In 2018, Openreach announced the so-called 'Switch Off'. The announcement went slightly under the radar, but for small businesses it carries real significance.
It means that Openreach, who manage the UK's largest phone network, will stop providing traditional, analogue phone lines by 2025. And although Openreach doesn't manage all UK phone lines, others will likely follow suit. It effectively means that small businesses will have to go digital by 2025.
Around 40% of SMEs are still on traditional, copper wire phone lines, which means big changes will be needed over the coming years.
What can small businesses do?
Small businesses could decide to switch to a non-Openreach maintained phone provider to maintain an analogue phone line. But this doesn't make much sense, for a number of reasons.
Openreach is the UK's biggest network operator - so it's likely that other companies will copy their example anyway. But perhaps more importantly, switching to a digital landline, otherwise known as VoIP, actually makes so much sense.
Phone lines that connect over the internet are typically more reliable, and offer many more features and benefits. You can add multiple users to the same 'line', and calls over the internet are typically cheaper.
Furthermore, digital landlines really are the future. So not switching over is only delaying the inevitable. With less time set to be devoted to maintaining copper landlines, and more resources poured into building and maintaining digital services, there could be real risk in sticking with what you have.
Why choose XLN Cloud Voice?
Small businesses are choosing XLN Cloud Voice - our VoIP solution built for small businesses - because it not only gets them prepared for the Switch Off, but makes their business better.
It ensures they never miss a call, and with multiple users on a single number, it's a really simple way of helping them to grow. And during Covid-19, the ease with which businesses can work from anywhere through Cloud Voice has been a huge benefit.
Best of all, it's so much more affordable than businesses think.