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1. What is Openreach planning to do with PSTN?
Openreach are planning on switching off all PSTN services by December 2025 and stop selling new services by December 2023, with some exchanges already on a stop sell and making FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) the only available option. Where exchanges cannot get FTTP, Openreach has released a product called ‘SOGEA’.
2. What about my broadband service on PSTN?
Openreach has released a product called SOGEA which is a PSTN line that carries FTTC on it, but doesn’t have any voice facilities or a phone number attached. Therefore, it is not possible to make or receive calls using a traditional telephone on SOGEA.
3. So how will I get voice services when PSTN is switched off?
If you need to keep your landline number, you will need to port it to VoIP (Voice over IP). We will advise you of your options. You may need to replace or acquire additional equipment in order to use VoIP.
4. What does SOGEA stand for?
Single Order Generic Ethernet Access. It’s Openreach’s term for FTTC essentially, without the voice side.
5.What speed does SOGEA offer?
Megganet is offering up to 40/10 and 80/20 SOGEA speeds (download/upload Mb/sec)
6. How do I move my current Megganet service from PSTN/FTTC to SOGEA?
If you are a Megganet client, we can modify your existing broadband connection, usually without an engineer visit.
If you are not a Megganet client, you can transfer your existing internet service and we will automatically upgrade it to SOGEA.
7. What will happen to the number on the line? And how is SOGEA presented on the line/socket?
By default, the number will cease to exist once the switch has completed. However, you do have the option to port the number to Megganet’s VoIP platform. This is part of the order process.
SOGEA is presented in the same way as a regular PSTN/FTTC line – just the voice facilities will not work. A filter is still required just as regular broadband is. Sometimes Openreach will install a dual plug filtered socket for both PSTN and broadband so in these instances a separate filter isn’t required.
8.Is there a cost to switch to SOGEA?
It is FREE to switch to SOEGA, providing your current phoneline and internet service is out of contract. You may need to pay for additional equipment such as a VoIP phone (see our selection of Yealink phones). Megganet clients should not need an engineer callout and non Megganet clients may need a replacement router. Emgineer callouts will be charged at our normal fees.
Rarely but, some times, depending on the carrier, there may be a transfer fee of £37.00 + VAT if switching to SOGEA.
You may wish to take the opportunity to upgrade your Router and your Wi-Fi equipment to take advantage of the higher speeds.
9. Will my username or Static IP address change?
Megganet customers should retain both the username and static IP (if you already had one). Obviously if you’re switching from another provider, these will change just as they do when migrating ADSL/FTTC.
10. What if SOGEA isn’t available?
If SOGEA isn’t available in an area that doesn’t have FTTC or FTTP yet, then there isn’t a product available and normal PSTN/ADSL must be used for now. We plan to release an ADSL equivalent in the coming months (called SoTAP) that will enable PSTN/ADSL migrations to such a product. If FTTP is available and SOGEA isn’t, then FTTP must be used.
11. So if I need to install a new line, should I use SOGEA or WLR/SIM Provide Broadband?
Yes, however, eventually the norm will be FTTP or SOGEA.
12. Is there anything different about SOGEA broadband wise compared to PSTN/FTTC?
No, the only difference is that it cannot be used for voice facilities and has no telephone number attached.
13. Can I use my existing router?
If you are presently using an ADSL router without a WAN port, you will need to replace your router.
If you have an ADSL router with a WAN port, you just need to purchase a modem. If you order a speed higher than 80Mb, you may need to order a gigabit router
If you currently have a VDSL router and you are a Megganet FTTC client, then you can carry on using the same router for SOGEA using the same settings.
If you have an older or out of date router, you could choose to purchase a replacement.
14.Are there any cost savings for SOGEA over PSTN/FTTC as I’m not using the voice side?
Yes, our SOEGA rental prices are lower than traditional PSTN/FTTC products.
In addition, Megganet offers a free installation or transfer on PSTN and FTTC if ordered as part of a Simultaneous broadband. It will also be free to provide SOGEA regardless of the installation type, so the PSTN offer will stop from 01/05/2022 to encourage people to order SOGEA.
15.So does that mean if I order a PSTN/FTTC connection from 1st May, 2022 I have to pay install fees?
Yes. Partly because Megganet absorbs some of the installation fee charged by Openreach, whereas with SOGEA the installation fee absorbed is much less and is also a more future proof product, so it makes sense for people to move to SOGEA.
16.What about the PSTN/ADSL Installation offer?
That will still be available until SOTAP is released. But please consider using SOGEA if it’s available in your area.
17.What about G.Fast?
