The ISDN & PSTN Switch Off & WLR Withdrawal - National Business Communications

Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) Withdrawal is coming in 2025

Learn how the WLR Withdrawal or the ISDN and PSTN switch-off could affect you and your business. At National BLearn how the WLR Withdrawal or the ISDN and PSTN switch-off could affect you and your business. At National Business Communications, we’re here to assist you in the transition smoothly and without affecting your daily business operations. Discover how National Business Communications will prepare your business for the Wholesale Line Rental Withdrawal in 2025.

By the end of 2025, Openreach will withdraw over 16 million copper phone lines in the United Kingdom. At the current industry capacity of 100,000 transitions per month, in December 2025 two thirds of the phone lines will lose connectivity without a replacement in place.

To prepare for the upcoming ISDN switch off, many homes and businesses will need to integrate digital phone alternatives to maintain a suitable phone service for their needs and to prevent major disruption to their telecommunications.

“We’re here to keep Britain’s small businesses connected”

What is WLR Withdrawal and is it the same as ISDN and PSTN switch off?

Back in November 2017, Openreach announced that they are planning to commence the PSTN and ISDN switch off. In 2025. This is commonly known as ‘The big switch off’. This termination of traditional services also means that there will be no new supply of new PSTN or ISDN services after 2023. 

Even though PSTN and ISDN services are reliable and have been used for decades, they are an ageing technology and becoming more expensive to operate and maintain. The PSTN and ISDN switch off will cause a large amount of disruption to businesses and residential homes that have not implemented a suitable alternative before the 2025 cut off date.

What is PSTN and ISDN?

PSTN stands for Public Switched Telephone Network. This refers to the traditional copper or analogue telephone network where voice and data are transmitted over copper lines. Before now, they were the go-to option to send and receive analogue telephone calls and also allowed broadband connections. 

 ISDN refers to the Integrated Services Digital Network. This particular network was designed to carry digital data and voice data. As the data used was digital, it could be transferred much quicker. ISDN also allowed users to use video conferencing tools. ISDN has been predominantly used by businesses that require multiple lines, enabling users to make multiple calls concurrently. If your business uses these traditional services to access either phone lines or broadband, you will need to prepare your workplace for the PSTN and ISDN switch off to prevent any disruption this change may cause. Because Openreach is modernising the dated copper infrastructure, it’s being replaced by state-of-the-art hosted and VoIP solutions, such as our cutting-edge Cloud Voice offering. Businesses are being encouraged to switch to this alternative before 2025 to be prepared for the near future. 

What does WLR Withdrawal mean for your business?

 Although it may seem years away, the WRL Withdrawal is happening sooner than you think and the last thing your business needs is to be left without a reliable telephone service. It’s important to be prepared and future proof your business today so that you’re ready for the ISDN and PSTN switch off. 

To be prepared for the transition from traditional phone lines to digital services, you should invest in a suitable alternative such as Cloud Voice, that can withstand your business needs. At National Business Communications, making the switch from traditional phone services is easier than you’d think. There are many alternatives to a traditional phone line that can be suitable for your business. Not only do they act as alternative options to traditional phone lines, but they can also be more functional, making your daily work life more efficient  Here are a few examples; 

  • VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) enables users to make and receive phone calls over the internet. 
  • SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) can send and receive any media-based data such as video calls or photos.
  • SoGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access) means that you can access the internet through a broadband connection without needing a phone line. 
  • 4G & 5G: With the development of 4G and 5G networks across the UK, another alternative is to use your mobile phone as your main point of contact rather than having a traditional landline.
  • Cloud Voice works as a digital alternative to traditional telephone setups. It offers high-quality calls that often perform better than traditional networks. It also provides more secure technology as well as impressive features and more accessible functions. 

Why choose NBC to prepare for The Big Switch Off?

At National Business Communications, we are prepared for WLR Withdrawal and offer quick, seamless migration for small businesses. We understand that any interruption to your daily operations can negatively impact your business. That’s why we put you in the fast lane to the future and upgrade your phone services as fast as possible – and at unbeatable prices, with no hidden fees.

There’s no waiting required for you or your business. No need to wait in a queue behind residential customers, large corporations, schools or public institutions. We appreciate that connectivity is crucial for any small business. NBC is ready to lend you a hand and seamlessly take you through the modernisation of your phone services.

We pride ourselves on providing our customers with market-leading communication solutions that are both efficient, future-proof and most of all, affordable. By ensuring your business is ready for upcoming changes, you can save money and time now.

Not only are we experts in effective business communications and providing unbeatable prices, but we also take care of our customers. Our team is always happy to help and provide support for all of our customers so that you can get on with what you do best. Many of our customers have rated us 5* on Trustpilot. Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself.

Don’t miss out on future-proofing your business communications today. Contact NBC now to get started with Cloud Voice technology. There are no hidden fees and we’re always on hand to support you throughout the transition from WLR to digital alternatives and to prepare you for the ISDN switch off.

WLR Withdrawal Frequently Asked Questions

Everything you need to know about the upcoming WLR Withdrawal.

What is Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)?

Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) is a traditional copper phone line service on the Openreach network, allowing customers to merge their line rental and telephone bills, as well as get competitive prices from various providers using the same, reliable network. This means that current users of ISDN or PSTN will need to switch to digital alternatives to maintain their current business telephone systems without being disrupted.

When should I make the switch?

A large portion of UK businesses have already migrated to digital alternatives. By moving business communications to the cloud, making calls over the internet, and embracing video conferencing, many businesses have been able to save money and work more efficiently. It’s important to ready your business and future-proof your working environment. If you already have supporting infrastructure and facilities, then now is a good time to start planning your migration to digital lines with NBC.

What is WLR withdrawal?

WLR withdrawal is a process which will see the traditional copper phone line services go away by the end of 2025. Openreach will withdraw over 16 million copper phone lines in the United Kingdom.

Why is WLR withdrawal happening?

Openreach is modernising the dated copper infrastructure, which is being replaced by state-of-the-art hosted and VoIP solutions, such as our cutting-edge Cloud Voice offering. The copper phone lines are becoming increasingly expensive to maintain, and are far less reliable than a broadband or fibre-powered solution.

What do I need to do if I have a copper phone line?

You will need to switch your phone provider to a broadband or fibre-powered solution, such as Cloud Voice.

How can NBC help me prepare for the ISDN & PSTN Switch Off?

We will put your small business in the fast lane to the future and upgrade your phone services as fast as possible – and at unbeatable prices, with no hidden fees. You won’t have to wait in a queue behind residential customers, large corporations, schools or public institutions. At the current industry capacity of 100,000 transitions per month, in December 2025 two thirds of the phone lines will lose connectivity without a replacement in place – we will help you avoid that.

As more people migrate and order volumes increase, will Openreach be able to manage the increase in number porting orders?

A significant volume of porting journeys for migrations will be automated by Openreach. At NBC, we are doing our best to expedite your migration orders. You’ll never have to wait in line behind residential customers. We will ensure a smooth transition process on our end, and will update you if Openreach faces any delays due to the demand. Our team will always work proactively to prepare you for every possibility.

Are there any plans to push back any key dates associated with the All IP or WLR withdrawal programmes because of COVID-19?

The 2025 WLR withdrawal date is can not be pushed back. The infrastructure is reaching its end of life date in 2025, and we need to work together with businesses to ensure we stay on track to the withdrawal date. Our team is constantly in touch with Openreach to identify any delays as soon as possible.


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