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ISDN Withdrawal – the key questions answered

In this article we answer some of the key questions you may have about the upcoming ISDN withdrawal and the wider closing of the PSTN.

What is the PSTN?

The Public Switched Telephone network or PSTN currently forms a large part of the UK telecoms infrastructure. It is made up of copper telephone lines, fibre optic cables, microwave transmission links, satellites, undersea telephone cables and mobile networks. It used for several functions, including the making of calls using analogue voice data and Supporting digital services such as ISDN.

Why is the PSTN being withdrawn?

According to Openreach:

‘the equipment which runs the PSTN is ageing and will reach its end of life by December 2025.  This means the analogue telephone voice services that are reliant on this network will no longer be available……. Spare parts are becoming out of manufacture and, additionally, many of the people who designed, built and operated the system are retired or close to retirement so skills are increasingly scarce.’

The current PSTN network will be replaced with a fibre and VoIP network.

What products will be affected?

The PSTN network currently supports a number of products which, when it is withdrawn, will no longer be available. The key one which will affect business customers is the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). Many companies have telephony systems which use either ISDN2 or ISDN30 channels to make and receive calls. Over 16 million lines and channels are affected by the swicth off and will need migrating prior to 2025.

When are the services being withdrawn?

Openreach plans to stop allowing the connection of new PSTN services, like ISDN, from September 2023. All connections will be finally switched off in December of 2025.

How will the switch off be managed?

This is still an ongoing discussion. Openreach are in regular discussion with Ofcom and the Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator (OTA2) about this process. The Federation of Communication Services (FCS) is also involved in these discussions. As a member of the FCS, Deep Blue is part of the wider conversation about how the withdrawal will be managed for communications providers and their customers.

What alternative products will there be?

Openreach are currently in the process of introducing a range of new services alongside some of their existing ones to ensure internet access is available once the PSTN is discontinued. From there, call traffic will be handled as Voice over IP (VoIP). This basically means that your voice call is sent as bits of data via your internet connection. If you are using SIP trunks, Horizon or InBound then you are already making calls via this technology.

I’m using ISDN lines, should I make the switch now?

As always when big changes are happening, some companies use the uncertainty for their own gains. We have already seen customers who have received communications, both at their business and at home, implying their connectivity is under threat and they should move now before it’s too late! This, luckily, is not true. There is still almost five and a half years until the PSTN is deactivated so while it is something to start giving thought to, it is not a reason to rush to make changes.

There are, however, plenty of other good reasons to make the switch. Keep a look out for our article ‘ISDN to VoIP- is it time to make the change?’ coming soon. In it we will detail the many benefits of switching to a VoIP solution: like potential cost savings, resilience and features.

In Conclusion

Many companies are already taking advantage of digital services which will serve them now and after the switch off. For those that aren’t, there is plenty of time and plenty of options for them to make the move to. Openreach, the FCS and service providers like Deep Blue are all working closely to put plans and procedures in place to manage the switch.

Deep Blue customers can rest assured that we will be on hand to make the change as easy and stress free as possible.

Have more questions, want to get ahead of the crowd or keen to start taking advantage of VoIP for it’s many other benefits? Contact Deep Blue today on 0333 240 9100 or by email to theteam@deepbluetelecom.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

3CX UPDATE – The latest V15.5 Update – 6 – has gone gold

3CX Update

The latest V15.5 3CX Update – 6 – has gone gold. It’s an important update too, not only does it come with many new features & improvements but it also has updated SSL certificates that are required.

Check if you already have the latest version by looking at your license on your dashboard, it should end in 6.
 
SSL Security Updates

In the next month 3CX will be updating the security certificates on their servers, required for secure communication with 3CX. This means that you will need to go to update 6 as soon as possible. 3CX continue to add many security features under the hood to ensure safe operation of the PBX and secure communications.
 
For those of you who missed the release of V15.5, Update 6 it comes with some great new features. Amongst others, it includes a WebRTC softphone within the web client, smarter smartphone apps, SSL Security updates and more. Upgrading to the latest service pack is critical and we highly recommend you do so as soon as possible.  

3CX Version 15.0 and 15.5 Users

To make the upgrade process easy for you 3CX have prepared some tools which will automatically upgrade your PBX to Update 6 through all service packs. These tools can be used by all customers who are already on version 15.0 and 15.5 regardless if you have maintenance or not.

3cx Update
 
Back up 3CX to either your documents folder (preferable) or desktop.

