The Big Switch: What the changeover means for SME's

The Big Switch: What the changeover means for SME's

Change is always readily apparent in the tech industry, so it’s not like we are unused to it. The Big Switch in 2025 in the telecoms industry means a larger change for some than usual, as the UK tries to ditch the old legacy systems, some of which appear to have been around since the dark ages


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Change is always readily apparent in the tech industry, so it’s not like we are unused to it. The Big Switch in 2025 in the telecoms industry means a larger change for some than usual, as the UK tries to ditch the old legacy systems, some of which appear to have been around since the dark ages.

As an ethical cloud technology business for over 20 years, it was rather a shock when we started offering our cloud phone system service to discover how broken the old systems are as we moved people from their legacy platforms, and how legacy the whole telecoms industry is.

The Big Switch means all businesses in the UK from the smallest to the largest will need to have transitioned from ADSL & FTTC to SOGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access).

We find that most businesses we first encounter run ASDL or Fibre providing both a telephone connection and internet access. SOGEA uses the current cables you have but will no longer carry voice services. The good news in that you can stop paying for voice services that you probably don’t need or want and if you have already migrated to a cloud phone system, you should start to make a small saving. The switchover is seamless. I upgraded my home fibre line to SOGEA very recently, and my partner didn’t even notice while working from home. The only thing that stopped was the spam calls on our landline. If the line is still used as a telephone it’s simple to port the number to a cloud service, have it redirected to a mobile, or simply ditch it all together.

If you haven’t transitioned your phones however, there is much more work to be done and your choice depends on what you need.

If you have ISDN lines, then you will either want to transition your current box in the cupboard (PBX) to run SIP, or ditch the legacy equipment altogether and run a cloud phone system. If you have PSTN lines, then you have a choice - go Cloud or you can just add a VOIP service to your router, this will allow you to plug your existing phone into your router instead of the phone socket and still be able to make and receive calls on your business number.

I’m obviously going to recommend you move to a cloud system – but that’s for very good reasons. The huge advantage to using the opportunity to move to a cloud system is that you no longer have to pay maintenance on the system or worry about it failing, it no longer becomes your problem. It also gives you more flexibility, by changing users up or down each month or to work from home, café or beach, as these days it’s hard to make plans for anything. With a cloud phone system, you can automatically be in a place to adapt to change, whatever the world throws at your business. New member of staff and need a new telephone number? Sure. Staff been reduced and you need fewer phone lines – no problem. These systems work on 4G too making it flexible to almost all environments.

So, what does this mean for the tech channel? One of big challenges that businesses hit when transitioning to IP based voice is that they discover they already had hidden issues with their network. Packet loss and faulty hardware on a network can lead to all kinds of crazy issues and behaviours with IP phones that can leave many scratching their heads. Now’s the time to review these networks, which for many businesses haven’t been looked at since they moved into their current building. Many have legacy 10/100 speed switches running under a desk somewhere, so it’s a good opportunity to look at upgrading those to gigabit switches, as it turns out, we are all using a lot more internet traffic than we did 10 years ago!

A little internal audit of the network can go a long way to helping with packet loss, and can also usually assist with a security review while you are at it, especially when reviewing the router and firewall and Wi-Fi protocols.

The Big Switch has the opportunity to significantly improve all our business flexibility and allow SME’s to be able to respond faster to a changing world, while saving money. As now long term contracts, hidden fees and hardware commitments can be a thing of the past, as you subscribe to a phone system just like you would any other cloud service.



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