The PSTN switch-off, what does it mean for care homes?

It’s time to think about future-proofing your care home

Posted 3rd Dec 2021 under care homes posts News

Make sure your care home is ready for the switch-off

2025 sees the end of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) – the traditional way of accessing telephone calls and the internet. Fibre is the future, so now’s the time to think about making the move to a digital communications solution.

It’s the biggest change to communications for a generation. BT has announced that the ageing Analogue and ISDN network will be completely shut down from December 2025, and from September 2023 you won’t be able to order new analogue line installations, meaning the way you make telephone calls and connect to the internet is going to change.

Most modern businesses benefit from high-quality voice and online communications. However, in care homes they’re vital, enabling reliable 24-7 connectivity between staff, residents, family and friends.

The move from analogue to digital isn’t just about swapping like for like. An IP-based communications solution opens up a whole new world of possibilities to improve interaction between your residents and their loved ones, as well as helping your staff work and collaborate more productively and efficiently.

Why is the switch-off happening?

The PSTN has been carrying the UK’s phone calls since the late 1800s. But in our global, super-connected world, it can’t deliver the speeds and capacity that the system needs. That’s why superfast fibre is now being rolled out rapidly across the UK, including in many locations Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), the ‘gold standard’ in digital connectivity. And it’s why switching to IP-based voice and data connectivity is the way forward.

What are the benefits of switching to digital communications?
Installing a digital telecoms solution will have significant benefits for your residents, their families and friends, and your staff.
  • Reduced costs. Because IP voice and data services are hosted in the Cloud, there’s no need for major investment in infrastructure or hardware.
  • Control and scalability. You only pay for the lines you need and you can add new lines quickly and easily.
  • Enhanced Resilience. A hosted system can connect via multiple channels providing improved resilience in comparison with traditional telephony.
  • Flexibility. Your residents can keep in touch with family and friends via voice or video calls, with a choice of devices, including desktop handsets, mobiles, tablets and PCs.
  • Improved engagement. A dedicated line can easily be installed in each resident’s room to give them their own always-on connection.
  • Smarter working. Your staff can take calls on their desktop, laptop or mobiles, when moving around the care home premises or remotely, for example when visiting people’s homes. They can also use advanced call handling features, such as instant messaging.
  • Enhanced care. You can equip staff with internet-enabled tablets loaded with apps which link directly to GPs for ordering repeat prescriptions or reporting key health information.

Read this case study to see how we’ve helped one care home client take full advantage of the benefits of a Hosted VoIP solution.

Why make the change to digital now?

The end of 2025 may seem like a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. BT has already begun trialling the PSTN switch-off in two areas: Salisbury in Wiltshire and Mildenhall in Suffolk. And, with the undoubted advantages of IP-based communications for your residents and staff, why wait?

How can we help?

At Cambridge Telecom we can help you successfully make the journey from analogue to digital communications. We’ll take care of everything, carrying out a free review of your current telecoms, understanding your needs, finding out what’s available in your area and proposing a practical, cost-effective solution.

Call our sales team on 01223 661636 or email