Uninstall 3CX

Install version 6 – download the up to date version here: https://www.3cx.com/phone-system/download-links/

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO SAVE £3,000

Are you eligible to save £3,000?

ARE YOU ELIGIBLE TO SAVE £3,000

The Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme is designed to increase the speed of deployment of full fibre networks within the UK by providing micro-grants to support the cost of new connectivity. Vouchers are the mechanism the Scheme uses to provide these grants.

Full fibre networks are the future and getting ready for a gigabit speed is a key step for most businesses.

If you are a small or medium sized business, you may be eligible for vouchers worth up to £3,000 to upgrade your business broadband to a fast and reliable connection over gigabit capable infrastructure.

Am I eligible?
The scheme is available for small to medium sized enterprises.

The category of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is made up of enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding 50 million euro, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding 43 million euro. This includes sole traders.

What is a gigabit connection?
The UK now has 95% coverage for superfast broadband with speeds of 24 megabits per second or higher. However, most superfast connections still depend on copper telephone wires, which are limited in the speeds they can support. For the fastest and most reliable broadband, capable of delivering gigabit speeds, a full fibre connection is required.

One gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits – so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that could benefit you and your business into the future. Full fibre also supports symmetrical connections – meaning your upload and download speeds can be the same.

Interested?
Want to Check your eligibility?
If you wish to find out more information please get in touch at theteam@deepbluetelecom.co.uk

Win with Deep Blue

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Are you attending Yorkshire’s hottest Conference?

We will once again be exhibiting at Yorkshire Ladies Links Be Inspired Conference which takes place on 8th March at Wetherby Races.

Running for the fourth year, Be Inspired attracts thousands of visitors from across the UK, there really is something for everyone and the best part is it’s FREE to attend.

You won’t want to miss this… take part in our prize draw, all we need is your business card and you could be the proud new owner of one of these fabulous prizes (don’t worry if you can’t make it on the day, head to our social media pages to enter).

First Prize – Dog and Bone Telephone
Second Prize – Telephone Bird Feeder
Third Prize – Telephone Salt & Pepper Pots
5 Runners Up – Earphones

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Come and find us if you would like to discuss working smarter or giving your customers a better service, we’ll even send you away with one of our special telephone chocolates! Of course, if you would like to arrange an appointment with us at the event, or have any questions, please email us at info@deepbluetelecoms.co.uk

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A simple guide to recording and storing conversations to comply with MiFID II

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What is MiFID II?

The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, commonly known as MiFID II, launched in January 2018. First introduced by the EU in response to the 2008 financial crisis, MiFID is a set of sweeping reforms for the financial industry designed to prevent history from repeating itself in the same way again.

Replacing the original Directive, MiFID II brings changes to many areas relating to conduct of business, including far more robust rules around the recording and storing of conversations.

This easy-to-digest eGuide cuts through the jargon and highlight the key parts to help you become compliant.

(click the images to view more)

Who needs to comply?

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What needs to be recorded?

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How do recording need to be stored?

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How do recordings need to be monitored?

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The clock is ticking… are you ready for MiFID II?

Get in touch with Deep Blue today to find out more about how MiFID II is going to impact your organisation and how we can help you comply with these new regulations.

info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or 0333 240 9100.

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Case Study – Rural Business Park can really offer it all

IMG_0988Local Estate invests in superfast broadband network so that its tenants can enjoy the dream of work life balance.

Hutton Wandesley Estates offers small to medium size businesses, the opportunity to work in an attractive office environment located in a picturesque and historical village in the heart of North Yorkshire. With strong transport links to both York and Harrogate as well as easy access to the A1, Hutton Wandesley Estates can offer it all.

Sasha York, Director of Hutton Wandesley Estate, commented “We’ve just completed the first part of a superfast wireless broadband project to provide our commercial tenants with a business class service at both our Sycamore Barn and Manor Farm Barn offices in the village of Angram. We will be expanding this network in the second phase to residents in Angram and a residential development due to be completed in the Autumn. Angram is a small hamlet west of York which has been neglected by national ISPs.”

Sasha continues “As many of our commercial tenants are from the creative sector, having access to superfast broadband is vital to our business offering. We have struggled with the service that the national ISPs were supplying, 1 Megabits at best, which just doesn’t suffice for today’s online businesses.

Hutton Wandesley Estate has been working on a solution for over two years. Working with Signa Technologies and Deep Blue have enabled us to put in place the service we wanted to provide. Together they have designed and installed a network that meant we could offer our tenants packages from 10Mbps up to 30Mbps with room to grow as demand requires. This is a huge improvement and our tenants agree”.

