The headlong rush to all-ip voice and multimedia services continues in the UK

UK infrastructure provider Openreach some time ago (years) announced their intention to switch off the old fashioned copper phone network in 2025. Although still 4 years off the UK is starting to show early signs that the end of the network is nigh with an announcement that 297 exchanges have been given dates over the next twelve months where new orders for copper based phone lines will no longer be accepted.

Whilst this number represents only around 5% of the nearly 5600 telephone exchanges in the UK it is a clear, first, sign of the beginning of the end of the Public Switched Telecoms Network or PSTN.

This is significant for two reasons. First of all Electric Telegraph Company was formed in 1846 beginning a process that led to Victorian Britain becoming a “wired nation”. Essentially the birth of the PSTN meaning that by the time it is switched off in 2025 the UK “copper network” will be 179 years old.

The second significance is fact that the old phone network being switched off doesn’t mean no more telephony. The copper network is being replaced by fibre and indeed the exchanges in this first announcement are those that will have reached 75% of penetration of fibre connections to premises served in the coming year.

For Openreach the move has two benefits. The copper network is so old that it costs a lot of money to keep it going – sending out engineers in vans to effect repairs. The age of the network results quite often in relatively poor broadband performances at least relativer to fibre and is even affected by the weather – complaints to internet service providers go up when it is raining!

Replacing all the copper with fibre is a game changer with lower operating costs, higher reliability and the ability to carry modern data based services.

This is really where Fuse2 comes in. Our modern voice and multimedia services all make use of Internet Protocol technology and an all fibre network is great for us. Our customers should expect availability of faster connectivity speeds at lower prices, better quality and reliability and overall a better communications experience.

If for example you are a user of Microsoft Teams your user experience will be enhanced. It will represent a revolution for homeworkers. No more fading in and out of the conversation or having to turn off video to save bandwidth.

Check out our Microsoft Teams Services here and the list of Openreach exchanges that have stop sell notices here