Historic Salisbury gets future-proofed for the PSTN switch-off

Beautiful Salisbury is renowned for its stunning cathedral, with the tallest spire in Britain. But the city now has another claim to fame –  as the first in the UK to benefit from the PSTN switch-off.

The switch-off will be probably the biggest shakeup the UK telecoms industry has ever seen, with BT Openreach switching off every traditional copper telephone line across the country by 2025.

They will be replaced by ultrafast Full Fibre phone and broadband, and medieval Salisbury is pioneering the analogue-to-digital revolution.

Impressive innovation

The historic city is the site of some impressive innovation, catapulting it firmly into the future of communications.

Once PSTN (the Public Switched Telephone Network) is switched off, throughout Britain every phone call via copper cables, and every ePOS machine and CCTV system that currently uses copper cables to connect to the internet will need to move to fibre instead. The same goes for alarms, door entry systems and faxes that operate via the old network.

In Salisbury, BT Openreach built out its new Full Fibre phone and broadband network across the entire city in just under a year, reaching more than 20,000 homes and businesses.

The new network is far faster and more reliable than copper cables, some of which date to the 19th century. It provides future-proof, Full Fibre broadband with speeds of up to 1Gbps.

Superfast and reliable

BT Openreach says: “The PSTN switch off is a once-in-a-generation shift in connectivity and voice services, which will create massive opportunities for UK businesses. Superfast and reliable connectivity into the premises will be the driver for all business functions, with communication, collaboration, streaming, downloading and working on multiple devices, all at once, without interruptions or delay.”

Switching everyone in Salisbury over to the new Full Fibre network took a 60-strong team from Openreach, with some working away from home for a year. There were plenty of tricky engineering problems to overcome, and innovations included installing ‘slimline’ terminals on facades of buildings or telegraph poles so they do not detract from Salisbury’s heritage architecture (such as that 404ft-high spire), and minimising disruption from diggers by using retractable cables for long areas of terraced houses and shop fronts.

“Salisbury was the test bed to learn how to do things better, faster, and in a more aesthetically and eco-friendly way,” says Project Manager Josh Barnes.

Massive up-scaling

“That’s important because our Full Fibre build is massively up-scaling over the next few years so innovation and doing things quicker is vital to our success and hitting government targets, as well as providing better connectivity to the homes and businesses of the UK.”

Salisbury may be the first entire city to be converted to game-changing high-speed Full Fibre (its technical name is FTTP, Fibre to the Premises), but in the course of 2021 BT Openreach rolled it out to more than a million more customers.

Once Full Fibre is installed, BT implements a Stop Sell policy, which means premises are no longer able to buy copper services.

Benefits now

In fact, FTTP is available to many businesses now thanks to Marston’s Telecoms, so there is no need to wait to enjoy the benefits.

LingoGo, our secure cloud-based phone, messaging and video conferencing solution, can provide your company with seamless connectivity.

To prime your business for the PSTN switch-off, contact the Marston’s Telecoms team today. We’ve been trusted for our technology expertise for 12 years. For more information contact the Marston’s Telecoms team today by calling 01902 283 300 or emailing sales@marstonstelecoms.com.