Openreach are releasing a SOGFast product, which is a PSTN/G.Fast replacement, but has yet to be released.
18.Can I switch back from SOGEA to PSTN/FTTC or ADSL?
This is possible but isn’t recommended. Eventually Openreach will not allow this anyway.
19.Will I be able to switch from PSTN/FTTC/ADSL or SOGEA to FTTP when it becomes available?
You won’t be able to switch, so to speak, as the current process is to install FTTP and then cease the PSTN / SOGEA service if it’s no longer required.
20.So if I switch to SOGEA, what will happen if my exchange stops copper / PSTN lines / SOGEA completely, will they force me to switch to FTTP?
Eventually, yes, but this isn’t likely to happen for another 10 to 15 years or so. The emphasis at the moment is to switch as many people away from PSTN/FTTC to SOGEA or FTTP where available. SOGEA has a much longer lifespan than PSTN/FTTC.
21.So what about if I have a PSTN line and I use it for just calls and no broadband? Will I have to move?
This is still a contentious issue in the industry, but at the current time Openreach’s stance is it’s sticking to its guns that it wants to move such users to SOGEA or FTTP and request the customer to use VoIP.
22.What if I have line rental with another provider and broadband with you, or line rental with you and broadband with another provider?
The Line rental and the Internet service are two different things and can be provided by independent providers. Moving to SOEGA removes the line rental from the equation and you no longer need to pay for it. You only pay for the internet service.
23.If I have line rental with a 3rd party provider and broadband with you and I swap to SOGEA, is there a cease charge? Or vice versa?
It would not be unusual for a 3rd party to require a cease charge for the part of the circuit they provide.
24.If my current broadband connection is in contract, can I still move to SOGEA without incurring extra fees?
In many cases, it is possible to switch to SOGEA without penalty. This will, however, start a new 12 month contract. We use several service wholesalers and if your service was within contract, they would charge for the unused part of their contract. This is not a real problem as you simply wait till the end of the contract before moving to SOEGA.
25.What if I have a home user who doesn’t really understand VoIP and broadband?
This is more common with the older population, but again, this is a contentious issue with Openreach and the industry, but Openreach intend to stick to its guns and force people onto a broadband and VoIP style service.
26.Are there any concessions for people who just use broadband for VoIP as a replacement for PSTN and have no intention of using traditional internet services such web and email?
Not at the current time.
27.Can I migrate a PSTN/ADSL/FTTC or SOGEA service from another provider to Megganet’s SOGEA? And how do I know which line to ‘migrate’ if it hasn’t got a number?
Yes, you can. Contact us, and we will be able to help you with this. It would be helpful if you had a recent bill handy fas we may need specific information from it.
28.Can I restart a ‘stopped line’ and install SOGEA on it?
Yes, but eventually these will not have dial tones as PSTN switches off, so it won’t always be easy for anyone to determine which line has been restarted if you have multiple lines in a building. In these situations, we suggest installing a brand new service to be 100% sure. An Openreach engineer will come out and most likely use an existing stopped line anyway.
29.Can I migrate PSTN/FTTC to Megganet’s SOGEA and VoIP service?
Yes, you can this is part of the order process.
If the telephone number is of importance, given our SOGEA Installation is free of charge regardless if a new line is required or an existing spare line is used, you may wish to proceed cautiously with switching from PSTN/FTTC to VOIP/SOGEA should consider separating the process to avoid potential issues or delays. Put simply, although every effort is made to ensure the order goes through smoothly, we cannot guarantee this because of external factors, as it’s relying on Openreach, BT Wholesale and a VOIP provider all coming together in one go. A safer solution for this is to install the SOGEA service alongside the existing PSTN/broadband connection and once that is up and working, arrange to port the PSTN voice number to VoIP and cancel the old line. This will reduce the risk of mishaps occurring.
30.What about ISDN2 and 30 and PSTN Multi-lines?
They will follow the same fate as PSTN and customers will need to move to a VoIP solution.
31.Finally, is there any downtime when switching to SOGEA from PSTN/FTTC or ADSL?
The majority of migrations will happen in the middle of the night just as they do with FTTC migrations. Whilst there shouldn’t be any downtime during the switch, it’s impossible to say there won’t be a brief period of a few minutes whilst Openreach do what’s needed to be done. Effectively, treat this question with the same answer as a regular broadband migration.
32.What do I do if I need to know anything else?
We’ve attempted to answer as many questions as we can, but we’re always on the end of a phone call or email if you wish to know more. SOGEA has been headline news in the comms industry for a year or so now, so hopefully this has covered everything.