Are you self-employed or running a business that employs less than ten people? If so, your process of preparing for the nationwide Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Switch Off will probably look quite different to that of larger SMEs.

The good news is that things are likely to be a lot simpler for you. The bad news is that the Switch Off date is fast approaching, so you need to act quickly.

From December 2025, if your business has any of its systems or services linked to the PSTN, they will stop working. This not only means a phone line on analogue technology will stop working, it also affects your broadband and anything else that you’re connecting to your phone lines, like door entry systems and alarms. That’s why we’ve put together the ultimate PSTN Switch Off checklist for sole traders and microbusinesses like you.

Check your current PSTN situation

All you need to do is run through the checklist below and identify anything that your business uses that relies on PSTN, Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL), Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) or a Single Analogue Exchange Line.


Take a look at the cord that connects your phone to the wall. Is it a traditional phone connector, with a fastening clip on one side? If so, this indicates a PSTN connection. If you’re unsure, check with your provider.


  • Check whether you have ADSL broadband, which uses copper wires. Take a look at your modem. ADSL modems typically have two ports, one for the telephone line and another for connecting to your computer or router. If you’re unsure, check with your provider. Like PSTN, ADSL broadband will stop working after December 2025.
  • Check whether you have FTTC broadband, which uses green roadside cabinets. As the name suggests, this type of broadband uses fibre optic cables from the telephone exchange to the roadside cabinet. From there, standard copper telephone lines distribute broadband to properties in the local area. If you’re unsure, check with your provider. FTTC will also stop working after December 2025.

Single Analogue Exchange Line

There are a wide range of services that use Single Analogue Exchange Lines and operate through third-party providers, including:

  • PDQ handheld payment devices
  • Franking machines
  • Emergency alarms
  • Lift lines
  • CCTV systems
  • Help point systems
  • Door entry systems
  • Fax machines
  • Panic alarms

Evaluate your future connectivity needs

Now you’ve pinpointed your potential PSTN pain points, you can start to put a strategy together. It’s likely that your plan will revolve around Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) broadband or Single order Generic Ethernet Access (SoGEA).

VoIP will allow you to make and receive calls using your landline number over an internet connection, sometimes known as digital calling. That means you’ll be able to handle calls from a VoIP-enabled telephone, a computer, smartphone or any other smart device.

As well as the advantage of convenience, VoIP calls also tend to be cheaper than those made through the PSTN, as VoIP systems are based on monthly fees rather than charging by the minute. Hardware costs also tend to be lower. What’s more, with VoIP, it’s more cost-effective to add new telephone lines when your business expands. This is all great news.

FTTP broadband, as the name suggests, is full-fibre broadband that does not need to run over the retiring ADSL copper cables. It’s a lot faster and far more stable. That’s because fibre optic cables are stronger and less prone to deterioration when compared with copper, and there are fewer steps required for the data to reach your business location, meaning fewer things can go wrong.

In addition, you won’t have to worry about the bottlenecks and slower internet speeds that copper wire can cause.

FTTP may not yet be available in your area as the new networks are still being installed across the country. If that’s the case, SoGEA is your next step forward, as it is available wherever FTTC has previously been rolled out. Unlike FTTP, SoGEA connections use a mix of fibre and copper cabling, so it won’t be as fast as FTTP, but it will be cheaper.

Make the leap before you’re pushed

Whichever decisions you ultimately make, it’s time to start making them now. Go through our checklist, do your research, and get some independent advice. PSTN Switch Off could save your business money, just make sure you’re ready ahead of December 2025.

Would you like some advice?

Getting nowhere with your existing provider(s)? Don’t worry, you can get help from a specialist in keeping small businesses working…

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