ISDN: Why is it being switched off, and how it could effect your business?

 

ISDN is a telecommunication method, primarily using pre-existing phone lines, that allows phone lines to transmit more than just voices from person to person. Specifically, ISDN allows packets of data to be transferred between parties on the network. This network was the original high-speed internet service and has lasted for over 30 years. Openreach have announced that the ISDN network will  be shut down, and this could have significant ramifications.

Why is ISDN being switched off?

ISDN is becoming increasingly unviable. Whereas the old telephone network was able to transfer significant amounts of data, it’s not quite as efficient as a network which has been designed for data transfers 30 years ago. Major telecoms networks have been installing fewer and fewer ISDN cables, with no new installations taking place in London since 2014 and the number of installations across the country falling as a long term trend. Alternatives, such as ethernet-oriented products, are becoming cheaper and cheaper whilst permitting for even more efficient data transfers.

Instead of the old methods, alternatives such as VoIP have emerged. These are cloud-based communication methods that allow users to have conversations over the internet rather than through traditional cables. The cost and viability of cloud-based telecoms has made old-fashioned ISDN cables redundant, and when they cost more and do less, there’s no reason for Openreach to keep supporting them.

How could it impact my business?

A significant amount of companies still rely on old lines. If your company operates in a less populous area or is geographically remote, then the odds are that you’re operating on the old ISDN lines. Once Openreach removes their support for these lines, if you have any issues then you’ll likely be left with no network connection. At best, you’ll have no support for situations in which your internet connection has physical issues and in the long run, it could cost you a lot. A significant amount of companies could have telecommunication issues which can cut them off from clients and suppliers. Without making a shift away from ISDN in your company, you could face significant issues and the costs of being outdated will eventually build up.

What do I need to do to stop this damage?

Most importantly, you need to make sure that your company is ready and able to move over to a cloud-based system such as City Cloud or another communications system, getting away from relying on ISDN will be vital to your company being prepared when the shut down comes in 2025. Call us on 01158 384284 to discuss your move from ISDN to SIP.