Date published 21/06/2018

Openreach plan the migration of 16 million phone lines

In preparation for the digital switchover in 2025, Openreach has launched a consultation with communication providers to plan the migration of 16 million phone lines.

The industry is moving all internet-based voice communications after BT announced they will be switching off the PSTN and ISDN network by 2025. This means an IP core network will be in place to transmit all call traffic and business phone systems will need to support this new network.

The Register is a leading global website for IT professionals. Openreach told the publisher:

“Communication providers will also need to consider how customer’s equipment (both residential and business) may need to be upgraded to support All IP voice services."

From 2023, the company will no longer supply WLR products. James Lilley, general manager for copper and service products at Openreach, noted the business already plans to shift three million premises to full fibre by 2020 and 10 million customers to its ultrafast hybrid fibre and copper G.Fast product. Both of these will be compatible with the PSTN replacement.

“Our aim is to have as many customers [as possible] on fibre products. But there will still be a gap for those who can’t get fibre,” he said. “So as part of the consultation there will be a new copper product to fill that gap [that will be VoIP compatible].”

Asked whether industry had been given enough time to prepare for the change, he said: “This is obviously a big challenge, as there are a lot of WLR customers. So we have seven years to move 16 million lines to new services."

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