Question marks over voice calling after nationwide migration to VoIP

There is increasing consumer awareness of the PSTN switch-off of legacy Victorian-era copper phone lines and the nationwide migration to VoIP technology, scheduled to go end of life by December 2025. This is a source of concern, especially in geographic areas where mobile voice services are patchy. For some customers, anxiety over the ability to make or receive calls in the event of a power failure after the PSTN switch-off is undermining confidence in VoIP.

Power outages tend to be transient or temporary disruptions to supply caused by a technical failure or a trip feature that is designed to deliberately break the supply for reasons of safety or circuit protection.

However, the continuity of electricity supply is not limited to technical failures or design. In these uncertain times, there are serious questions about energy security.

Power utility companies have warned of the potential for electricity supply disruptions resulting from power generation capacity issues. Furthermore, the increasing intensity and frequency of extreme weather events due to climate change increase the likelihood of power outages due to damaged infrastructure.

VoIP services rely on internet connectivity. Any mains-powered equipment that is used to provide an internet connection will cease to operate during a power outage, and this has the potential to impact VoIP services once the PSTN switch-off is complete. The ability to access emergency services or other essentials is of paramount importance, especially for elderly or vulnerable customers.

Of course, this isn’t just of concern to customers signed up for home VoIP services. It is equally important for businesses to understand the issue, as they also need to maintain the ability to contact emergency services. However, the question that will be front and centre for the owners and leaders of companies and organisations after the PSTN switch-off is: Am I still able to run the business?

Business continuity with Soho66 VoIP services in the event of a local power cut

Uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems

A UPS is a backup power supply for maintaining power to a system or device in the event of a mains power failure. A UPS provides power for a short period of time – usually measured in minutes to hours – until the primary power source is up and running again.

UPS systems are typically used to support the continual operation of IT infrastructure elements, such as mission-critical servers, computers, and routers, as well as VoIP systems, enabling a short period of operation until the primary power source is restored. Generators can provide power for long periods for core local infrastructure or even an entire site; however, these are more costly and are likely to have a significant carbon footprint through the use of fossil fuels.

To ensure that your VoIP system is resilient enough to withstand a short power outage after the PSTN switch-off, Soho66 recommends the use of UPS devices across routers that connect your VoIP to the internet and for computers that run the VoIP softphone software for receiving and making calls. This is a fundamental principle and an accepted best practice for protecting IT systems and infrastructure.

Flexible routing to support business continuity

Soho66 VoIP services are in the cloud. This means that the core of the service resides in multiple data centres, and is abstracted from the geographic location(s) from which your business operates.

This provides the capability to let you plan ahead by configuring your VoIP service to automatically adjust your VoIP call handling in the event of a power outage after the PSTN switch-off.

Routing is a powerful feature that lets you designate how to direct your Soho66 VoIP calls. Should normal routing be impacted by a local power failure, these are good options:

  • Multiple site businesses – For a multisite business, you can route your incoming VoIP calls to an alternative site that is functioning normally.
  • Single site businesses – For a single site business, you could route to a home number or any other designated location that has power and internet connectivity.
  • Smartphones or SIM card-enabled tablets – You could also route to mobile devices of key employees or designated company mobile devices.

Better VoIP business continuity after the PSTN switch-off with Soho66

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