Keep the tortoise in mind because the race to 2025 isn’t over yet

As the Channel approaches the 2025 Switch Off, many will be understandably pushing customers to upgrade sooner rather than later – which is a good thing.

However, it’s important to consider Aesop’s fable, remember why the tortoise wins, and consider that a patient strategy – one that doesn’t hurry customers to make the switch – has its merits, too.

Now that we’re past the Stop Sell deadline, Partners and end-customers will soon start to realise that traditional broadband products – PSTN, ADSL, data-only fibre to the cabinet products etc. – can no longer be ordered (with the exception of TalkTalk’s MPF technologies), which may significantly impact Channel growth strategies and end-customers scaling their services.

“The Stop Sell will have certainly led to panic in some sales teams, experiencing the real-world impact of the Switch Off for the first time as they try to place an order while systems, portals, APIs and checkers simply won’t allow them.” Paul Smith, Chief Sales Officer, TalkTalk Wholesale Services.

The clock is now ticking towards the next significant (and final) milestone – December 31st, 2025 – when businesses will need to have their future-proof connectivity in place before those circuits are deactivated for good.

This massive commercial opportunity has been discussed at great length in the Channel and some resellers are ahead of the game, converting their bases as we speak. However, others are finding that customers just don’t need FTTP for the time being. They don’t want to convert to IP voice either and that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially when TalkTalk Wholesale Services Partners don’t have to.

“It’s not always a quick process. End customers are focused on running their business, keeping customers happy and the operation profitable. They’re not necessarily considering if the technology is working for them, as it’s not their key priority unless something isn’t working.” Smith

Given TalkTalk Wholesale Services’ private Backhaul and fully unbundled MPF lines, these products are still available to the Channel for years to come. Ultimately though, one day customers will require FTTP and IP-Voice services to stay connected, but not until Full Fibre is more widely available throughout the UK, which will take a considerable amount of time. Customers may also have concerns around price – whether an FTTP connection offers greater value for money, the complexity of switching now and upgrading voice services simultaneously – or one of so many other challenges that mean now isn’t the right time.

Paul Smith

“Pressuring customers to invest in new services, especially when the cost of doing business is soaring is counterintuitive. From the customer’s perspective, forcing what they believe is unnecessary change may push them away to other providers instead of building trust.” Smith

The danger here is bombarding customers with the push to upgrade, frustrating them to the point where they look elsewhere – and that’s not a scenario any reseller wants to feel forced into because there’s simply no other option.

So, why rush end customers? They should have the choice of going down the Full Fibre/ SoGEA + IP-voice route now, or MPF for the time being until they have a more pressing desire to invest in the switch.

And it’s not just end-customers that can benefit from taking a slower pace…

“Our Partners are breathing a sigh of relief now they have another option that they didn’t realise was available. Plus, it’s not taking that drive towards FTTP away; it’s just delaying until it’s right for the Partner and the customer.” Smith

Having an alternative to FTTP has been a massive benefit for some resellers. It takes a long time to make such a significant change to an entire customer base and can be incredibly resource-heavy to upgrade customers en masse – from marketing to deployment, there are a lot of steps - the rollout plans for the partner may be too expensive right now, or they’re unable to move quick enough.

“It’s worth reminding ourselves that the tortoise wins the race in Aesop’s classic fable. There’s no use hurrying customers when a more considered and patient approach can stand resellers in far better stead in the coming years.

Just keep the benefits clear and concise while staying away from fostering any fearmongering or overpromising. Ensure they know when the deadline is, and they understand that, as we approach 2025, the greater demand will be which will potentially cause delays.” Smith

If you want to know more about Stop-Sell-proof MPF connectivity from TalkTalk Wholesale Services, contact your Account Manager or visit to learn more.

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