BT Openreach has released the names of an additional 51 exchange locations across the UK, covering approximately 513,000 premises, where it is planning to stop selling legacy analogue services in the build-up to the “Big Switch Off” by December 2025.
Communication providers have been given 12-months notifications that they can no longer sell copper-based products and services in these exchanges. This brings the total number now notified for ‘Stop Sell’ to 712 exchanges, covering a total of 6.6m premises.
The stop-sell programme is designed to encourage the adoption of a new digital way of communication through a full-fibre connection. BT will be switching off the existing analogue phone line platform at the end of December 2025 and everyone in the UK will need to have a digital phone line before then. Businesses are being urged to complete checklists of their existing infrastructure to pinpoint areas which need updating.
It is expected that 70% of businesses are still using traditional analogue systems which will be made redundant within the next 2 years. 1 in 5 organisations have yet to adopt a digital solution to manage their communications. In a report, the Chairman of National Business Communications says “Businesses need to start preparing for the switch off now. We anticipate a hold-up in 2025 due to unprepared businesses, which may mean the industry won’t be able to keep up with the number of last-minute orders, possibly leaving businesses without a service.”
To help prepare Openreach will stop selling analogue phone lines to new customers by September 2023, and in a phased way, across the UK.
A full list of the affected exchanges can be found here.