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BT expected to stop selling phone lines from 2020

As technology becomes outdated and outmoded, it is oft discontinued, and the ISDN lines which power many office phones are no exception. BT has historically confirmed that ISDN lines will be phased out and has now published the technical details for their plans to stop selling phone lines from 2020. Their forthcoming Single Order Generic Ethernet Access (SOGEA) product will see a naked VSDL service rolled-out allowing standalone superfast ‘fibre broadband’ without the use of a phone or voice service.

Currently anyone who has a standard fibre-to-the-cabinet VSDL broadband connection will rely on connection to the BT Openreach UK telecoms system which is used by many of the UK’s major ISPs. However, a growing number of consumers are no longer using their fixed phone lines except for internet connection and companies including Sky and AAISP have been calling for a new broadband only service for some time.

The SOGEA product is expected to be BT’s solution to this and although it will remove the phone side of the service it will still require the physical copper line that enters into the consumer’s property. With this in mind it is expected that the costs of the product will not necessarily be any cheaper. Openreach are now pushing for the service to go ahead with the view to having commercial products available very soon.

Claire Maddox, Director at Eurolink said “There are changes coming with the end of ISDN2 which have been published by Ofcom that have confirmed that BT will stop selling new ISDN2 circuits from 2020. This does mean, however, that it will not just stop existing, but with the installation of fibre-to-cabinet to all new builds it is already happening.”

Claire continued “Any new development over 30 dwellings gets free issue fibre now instead of copper, plus fibre will be rolled out by Openreach.  There are discussions that future broadband services will be provided as SOGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access) meaning that there is no copper for voice as it will all be VoIP. This is currently in design and testing but currently I am not aware it has yet been officially announced.”

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