Information to help your business benefit from telecommunications

All Change!

VoIP phone

How would you feel if we were to tell you that the telephone infrastructure you know and love is due to be phased out and that this change will almost inevitably effect you and your business in a big way?

Perhaps a little concerned?

Or a lot?

Either way, hold on to your seat whilst we break the news: telephone systems as we know them are in for a big change. But not quite yet. What’s happened is that Openreach, (they’re the ones responsible for the telecoms infrastructure that you usually see driving a van and attending to whatever has gone wrong in the green boxes by the side of the road), has announced that as from the early 2020s they will no longer be offering Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) products to companies and consumers such as you and us.

The implications attached to this piece of news are far reaching, and if we tell you that some 28 million telephone users will be affected, you’ll get the gist of just how big a change this is going to be. So, what’s it all about? The bones of it is that Openreach is catching up with progress, closing down its copper wire based Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN - phone lines) and moving its operations to high speed, fibre-based products. Essentially, Internet (IP) telephony. In practice this will see the end of a large number of services that we’ve been taking for granted for decades. Here’re the details:

  • Analogue phones, the ones that use copper wires that run between the exchange and your phone, will be history.
  • ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) services that businesses use to make calls will be no more.
  • Plus, a large number of broadband products will also go.

Where will that leave us? Well there’s going to be both a transition period and a transition system to help bridge the changeover, with the transition period lasting roughly four years, beginning in 2021, and the system being SOTAP. Perhaps better known as the acronym for the Sexual Offenders’ Treatment Assessment Program, SOTAP on this occasion refers to Single Order Transitional Access Product, a clever bit of kit that will enable consumers and businesses that are currently connected via traditional copper lines to order a pure broadband service which doesn’t rely on the analogue PSTN and ISDN lines. SOTAP will also allow us, TP Telecom, to supply our customers with a digital voice service over the top, as well as the excellent service you’ve grown used to.

Is that it? Well, not really, because as seamless as Openreach would like this transition to be, Internet (IP) telephony still relies on copper based ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Lines), and copper dependent FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband, neither of which will be available any more, so at some point in the next six years you’ll need to update your phone and broadband systems to either a Leased Line, FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), or something Openreach are calling SOGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access), both of which are all fibre connections.

All clear? Of course not. That’s why we’re here!  Our advice is to plan forward, think about when would be a good time to review your phone system requirements and then give us a ring. We’ll work with you to do the rest.

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