As of 5th September 2023, as part of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) switch off, first announced in 2017, new analogue copper phone lines will no longer be available for purchase in the UK. This is part of the big 2025 PSTN switch off, where the UK will be upgraded to digital phone line solutions.
What is the WLR Stop Sell?
Wholesale Line Rental or WLR is an umbrella term covering traditional analogue landlines and associated broadband products, such as Shared Metallic Path Facility (SMPF) ADSL/copper broadband. As a result of what is known as the ‘Stop Sell’ of WLR, new analogue lines and broadband products that rely on WLR, will no longer be supported or offered around the UK.
How Has the WLR 'Stop Sell' Been Implemented?
These changes and the march towards digital VoIP phone lines, have been years in the making. In the run up to this landmark moment, Openreach have been trialling the wind-down process in both Mildenhall and Salisbury.
Part of this advancement has been a £15bn infrastructure project, which has concentrated on improving the speed and resilience of networks around the country. In 2019, Salisbury became one of the first Full Fibre cities in the UK, with the fastest city-wide network in the UK.
In addition to Salisbury and Mildenhall, the phase out of copper lines has also begun in areas that have reached a threshold of 75% ultrafast network coverage. Eventually, by 2025 PSTN exchanges around the UK will be phased out completely.
What Does the Ceasing of New WLR Products Mean For Your Business?
While new analogue landlines are now no longer available to buy, business that currently have an existing WLR product will still be able to use them until the withdrawal in 2025.
As well as phone lines, legacy copper broadband will eventually be phased out when Full Fibre products such as Gfast and Superfast Fibre become available for 75% of the businesses and residential premises connected to a particular exchange.
As the ageing infrastructure is slowly retired, businesses that are growing and are currently continuing to use copper lines for their telecoms may find that adding business landlines, for new starters or new departments, will prove to be an uphill process.
How To Make Sure Your Business Is Prepared?
If you are already a Yay.com VoIP customer, then you have no need to worry. Our Cloud-based phone system works across Internet and cellular networks and is optimised for the best quality, whatever your connection.
The WLR 'Stop Sell' is a significant step in the move to better digital alternatives and it’s important for businesses to prepare to migrate their lines prior to the 2025 switch off.
For existing businesses, consider how the PSTN switch off will affect your business lines, phone numbers and the hardware that you use. One additional aspect that should be prepared for, is how much clearer VoIP calls will be when compared to calls via legacy copper lines. Due to VoIP's ability to handle a higher rance of frequencies than copper landlines, your business calls will be crisper, clearer and definitely something to look forward to.
For new businesses, take control of the telecoms provider that your organisation uses now, rather than be migrated to a digital service that doesn’t fit your needs later down the line.
Our teams are always available to advise and assist, and whether you are a single or multi-line organisation, you will find the move to digital VoIP phone lines hassle-free with us. Our phone system has been built from the ground up for growing businesses and large enterprises, and our extensive experience in Cloud-based telecoms means we are best suited to help with your transition from PSTN. See what our customers are saying about us or view some of our customer case studies. Our friendly Porting Teams are ready for any number transfer queries you might have, so get in touch today to find our more about how you can start the process of moving your existing phone numbers to our Cloud-based solution.
The transition from analogue copper lines is an exciting one, with VoIP technologies opening up a range of new possibilities, for communication features available to you, for ease of use, and for flexibility and scalability. VoIP is incoming and it is time to answer its call.