Mike Harmer, who runs a Web Design company at Manor Farm Barn, one of Hutton Wandesley Estate’s business centres, said “using the internet is essential for the operation of my business as nearly everything is cloud based. When I first moved to Manor Farm the broadband was particularly poor and I needed to use a 4G dongle to try boost the speed, but this still wasn’t great. Fortunately, I knew the new network was coming and now it’s here the connection to the internet has vastly improved. I am now able to upload large files and back up my data without having to think about it.”

Mike continues “as the service is reliable and fast, it has encouraged me to come to the office more, as before I would need to work from home to be able to send client files over the internet.”

Martyn Boswell, Managing Director at Signa Technologies stated “working alongside an IT company such as Deep Blue, helps us deliver not only a robust broadband service but also gives Deep Blue a platform to sell innovative business solutions such as VoIP telephony, which is usually only available to companies located in urban areas.

We hope to work with Deep Blue on many more of these types of network projects in the near future.”

Ross Knapman at Deep Blue added “As a Telecoms business, we know only too well the struggles rural areas face with their technology connections. Teaming up with Signa Technologies is a vital step to ensuring areas such as Angram have improved solutions, speed and reliability.”

If you have a business that would like to provide WiFi to its customers such as a hotel, leisure facility, or place of interest; or you are a business that needs to connect various properties with internet service but are struggling to get the connectivity, then please get in touch and arrange a chat about what Signa can do to help your business. Contact us at info@signa-uk.com or telephone 01423 900 433. Alternatively you can discuss your requirements with Deep Blue on info@deepbluetelecom.co.uk or 0333 240 9100.

 

 

Ryan Sidebottom – Iconic swing bowler calls time at the top of his game

At the end of this county season iconic swing bowler Ryan Sidebottom will call time on his 20 year career as a professional cricketer, a career which has spanned 3 decades and seen him break records for his country and county. Playing a pivotal role in England winning the T20 World Cup in 2010, Ryan is the only player in the recent history of the game to win five county championships.

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​Ryan will retire from the sport still at the top of his game and is arranging a number of testimonial events to celebrate his career at which he hopes to see many faces from the last 20 years to make his retirement celebrations a time to remember for everyone involved. 

Deep Blue Telecom are proud to sponsor Ryan in his final season as well as supporting two charities close to Ryan’s heart: Martin House Children’s Hospice and his own Cricket Foundation, who will benefit from money raised during the testimonial period.

It’s here! The Deep Blue Knowledgebase

The first few customers have received their logins for the Deep Blue knowledgebase and the feedback we have had so far has been really positive! Don’t worry if you haven’t received your login yet as we are rolling these out throughout the week.

When you first login, try typing ‘How do I use the knowledgebase?’ in the searchbox to find out how to get the most from the information available.

If you spot an error or can’t find the answer you are looking for please let me know at rachel.macleod@deepbluetelecom.co.uk so I can get it fixed, the knowledgebase is a continually growing and changing resource so we appreciate any comments or feedback.

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Letter to Alec Shelbrooke MP

As a business owner and active member of the local business networking community, Deep Blue’s Managing Director Ross Knapman recently wrote to local MP Alec Shelbrooke about the prospective take over of EE by BT, a copy of this letter can be found below:

I am writing to you as a constituent from Wetherby and a local Business owner who believes in supporting other local businesses with reliable yet affordable communication systems.

When helping our customers to decide on which provider offers the best service for their budget, the greater choice they have matters, therefore the recent decision to allow BT (fixed line provider) to merge with Everything Everywhere (EE Owners of the largest mobile network) gives me great cause for concern.

As your Government is committed to supporting SMEs, would Parliament consider looking more closely at the risks and impacts on what was and should remain, a competitive UK industry, preferably based on today’s market and not using the outdated 2003 Communications Act?

If the merger goes ahead with no protective measures to ensure all communication providers have an equal opportunity, won’t it lead to near monopoly situations, for example in the emergency sector where BT already handles all 999 calls and EE have recently been awarded the position of sole network provider for the Emergency Services Network?

Also as a member of FCS I would like to appraise you of their willingness to meet MPs in Westminster or in their constituency, FCS have been active in pre-merger discussions with Ofcom and the Competition and Markets Authority.

As you will be well aware Wetherby is a thriving market town with a lot of local businesses that actively support one another and I feel that communications is a vital, although often somewhat under estimated, component in the support structure and as such everyone should have a varied and competitive marketplace from which to make their choice.