ANALOGUE SWITCH OFF
Information for Commissioners of Services and Organisations / Businesses in Staffordshire
In 2016, it was announced by the telecommunications industry that they would replace all analogue lines and upgrade to digital internet-based infrastructure by December 2025, i.e. to broadband technology from the old Victoria-age copper wire systems (known as the Public Switched Telephone Network, PSTN).
While the phone and broadband companies are leading the change, and your provider should contact you directly, the county council is helping to make sure that partners, organisations and commissioners are informed and are prepared.
Although there is no formal timetable published of when or where the switchover will be happening in Staffordshire, and indeed across the UK, the telecommunications industry have already converted some exchanges to full digital. So time is of the essence.
97% of Staffordshire now has broadband capability. Most people won’t notice the switch if they are connected to full-fibre broadband – it will happen automatically so the change for them will be as little as plugging their landline into their router rather than a plug on the wall.
However, research by the Local Government Association has suggested that organisations and commissioners of services need to ensure they have plans in place, especially the telecare and social alarm organisations where more technology is based on the old copper network.
Whilst the switchover presents lots of challenges and opportunities, this is a real change to transform and improve services and lower costs for all in the long run.
Many organisations are already well advanced in planning. The county council will be carrying out a public awareness campaign from September 2023 to make all residents aware of the changes and prompt them to get in touch with service providers for advice. So it’s important that organisations get on the front foot now.
We would also advise all organisations to:
· Have a clear view about who receives services commissioned or delivered by local arrangements – don’t just rely on your IT department.
· Ensure that you are in touch with the main telephony infrastructure organisations (Openreach, etc).
· Be aware of questions and answers that members of the public may have about the switchover - resident FAQS
Openreach has developed industry fact sheets, more FAQs and other resources to support anyone who sells, services or uses products that connect through the analogue telephone network.
FAQs for businesses, organisations and commissioners
Here are questions that have been submitted to telecommunications companies via councils
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