In this article, we’ll be delving into cloud telephony (VoIP), broadband and explore how PSTN will impact your internet connectivity, and looking into your options. We’ll also take a quick detour into mobile phone technology and how that fits into the equation.

It’s very likely that you don’t have a ten-volume edition of Chambers’ Encyclopaedia sat anywhere in your office. It’s just no longer necessary. You have Google, Wikipedia and plenty of other online tools at your fingertips instead.

Right now, there’s a similar situation happening in the world of telephony. The Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is about to be switched off. Those analogue phones are all going to become redundant, because something far more powerful is taking its place. We’re talking about cloud telephony which includes Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Just like the Chambers’ Encyclopaedia, the PSTN has been with us since the second half of the 19th century, and is struggling to keep up with the data demands of the modern world placed on it. Which is why, in December 2025, it will be switched off forever.

If you’ve read any of our other articles, you’ll know all about the PSTN Switch Off, digital switchover and the VoIP questions that you should be asking potential suppliers.

Wave goodbye to ADSL and FTTC

With the PSTN Switch Off comes the end of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) broadband. Both these technologies rely on copper wire to some extent, and if your business uses either of these for its internet connection, you’ll need to make new arrangements.

If you’re not sure whether you currently use ADSL or FTTC, there are a few things you can do to check, but you’re better off asking your current provider, who will be able to give you a definitive answer.

Say hello to SoGEA and FTTP

Two broadband solutions for you to consider are Single order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

SoGEA is not full-fibre broadband. It uses fibre from the exchange to the green roadside cabinets, but then reverts to copper from there to its final destination at the subscriber’s premises.

FTTP, as the name suggests, is full-fibre broadband all the way from the exchange to the premises. Although FTTP is faster than SoGEA, it isn’t available everywhere yet, so it may not be an option for your business.

The business benefits of SoGEA

SoGEA uses the same underlying infrastructure as FTTC, so you’ll achieve similar speeds, of up to 80mb/s download and 20mb/s upload, depending on how far you are from the green roadside cabinet.

As SoGEA is predominantly a fibre broadband connection, you’ll enjoy high reliability and connection stability. It’s also going to be a bit cheaper than a full-fibre FTTP solution. However, if you have a business requirement for high-speed data transfer, multiple video conferencing instances and large volumes of online traffic, SoGEA could struggle.

But there’s another solution. You may be able to subscribe to something called Single order G-series Fast Access to Subscriber Terminals; thankfully also known as SoGFAST. SoGFAST is similar to SoGEA, but it can achieve up to 330mb/s download speeds and 50mb/s upload.

SoGFAST still employs a mix of fibre and copper, but an additional device is installed in the green roadside cabinet to increase data speeds through the copper cable.

The business benefits of FTTP

FTTP utilises fibre all the way from the exchange to your business premises. That makes it extremely fast. FTTP can achieve speeds of up to 1Gbps, depending on the package that you choose. That’s 1,000mb/s, which pushes its performance way beyond anything that SoGEA can deliver.

FTTP is also incredibly resilient, stable and reliable. That’s because fibre optic cables aren’t affected by electromagnetic interference in the same way that copper is. Fibre bundles are also a lot more robust.

How does cloud telephony fit in?

Cloud telephony or hosted voice services such as VoIP, combined with Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology, enhances communication capabilities by leveraging high-speed internet connectivity. Cloud telephony means seamless and real-time transmission of voice data over the internet. Users accessing cloud telephony services through FTTP can enjoy enhanced features such as video conferencing, unified communications, and efficient call handling.

he high bandwidth of FTTP enables businesses to leverage advanced telephony applications without concerns about network congestion, contributing to a more streamlined and efficient communication infrastructure. The scalability and flexibility of cloud telephony make it an ideal solution for businesses, as they can easily adapt to changing communication needs without the constraints of traditional telephony systems.

The changing role of mobile

While the UK’s broadband infrastructure is improving, our mobile phones and mobile networks are, too.

As you introduce cloud telephony into your business, it’s likely that you’ll install VoIP apps onto mobile phones and laptops, allowing your employees to make, take and transfer business calls wherever they happen to be working.

Sometimes there won’t be an internet connection available, but with 4G and 5G, which is around ten times faster than 4G, they are still going to achieve high-quality calls. There’s even enough mobile bandwidth to conduct ultra-high resolution 4K video calling.

Then there’s 5G Advanced. That’s the next evolutionary step in 5G technology and it will evolve, learn and adapt to new situations. Resources will be optimised and moved between different parts of the network as needed, while cells and services will work in harmony.

But that’s a topic for another day, along with VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling. Either way you look at it, you’re a long way from needing that set of Chambers’ Encyclopaedias.

It’s time to make your move

If you’re currently looking at your cloud telephony and broadband options, but not getting the support you need from your existing telecommunications provider, then there are some great alternatives out there…

1–10 employees?

XLN is standing by

If you’re a small business, you can get help from XLN, a specialist in keeping small businesses working.

11–250 employees?

Daisy has got you covered

Daisy Communications can talk you through the various options available on the market from the leading suppliers.