Thousands of UK firms are still relying on outdated phone systems

altes telefon
(Image credit: ( © Alex))

Despite the fact that the public switched telephone network (PSTN) is slated for termination this year, almost all businesses in the UK are still using it, new research from cloud services and connectivity service provider M247 has claimed.

In its report, the company said 88% of businesses in the UK are relying on the technology that is due for an imminent stop-sell this September. The findings are based on a survey of 500 UK-based IT decision-makers and managers across all sectors.

Once stop-sell kicks in, the sale of all new PSTN-related products will be stopped immediately. The network itself is due for termination on December 31, 2025. 

Bigger priorities

Even though almost nine in ten businesses are using PSTN, more than three-quarters (77%) know about the stop-sell this September, and the fact that it’s about to be terminated. Yet, very few businesses are actually doing something about it. Just over a quarter (29%) consider PSTN switch-off a top priority. Most businesses are focused on cybersecurity threats (50%) and investment in cloud migration (47%).

The PSTN is a network of copper wires first established in the 1800s, and maintained by Openreach. The company decided to pull the plug as maintaining the infrastructure became too cumbersome. Now, M247 believes the switch-off will have “huge impact” on UK businesses, many of which rely on the old tech for analog phone lines, broadband connections, lift lines, EPOS systems, CCTV cameras, and more. 

Among the businesses using PSTN, a third (33%) have more than 100 devices connected. More than half (51%) said should the switch-off happen before they managed to migrate, they’d experience “significant disruption”, with 23% saying it could lead to a loss of business. Eight in ten believe migration from PSTN services would take up to six months to complete.

“It’s important for businesses to act sooner, rather than later, and adopt the right IP technology for their needs to avoid serious consequences and disruption in months to come,” commented Liz Hawke, Product Manager UC&C at M247.

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.