AT&T Switching off 700,000 POTS lines per month, and now BT Openreach has started. The demise of POTS lines and the corresponding PSTN has been well underway for years in the U.S.A., with only 20% of Americans left relying exclusively on POTS. As a result of maintenance costs, AT&T has just asked the FCC for a timetable to shut the PSTN down completely, claiming this will offset some of the $350bn they claim is needed to connect the last 10% of Americans to the Internet broadband.
The same shift is happening in the U.K. with BT Openreach; the company responsible for maintaining and upgrading the UK’s broadband and telephone network. They have already introduced restrictions that prevent outbound telephone calls and limit broadband speeds in certain “trial” regions. They seem committed to their announcement to retire the analog PSTN system by 2025. This retirement of PSTN including ISDN will mark the end of an era for traditional telephone services and the start of a new age for digital communication.
PSTN and ISDN have been the backbone of the U.S. & U.K.’s telephone network for decades, providing hundreds of millions of homes and businesses with reliable telephone services. However, the technology is dated, and demand has declined, with both AT&T and BT Openreach deciding to focus their resources on modern, digital alternatives.
So, what does this mean for you? If you’re still using PSTN or ISDN, it’s time to start thinking about upgrading to a digital alternative. This means you have time to plan and make the switch, but you should start exploring your options now to ensure a smooth transition. There are several digital alternatives to PSTN and ISDN, including VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) and Cloud PBX (Private Branch Exchange) along with all-encompassing Unified Communications. These technologies use the cloud to transmit voice and data, offering greatly improved reliability, high-definition call quality, and a ton of advanced features the PSTN could never have even imagined.