Openreach’s plan to transition over 14 million traditional lines across the UK onto a new digital service by December 2025.
For the UK’s small businesses, the last couple of years have thrown up some of the most testing conditions for decades. With companies starting to see the light at the end of a very long tunnel, they cannot afford to take their eyes off the ball with significant changes to the way they communicate imminent.
As well as testing business conditions, the pandemic has changed the way we work forever, with companies of all sizes implementing remote or hybrid working policies. Indeed, a recent survey found that two in five employers (41 percent) were planning to implement hybrid working within two years, with most businesses not planning to return to pure office based working at all.
Openreach’s plans to end analogue and ISDN services could have a huge impact on remote and hybrid workers. It is likely that traditional home and office telephone connectivity is going to disappear and as such SMEs need to think about what needs to be implemented before the end of 2025, both from an in-office and remote working perspective.
Some SMEs are already turning to VoIP telephony to ensure business continuity as Tom Moore, director at Acronyms explains.
“The decision by Openreach to shut off analogue and ISDN services may well have been missed by many SMEs as they fought to survive during lockdown. The impact of the pandemic has meant that the end of traditional Openreach services could have a bigger impact than before, with more employees working from home than ever before.
“However, turning to VoIP telephony can allow workers in-office and working remotely to ensure that they can continue to communicate effectively. VoIP makes use of the Internet as opposed to the traditional copper wiring which Openreach is ending.
“A VoIP handset can still look and works like a traditional phone but with far greater functionality and the ability to use an online platform. Not only is VoIP far more effective than analogue and ISDN but can actually also deliver costs savings compared to existing phone systems.
“VoIP also means that homeworkers have all the functionality they would have within an office environment. As long as there is an internet connection, it ensures that remote workers can take and make calls wherever they are.
“The advantages of VoIP mean that SMEs should not be waiting for Openreach to end traditional services, but ensure VoIP is in place for in-office and hybrid workers with plenty of time to spare. Using IT and comms consultancies can make sure that companies are receiving the most appropriate solutions as well as the expertise to allow for a successful implementation and ongoing management,” concluded Moore.