Openreach unveils new copper switch-off plans

BT Openreach

Openreach, UK telco BT’s wholesale arm, has announced a further 119 new exchange locations across the UK, covering a further 1.25 million premises, where the business is planning to stop selling copper-based analogue services to encourage the adoption of new digital services over a full fibre connection. 

The business is giving service provider customers 12 months’ notice that it will no longer be selling copper-based products and services in the affected exchanges. The move brings the total number of locations – now notified for or actively under ‘stop sell’ notices to 831 exchanges covering a total of around 7.8 million premises across the country.

BT plans to switch off its existing analogue phoneline platform or PSTN by the end of December 2025. Openreach is to stop selling analogue phone lines to new customers by September 2023, in a phased way, across the UK.

The company said that if full fibre is not yet available in an exchange area where it is stopping selling copper-based products and services including FTTC (Fibre-to-the-Cabinet) , its customers could be migrated over to one of its newly developed products to enable them to have a digital line, such as SOGEA (Single Order Generic Ethernet Access)

Openreach is committed to upgrading just over 10 million remaining analogue lines – including the now ageing traditional landline telephone service – to new digital ones.

Read Next