54% businesses ditching PSTN report improved workplace flexibility

Enhanced workplace flexibility, efficiency, and technical capabilities are expected for businesses that abandon the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

This is according to global cloud and connectivity solution provider M247, which recently commissioned a survey of 500 UK-based IT decision-makers on their usage of PSTN services, before the permanent switch off of the network in December 2025.

New findings from M247 reveal that of the 18 per cent of UK businesses that have successfully ditched the PSTN and upgraded their connectivity to internet-based services, over half (54%) have benefited from improved workplace flexibility.

49 per cent report improvements in efficiency within their organisation, including ease of access to devices and applications, and 42 per cent say it has enhanced technical capabilities such as call recording, transcription, and AI.

M247 previously reported that a majority (88%) of UK businesses are still reliant on the now outdated PSTN for services such as analogue phone lines, broadband, and alarm systems.

Springboard for digital transformation

However, the Manchester-based company also found that, despite being slow to act, many UK businesses are optimistic about the PSTN switch-off. Over a third (37%) view it as an opportunity to modernise their IT & telecoms, and 35 per cent believe it presents a good opportunity to assess their current digital transformation strategy.

Digital transformation is a key driver for businesses who have already moved away from PSTN, with 63 per cent crediting wider digital transformation efforts within their organisation for their migration.

Liz Hawke, Product Manager UC&C at M247 said, “it’s evident that businesses across the country are not where they need to be when it comes to dealing with the PSTN switch off, however, these new findings should offer some encouragement to those who have not yet acted.

“Making the move to a new IP network, such as VoIP and SIP, can act as a great springboard for digital transformation, dramatically improving workplace flexibility and efficiency, particularly in today’s hybrid-working era. The businesses embarking on this journey are reaping the benefits already.”

More awareness needed

Despite optimism being high, more awareness of the PSTN switch-off and its impact on day-to-day business is needed. M247 found that the majority (54%) of those surveyed do not believe that Openreach has publicised the switch-off adequately, and of the businesses that have switched, only 31 per cent were motivated to do so due to the switch-off itself.

Liz added, “following September’s PSTN stop-sell, businesses will be unable to place any new orders for PSTN services or make significant changes to existing services. In 2025, the network will be switched off for good. These should be crucial dates in all businesses’ calendars.

“Companies can no longer afford to overlook these events as, without access to vital internet and connectivity services, serious disruption to business is inevitable. We’re hoping to bring some well-needed awareness to this and highlight the urgency and importance of adopting robust, reliable internet-based connectivity services ahead of the PSTN switch-off.”

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