FTTP Exchange Upgrades

Product stop sells and FTTP exchange upgrades

In December 2025, the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) will be switched off and all services migrated to IP or mobile-based products. In the lead up, as Openreach upgrades the UK’s digital infrastructure, Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) products will be shut down in certain parts of the country.

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Following Openreach’s announcement of the two pilot exchange areas of Salisbury and Mildenhall, they have announced another 168 exchanges being upgraded to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP).

What’s going on?

Pilot locations As the first pilot location, Salisbury will be the first city to have full FTTP coverage. WLR stop sell is announced for December 2020, with all existing WLR/MPF services being moved to new FTTP/Ethernet and IP voice services. WLR will be withdrawn in December 2022.

Mildenhall’s WLR stop sell will be in May 2021, with services being withdrawn in December 2022. WLR/MPF services won’t be upgraded to FTTP, but will be migrated to fibre alternatives inside the fibre footprint, with WLR services outside the footprint being moved to alternatives such as SoGEA and SoADSL where available.

169 exchanges moving to FTTP In addition to Salisbury, a further 117 exchanges will be upgraded to FTTP only by June 2021, once a minimum of 75% FTTP coverage is reached. Stop sell notifications have been issued at the end of June 2020, giving 12 months’ notice. Since then there has been a further notification of upgrades to another 51 exchanges by October 2021.

Stop sell will apply at a premises level only, where there’s access to an available FTTP product.

  • In those premises, stop sell of non-FTTP products will apply. There’ll be no new supply of the following: CP transfers; working line takeovers; adding broadband to voice lines; bandwidth modify; start of stopped lines; or migration to non-FTTP products.
  • If premises can order FTTP, only FTTP will be available for new supply. As it becomes available at more premises, these will immediately come within scope of the stop sell.
  • For premises that can’t access FTTP or SOGfast (if FTTP isn’t available), WLR, FTTC/Gfast, SOGEA or SOADSL (when launched and if no fibre is available) will still be available.
  • Exceptions are being discussed with industry.

What’s impacted? 

Currently the PSTN supports a number of Openreach products. These will no longer be available from the stop sell dates. And from the WLR withdrawal in December 2025 (unless otherwise stated), they will no longer work. 

These products include:

  • WLR3 analogue 
  • ISDN2 
  • ISDN30 
  • SMPF 
  • Narrowband Line Share and Classic products

What does this mean to you? 

First things first, don’t panic. Everyone will be having to make the move to all-IP solutions anyway, so this is your chance to get ahead of the game. IP solutions can improve your operations, cost base and service. And we’ve got a portfolio filled with ideal replacement products. Start incorporating them into your own offering so when 2025 comes around, you’ll already have been an all-IP expert for years. 

Why us? 

As well as having a network that’s built for the future, we’ve been at the core of the communications industry since it started. We’re pioneers, investors and innovators and we do the best to give you and your customers solutions that will help you thrive. Not to mention the benefits our digital-ready portfolio brings, such as: 

  • reliability of services hosted in dedicated, secure data centres across the country 
  • security and peace of mind knowing our data centres come with the latest encryption techniques 
  • resilient and dedicated networks with 99.999% availability 
  • scalable services that can be flexed to meet your customers’ demands 
  • experience from our experts, including over 1,700 wholesale staff to help you future-proof your portfolio 

What’s the next step? 

Please get in touch if you have any questions or concerns about your broadband set up. We can talk you through the upcoming plans to ensure you can be moved onto new services ahead of the withdrawal dates. 

How we can help you

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