What does the 'Big Switch Off' mean for small businesses?

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Shopkeeper reads about the Big Switch Off 2025. Get fast full fibre broadband for your small business to get ahead.

We support around 135,000 UK small business customers with their essential services – including telecoms.  In 2025, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) is being switched off by BT Openreach. This means everyone across the UK, including businesses, currently using PSTN-based services will need to upgrade to a new service ahead of this point.

Holly Mack – our Director of Telecoms at Clear Business, explains how the Big Switch Off will affect small business customers.

What are the benefits of upgrading to a new service?

Simply put, copper cable is a poor way to transmit data compared to fibre optic cable. Fibre optic cable can carry significantly higher amounts of data than copper cable, is more durable so needs replacing less often and reduces faults on the line, and unlike copper is not susceptible to electromagnetic interference that disrupts the connection.

Benefits include:

- Up to 10x faster broadband speeds – eliminating buffering or interruptions when you have multiple devices connected. 

- Five times fewer faults – increased reliability.

- Stable broadband speeds – it doesn’t matter how far away you are from the exchange, full fibre will deliver a more consistent connection.

- Better phone options – you should find your calls will be clearer with the option to make multiple calls simultaneously and access your calls from other locations.

What are the challenges to be aware of?

Only some locations will have until 2025 to switch. This year Openreach will start switching off the old copper networks in some locations that already have access to new full fibre infrastructure. 

We’re recommending that businesses move as soon as possible.  We expect engineer availability to drop as the businesses that have access to the new network start to fall into areas where the copper network is to be switched off. 

Which industries will be the most impacted?

All industries will be affected.  From September 2023, if you can get Full Fibre, Openreach will not let suppliers order any new broadband or phone services that would use the old copper network. 

To find out how your business can ‘follow the fibre’, get in touch with our Telecoms team today. Find out more about everything telecoms here!

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