is higher than FTTC that it replaces, however the cancellation of the PSTN service means that you will end up paying the same, or slightly less than before, depending on what service you have.
There is usually no disruption when this change happens, and your router won't need to be reprogrammed. There is also no need for an Openreach engineer to visit.
What do I do if I still need the phone line?
If you need to use the phone line to make and receive voice calls, you need to make arrangements to move to a VOIP service, talk to your provider, or Computercentric to see how we can help you with this change.
There are other reasons why you need the phone line too...
- You might be using it as a fax line. In this case, the easy solution is to stop using faxes. It's 2023 now! If you really need to send or receive faxes, there are web-based fax solutions and email to fax gateways that you can use.
- You might be using a PDQ payment machine which uses phone lines. In this case, contact your machine provider and ask them for a newer machine that has uses a network connection instead of a phone line, your machine might already have this capability.
- You may have fire alarms or security systems, or emergency lines for lifts or care equipment that uses the line. In this case, you need to make contact with your provider for these services in order to move to more modern systems using internet connectivity or the mobile network.
If you have any questions, drop us a line!