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The switch-off begins! 


As you may know, Openreach are planning to withdraw all copper products from exchanges across the UK by December 2025. Openreach have chosen the Salisbury and Mildenhall exchanges to trial the national closure of the copper network. So how will this trial work and what can you expect if you are affected? 


The trial so far… 


In December 2020, Openreach announced the withdrawal of copper products from the Salisbury and Mildenhall exchanges, with the aim of completing the switch-off at these exchanges by March 2023. Customers in the affected exchange areas have already been sent 5 legal notices advising of the changes since February 2022. However, as there remains just under 500 copper lines at these exchanges, the deadline has been extended to October 2023 to allow for these customers to move onto digital products. 


What happens next? 


Rather than cutting off the remaining services, Openreach have decided to slowly degrade copper phone and broadband services from 24th April 2023, with the aim of encouraging these customers to change onto digital services before the platform is ceased fully in October.  


For example, those with a Fibre-To-The-Cabinet broadband service will see their download speeds reduced to 2Mbps and upload speeds reduced to 0.8Mbps.  


From 5th June 2023, outgoing calls on copper lines in these areas will be barred. This excludes calls to emergency services, alarm-receiving centres, and communication provider contacts.  


I’m affected! What are my options? 


If you’re part of one of these exchange areas, now is the time to make the switch to digital! 


You should contact your service provider as soon as possible to discuss your options. If you don’t take action now, you’ll experience a reduced level of service and will eventually be disconnected in October. 


Even if you’re not affected by the trial, it’s important that you futureproof your business as soon as possible to avoid any disruptions to your service due to the withdrawal of the copper network. 


If you’re a BT Business customer and want to prepare for the switch-off, please reach out to us on the forum or through one of our other contact channels.