Copper Switch-Off – now the Channel takes control.

When Britain switched from 2G to 3G, customers just enjoyed enhanced performance and any stranded assets were entirely on the network side. When we switched from analogue TV to digital TV, there were adverts on every channel for months and a £200m marketing campaign to make sure folks would still be able to see their favourite programmes.

Now BT’s switching off the copper PSTN network, the silence -- from everybody from the main telco brands to Ofcom to central government itself -- is pretty much deafening.

Britain’s channel players have done a fantastic job empowering today’s businesses with high-speed connectivity and digitally-enabled functionality. And it’s Britain’s channel players who will find themselves in the firing line if those customers’ diallers, payment machines, burglar alarms or lift emergency lines fail to operate after switch-off -- and business customers discover the hard way that legacy equipment was wired into the 48Volt copper network, and was simply never replaced and re-configured for fibre.

So it’s Britain’s channel players who have to take control of the switch-over narrative. Now, while there’s still time to act before the 2025 deadline.

Enter Fit To Switch – an all-industry, supplier-agnostic campaign from Comms Business:
• Speaking directly to the owners of Britain’s businesses.
• Persuading them to double-check their back-office systems are all switch-off ready.
• Encouraging them to trust and turn to their specialist CP suppliers for professional advice and expert consultancy.

Fit To Switch moves beyond wishful thinking, noble-sounding but impotent websites and telecoms industry jargon. The campaign carries the need to check and replace legacy equipment straight to Britain’s business-owners and senior managers.

Business people don’t get business-critical intelligence from telcos. They rely on their industry peers, specialist trade press and industry associations. So Fit to Switch is taking the message into the media that British businesses trust.

Starting with sister publications in CB’s own publishing stable, Fit To Switch’s initial test-marketing campaign has already engaged over 100,000 factory-owners and senior engineering managers via editorial features and survey questionnaires in Operations Engineer, Manufacturing Management, The Engineer and Transport Engineer.

“Fit To Switch has been two years in the making,” says Comms Business publisher Mat Swift. “It started with, frankly, our incredulity that nobody was leading this campaign; it reflected on Openreach’s frustration at the difficulties of influencing business owners; it moved through serious discussions with the big wholesale providers and it ended up with a full-blown sanity-testing campaign with real factory owners.

“We know there’s a crying need for impartial advice. Fit To Switch states the problem in language CPs’ clients understand, through media they trust. And it points them squarely to the professionalism and expertise of Channel resellers to help them manage-out their vulnerabilities.

“We are delighted the message has resonated so strongly with Daisy, Gamma, 8x8, Giacom and Sangoma, our founding National Champions. Each of them will be making Fit To Switch resources and leads available to their reseller customers.

“Together with CSL, the internet-of-things specialists Comms Council UK, and Larato, our National Champions’ support means the website at launch already represents the largest concentration of knowledge and specialist resources on the subject. That will only grow as more specialists come on board, and as the campaign rolls out into specialist markets like Healthcare, Education and Agriculture in the weeks ahead.”

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