You’ve almost certainly heard about the digital switchover—if nothing else, you’ve probably received a flood of sales emails over the last year or so—and may have been postponing thinking about how it might affect you and your business.
It’s time to think about it now if you haven’t already.
The digital switchover is being implemented and will be virtually complete by the end of 2025. Your landline, if you still have one, will change from analogue to digital, which means that your calls will go over the internet rather than the copper phone lines.
You will probably need new handsets—which will need to be plugged into a broadband router, not into the phone sockets on the wall–and they may be controlled by an app. Your provider should arrange this for you.
Anything your business is using that plugs into the analogue phone sockets may need to be considered for upgrade, such as an intruder alarm, CCTV, contactless card payment machines, door entry systems or monitoring systems. Your current devices may still be compatible, but you will need to check. To find out more, visit the The All IP Programme (openreach.co.uk)
Bear in mind that if any of your staff are deaf and using a textphone at work, you may need to check that it will still work well enough for them—amplified phones were tested by BT and will continue to work.
How will this affect cyber security?
If there is a power cut, you won’t be able to make or receive phone calls using that landline—so don’t forget to factor this into your business continuity planning if it is relevant. You may need to consider a battery backup if your landline is essential: a power bank, or an uninterruptible power supply.
As we’ve said before, criminals latch onto current events to create effective scams. We suggest reminding your staff that they should be aware of this at home as well as at work. There are reports of fraudsters calling vulnerable people to say that their bank details are needed as part of the switchover and threatening them with disconnection. This is a scam: the switchover is free of charge.
In good news, digital voice services can offer enhanced security features that your former analogue phone service could not, such as encryption or caller ID authentication, and will be able to screen out scam calls more effectively. They will be able to detect calling patterns, and non-UK numbers disguised as UK based numbers, or provide more information to consumers so they can decide whether to accept the call or to block the caller. – see the Frontier Economics report: Switching off the PSTN: Migrating from analogue to digital landlines (bt.com))
Your first port of call for help with the switchover should be your provider. But if we can help with any cyber security questions or issues you might have (on this or another topic) please call us on 0113 733 6230 or use our contact form.