Since BT announced the PSTN and ISDN switch off, demand in VoIP for UK Schools has increased dramatically. What is a VoIP phone system, and why is it high in demand?
Over the last few years, the demand for a Voice over Internet Protocol phone system (VoIP) has increased in the educational sector. We thought it would be good to cover in this blog what a VoIP phone is, discuss the reasons behind the increase in VoIP for UK schools, and why the 2025 BT switch off in 2022 is important.
What is a VoIP phone system?
A VoIP phone system effectively makes calls over the internet rather than through a traditional phone line; all you need is an internet connection. Like a traditional phone system, a VoIP is hosted on physical hardware but with a few differences (e.g., an IP Phone, computer, or a mobile device).
Due to only needing one line for two systems (Broadband and Phone), migrating to a VoIP phone system is cost-effective, plus there are no additional call charges as in most cases you can make a VoIP call for free.
VoIP Phone Systems can be hosted and managed by 3rd party suppliers. 3CX powers the Coconnect systems to provide a fully managed VoIP for UK schools; we can host and manage the configuration, system monitoring, updates, maintenance and provide hardware such as handsets from configuration to the end-of-life.
Why is there an increase in demand for VoIP for UK schools?
VoIP is overall a cheaper phone system than a traditional phone system., A VoIP phone system is moving two systems into one and there is no need to pay for an additional phone line or call costs. A VoIP phone system allows schools to free up their IT budget and invest the money elsewhere to improve students educational experience.
BT Switch off
BT announced they are switching off their Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines in 2025, effectively turning off traditional phone lines and migrating to an Internet Protocol line (IP) provided separately by BT; this has played a big part in the increase in demand in VoIP for UK schools, with many schools migrating early.
Flexibility and Scalability
One of the significant benefits of a VoIP Phone System is that it is easily scalable. Providers can shrink or grow to suit the schools’ needs. It is easy for a school to set up a new extension. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up a new phone extension and remove it. All that is required is a network access point and an IP phone.
Staff can also access their extension anywhere through an app, giving teachers access to their extension and voicemails, which is beneficial to any teachers who are not usually at their desk on a school trip to respond to any urgent matters.
Why are we talking about the BT switch off in 2025 when it is years away?
As we all know, it is best to plan early, and there are a few things to consider when migrating phone lines. You’ll need to review your current entry lines and your needs for a VoIP line and review the current broadband line to see if it can manage a VoIP phone system, although a VoIP phone system uses very little bandwidth, and in most cases, does not impact speed.
The BT switch off has made schools think sooner about their future phone line requirements and increased the demand with additional drivers like cost and easy to manage. It is not too long before most schools have migrated to a VoIP phone system once they see the cost benefits and trial it.