Phone Line options for Schools, Colleges and Universities

Your school, college or university’s phone system cannot function without choosing a type of phone line connection. A phone line needs to give your school, colleges or university:

Flexibility with your phone numbers– High-quality calls – Business Continuity

There isn’t one size, fits all, so please do get in touch to discuss your requirements!

Discover more about ISDN, SIP and Inbound solutions in Schools, Colleges and Universities.

BT ISDN Switch-off

ISDN lines has been around for many years and it is still common within the Education sector however, like most industries you need to start looking at alternative solutions because of the BT ISDN Switch-off.

ISDN Phone lines are being phased out; BT announced that from September 2023 they will withdraw the ability to purchase any additional ISDN lines. Between April and December 2025, there will be a forced migration period before they switch them off.

This means you can still use ISDN phone lines until September 2023 but since it is out-dated technology, it is worth looking at alternatives, now, especially if you have plans to grow.

Alternative Phone Lines Options

A direct replacement to ISDN phone lines would be SIP Trunks but if you are considering your phone system options at the same time; different phone systems can replace the need for SIP Trunks.

SIP Trunks (SIP Lines)

SIP and SIP trunks is an on-premise or hosted solution for a telephone system that will use virtual phone lines rather than physical wires.

SIP Trunking is fast becoming the best alternative to ISDN as it is cheaper on a per-line basis, offers flexibility and control over your phone numbers, and it's quicker to install.

Any business with a compatible PBX can switch to SIP trunking service and immediately benefit from more flexible, less expensive, and more resilient phone service.

Our top five benefits for upgrading your phone system to SIP:

  • Save Money on call costs and line rental – IP connectivity costs less than ISDN so you’ll benefit from lower call costs; free internal calls between sites and free calls to UK local/national and mobiles. Typically, you are looking for saving of up to 50% on line rental and 25% or more on call costs.
  • Flexibility with phone numbers – SIP trunking enables you to reduce the number of PBX’s you need to maintain whilst maintaining your existing phone number(s) regardless if you move office.
  • Scalability – SIP Trunks are perfect if you are growing (or even downsizing) and you want to retain your phone numbers. You are always in control because you can add lines, remove lines, and split calls at any time.
  • High Quality – We can proactively monitor and manage the quality of service across the entire network – it’s the underlying network quality that makes a real difference to SIP trunking. This means that we are able to support both G.729 or G.711 codecs.
  • Business Continuity – Should your office need to be temporarily relocated, SIP trunking allows you to take your phone lines with you quickly and cost-effectively.

Hybrid Phone System

A Hybrid Phone System combines the different types of connection technology (ISDN, Analogue, Digital and IP) into a single modern and flexible phone system.

This is an ideal solution for Schools, Colleges and Universities who already have ISDN, Analogue or Digital infrastructure but want the advantages that IP brings to the table.

Hosted Phone System

The Hosted Phone system is cloud-based which means you connect to it using an internet connection (IP technology) but effectively you are renting the system rather than purchasing your own dedicated system.

A Hosted Phone system is a low-cost alternative to an IP / Hybrid Phone System because you don’t have significant upfront capital costs.

IP Phone System

An IP Phone System uses Internet Protocol (IP) technology and the handsets are connected via an Ethernet connection either on a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN.)

When you choose an IP Phone System, you purchase the phone system for your own use and you choose where to host it.

Learn more about Phone Systems in Education

Keep your existing ISDN Lines

Yes, this is an option, at least until BT switches them off. It is a little riskier option but it is still an option. You could purchase the additional lines that you think you may need to carry you through for the next few years and switch to one of the other options at a later date.

This could be a good option if you are struggling with your school’s budget for a new phone system solution or the one you want to purchase rather than a “make do”; it would certainly buy you the time you needed.

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