WLR Network Switch Off: Don’t Wait Until 2025
Peter Goddard, Birmingham Partner Manager
23 February 2021

The switch off of the Openreach WLR network and what it means for you.

In 2025 the last elements of Openreach’s WLR network will be turned off. The impact on telephony and Broadband services is far reaching so you need to know how it will impact you.

The  project  has  already  begun  so  don’t wait to consider your options.

What is WLR?

Wholesale Line Rental (WLR) is a range of Openreach services that utilises  copper lines. This covers every service that uses this infrastructure, from analogue and digital ISDN lines to Broadband and Ethernet services, to alarms and lift intercoms.

The phased approach

Openreach will be switching off services at each exchange in turn. The first stage is to announce a “Stop Sell” date. After this date no new services can be ordered and changes to existing services cannot be made.

There are already 170 exchanges that will be in the Stop Sell phase by October 2021. Two years after the stop sell date all services cease at that exchange.

Our mission at Spitfire

Spitfire will ensure that our customers are fully aware of the impact of the WLR switch off.

We will offer a choice of technologies to ensure every customer has a suitable service for the future for both connectivity and telephony.

We will ensure that every customer migrates to the new services as smoothly as possible.

We will keep our customers informed of the elements of the project that impact them so they can make unrushed, informed decisions.

New services

In order to turn off WLR services, new technologies are being phased in.

These include:

Fibre to the Premise (FTTP): providing internet connectivity and IP telephony capability.

SOGEA: Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) connectivity using the existing copper line but with no analogue telephony capability.

IP Telephony: this has of course been available for years but will now completely replace analogue and digital phone lines.