In December 2020, the Salisbury Stop Sell came into place, with a view to becoming the first entire city in the UK to have access to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) connectivity. This means that premises connecting to the Salisbury exchange are no longer able to place new orders for legacy telephony and connectivity products that are supported by the PSTN, if they have access to Single Order products.
The second exchange to enter a Stop Sell is Mildenhall, in Suffolk. Openreach have stated that the Stop Sell will be enforced from 1st May 2021, meaning that new orders, migrations or changes to existing copper lines will no longer be fulfilled in the area, however pre-existing connections will still be supported until December 2022, when the services become End of Life.
The Salisbury exchange is an FTTP Priority exchange, focusing on the switch to full fibre connectivity, whereas Mildenhall is a WLR closure trial. The small-scale project aims to test the withdrawal of copper-based products and transition to Single Order connectivity to support IP telephony. The plan for Mildenhall differs from the rest of the UK as MPF copper lines and MPF-based products are also included; MPF is not in the scope for other exchanges.
The Mildenhall Exchange is also an opportunity for Openreach to trial the SOTAP (also referred to as SOADSL) product which was due to go live in May 2021. SOTAP is a single order, all-copper variant of ADSL without the voice line, and had a unique offering in that premises that were unable to get fibre (FTTP, SOGFAST and SOGEA) would only be offered SOADSL and orders for WLR products would be restricted.
Openreach have now delayed the SOTAP trial until further notice, although the launch of SOADSL is still set to go ahead later in the year, planned for August 2021.
In the case of the Mildenhall Exchange, where a premises is unable to get fibre services, WLR orders will be accepted. Once a site is enabled for Single Order connectivity, the Stop Sell immediately comes into effect and orders for both WLR and MPF-based products will be denied.
This WLR trial exchange will enable Openreach to gather valuable insight into how the Stop Sell and eventual switch off will affect businesses and consumers alike. At Digital Wholesale Solutions, we are proud to be supporting Openreach and working closely with their teams to offer a Channel perspective and ensure our partners and your customers are regularly updated on the progress of the Great Switch Off.
For more information about the PSTN Switch Off and how it affects you, get in touch to speak to one of our product experts.