Q&A: Everything you need to know about the Analogue Switch-Off

The Analogue Switch-Off is deadline approaching! But hang on, what is the Analogue Switch-Off, and will it really affect you? Whether you’re a resident or a business that makes use of a landline, the easy answer is yes.

You’re likely to have heard the term ‘Analogue Switch-Off’ a few times since it was first announced back in 2017, but what actually is it? At the moment, enough information and dates are flying left, right, and centre to make anyone switch off, so we’re bringing you everything you need to know about the switch-off in one handy blog series, starting with the facts!

Read on as we dive into the essentials of the Analogue Switch-Off…

What is the Analogue Switch-Off?

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The easiest way to explain it is that telecom providers, like County Broadband, are upgrading their analogue services in favour of fully digital networks.

In practice, this means analogue phone lines in residential and business settings will be replaced by digital telephony systems that are up-to-date with the requirements of modern technology.

Tip: You may hear the term PSTN being used in conversations around the switch-off. This stands for Public Switched Telephone Network and is simply a grand name for the old analogue networks being replaced by digital telephony.

When is it happening?

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While progress towards the final Analogue Switch-Off has been underway since 2017, the final deadline is currently marked as December 2025.

The exact date on which your own phone lines will move from analogue to digital is a bit harder to determine, with some swaps to digital telephony being triggered by renewal or upgrade in your broadband or television contract. Rest assured, however, that your provider will contact you to make the necessary arrangements to make the switch.

How does this affect me?

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While it may sound like a complicated matter, swapping from an analogue phone line to a digital one is no hassle! Instead of plugging a landline into your mains socket, your new digital telephony simply plugs into your internet router; it’s as simple as that!

There’s slightly more to be considered for business owners, however making the switch does provide several benefits.

Many businesses will use a variety of different telephone services including ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) which serves a number of systems that require a phone connection. Businesses have the choice to move to a like-for-like digital phone line, mobile telephony, or employ alternatives like the Internet Of Things (IoT), or a mix of all three!

Once a plan is in place, however, digital phone services can even reduce costs and generally support companies to communicate with both internal staff and their relevant consumers.

Why is it happening?

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In the same way that an older car might be harder to repair given the lack of resources, analogue networks have reached the end of their serviceable life! Finding the correct parts needed to fix or maintain network connections is much harder to come by in 2024 and beyond, as suppliers have simply stopped manufacturing them.

Plus, upgrading to digital networks brings a host of benefits for residents and businesses alike including:

  • Greater clarity on calls
  • Improved call stability – no more drop-outs!
  • Exciting new features like anonymous caller rejection and three-way calling

Is there anything I need to do?

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Fortunately, there isn’t much the average resident will need to do ahead of the switch-off deadline. When the time comes, your supplier will be in touch to talk you through the process and things will naturally proceed from there.

There is slightly more preparation businesses can do to get ahead of the curve so stay tuned for our upcoming blog about how businesses can capitalise on the Analogue Switch-Off and what they need to do to get ready before the end of 2025.

Considering the rapid speeds at which technology evolves, switching from analogue to digital is a great way to futureproof your home or business. Another way to ensure you’re not left behind is by switching to full fibre broadband.

Boasting speeds of a whopping 11x faster than Superfast, copper-based networks, full fibre can achieve speeds up to 1,000 Mbps which can be upgraded to 10,000 Mbps and beyond in the future. As technology becomes ever-demanding, these speeds will be nothing short of crucial to ensure your home or business is future-proofed for years to come.

Also – look out for our upcoming mythbuster blog on the Analogue Switch-Off, to further help you separate fact from fiction on this complex but important topic!

Whether you’re a resident or business, you can check if you’re covered in County Broadband’s rollout by entering your postcode at www.countybroadband.co.uk where you can also register your interest in finding out more about the infrastructure and service.

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