Communication solutions for education
For schools, colleges and universities across the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic marked a major shift in the adoption of technology to enable remote learning. What’s left behind now is a patchwork of non-integrated technologies that while suitable for short-term use, haven’t been designed for the longer term, or specifically to meet the needs of modern educational organisations.
There’s another major change in communications that schools will need to plan ahead for: the ISDN switch off. Openreach will switch off its copper analogue lines (PSTN and ISDN) networks over the next three years, meaning that all organisations currently using traditional phone lines will need to migrate to a VoIP or hosted solution. Stop Sell has already started in some areas, so you may not be able to buy additional ISDN phone lines if needed.
Whether learning takes place at school or at home, your organisation’s phone system is a crucial part of day-to-day running. With a hosted or VoIP communication solution in place, you’ll benefit from features and functionality that will enhance both teacher and student safety, enable more efficient communications to parents or students, and encourage effective collaboration between teaching staff.
Special pricing available for education customers
Technology challenges in education
Here at Alfonica, we understand that schools have a unique set of challenges to overcome when considering investment in communications and technology.
- Increased budgetary pressure, with an expectation to continue investing in ongoing digital transformation
- Demand for staff and department collaboration and teachers being able to ‘work from anywhere’
- Parents and students expecting flexibility and instant communication from teachers
- Seasonal fluctuations in the demand and communications traffic from term-time vs. holidays
- The ability to report on major events, school closures and allow parents to easily report student non-attendance and sickness
- Increased scrutiny on safeguarding for both students and teachers
How to prepare your school
for the ISDN switch off
Preparing for the ISDN switch off is easy with Alfonica. We’ll work with you to identify your requirements and recommend the best solution, handling everything from start to finish. In fact, we’re so committed to helping schools migrate to hosted or VoIP solutions that we offer special pricing for the education sector.
What is the PSTN and ISDN switch off?
PSTN stands for the Public Switch Telephone Network. The PSTN network supports several Openreach products, including the Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN). At the end of December 2025, traditional telephony (including fixed lines and features in the PSTN) will be switched off and withdrawn from service.
Why are PSTN and ISDN networks being switched off?
PSTN allows calls to be made over copper and fibre telephone lines. This is known as “traditional telephony”. As broadband services have increased in quality and reliability over the past decade, the PSTN has evolved to become an almost completely digital network. Soon there won’t be a requirement for most traditional fixed line telephony services, so they will no longer exist.
Stop Sell has already started - take action now
Openreach have already begun the withdrawal of ISDN/PSTN services by issuing Stop Sell Notices. A Stop Sell Notice restricts the sale and provision of ISDN/PSTN services in a telephone exchange, in preparation of its retirement in that area.
We can help your school migrate from ISDN to the newest, future-proof solutions, and we’ll be there every step of the way. Leave the acronyms and the jargon to us, and we’ll design a solution that’s tailored to your organisation’s needs. We make connectivity, communication and collaboration easy.
Benefits of VOIP or hosted communication
Moving to a hosted solution is cost effective because the installation and maintenance costs are minimal. A hosted solution also means that you avoid paying expensive traditional phone line bills, as your calls will be placed over competitively priced internet connectivity instead. We offer special pricing for the education sector.
A VoIP or hosted system is full of features that are simply not available with traditional phone lines. These features include increased call control, staff emergency broadcasts, call recording, free calls between multiple locations and dedicated lines. A dedicated line can be particularly useful for schools as they can be employed to report absences and prevent unwanted behaviour.
VoIP or hosted systems allow for increased flexibility, scaling up and down seamlessly to match a school’s exact requirements. Adding or removing new users and devices is very easy and can be done as required. This is a far simpler process than it is with traditional phone lines.
Unified Communications for Education
Our Unified Communications platform delivers a powerful suite of tools, features and integrations that enable teaching staff and administrators to work from anywhere, on any device.