Decades of Broadband: A look at the technological evolution


As the deadline for the PSTN Switch Off approaches, the shift to full fibre broadband becomes increasingly critical for businesses. The phase-out of the legacy analogue networks by 2027  isn’t just a technical update; it’s a transformative step towards future-proofing business communications.


The evolution of the Broadband infrastructure

Navigating the world of broadband can be exciting. While it’s true that there’s a lot of technical jargon and acronyms, don’t worry, we are here to guide you through it.

Broadband has come a long way since 2000, when the first broadband launched…

Asymmetric Subscriber Line (ADSL)

Originally, broadband was provided through copper cables, best known as ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line). Copper phone lines for data transmission, offer slower speeds and is more susceptible to signal degradation over distance.

Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) 

Shortly after ADSL, in 2008, Fibre optic cables were introduced, replacing old copper cables used for the ADSL. FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) combines fibre optic cables to a local cabinet and then copper wires to to premises. This provides faster speeds and higher reliability than ADSL, but is still limited by the quality of the copper connection.

Fibre To The Premises (FTTP)

FTTP Fibre to the premises, also known as Fibre to the Home and Full Fibre broadband, is the most advanced and future-proof option. It is the fastest and most reliable fibre optic broadband that is currently available to the UK market, delivering fibre optic connection directly to your home, enabling the fastest speeds and highest reliability, without any copper wire limitations.



The PSTN Switch Off in 2027 and what this means for businesses

The PSTN Switch Off (or ISDN switch off) is a process by which traditional public switched telephone Network (PSTN) services will be discontinued and replaced with VoIP. The demands of today’s level of communication, necessitates a network that is significantly more robust.

As the deadline for the PSTN switch off approaches, the importance of fibre broadband for businesses cannot be overstated. The decommissioning of outdated analogue networks in 2027 will necessitate the adoption of full fibre broadband, to ensure business continuity.

What services are affected?

Essentially everything using the copper line! This will impact a wide range of services that use this traditional network infrastructure. Here are some of the services that will be affected:

  • Broadband services that run over old PSTN lines such as ISDN, ADSL & FTTC.
  • Alarm systems, building management systems, modems that connect to PSTN .
  • Traditional analogue voice services will be replaced by digital alternatives such as Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

From VoIP and SIP trunks to SoGEA and FFTP, a variety of alternative digital solutions are available that offer contemporary communication support for businesses.


So what does this mean for your business?

For businesses within the UK and the rest of the world, it’s important to understand how you can prepare your business for the Switch Off.

Many of you are asking if digital is really better than PSTN. The answer is yes. In our rapidly advancing digital landscape, digital technology is pivotal in transforming our daily lives and businesses communications. It presents a new era for broadband technology, characterized by efficiency, reliability, and robust security.

As network infrastructure specialists, VCG is ideally positioned to assist you in future-proofing your operations, providing support, and delivering flexible solutions that drive cost-effectiveness for businesses.

Speak with one of our experienced technical architects at

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