WLR withdrawal

WLR Withdrawal Banners

In April 2018 BT signalled its plans to close the Public Switched Telephone Network (the PSTN) by the end of 2025. A number of our products (including WLR3 analogue) are reliant on the PSTN.

Why WLR is being withdrawn?

  • Openreach plans to invest in fibre infrastructure rather than further invest in a new version of the PSTN
  • Investment is already underway where broadband rather than voice will be the primary service
  • Global trend amongst telcos transitioning to support All IP delivery of voice
  • The PSTN supports a significant volume of voice services and will reach the end of its life in 2025
  • Future voice will be delivered over all IP networks (internet based)

Impacted products

Impacted products collectively referred to as Wholesale Line Rental:

  • WLR3 analogue
  • ISDN 2
  • ISDN 30
  • LLU SMPF
  • SLU SMPF
  • Narrowband Line Share and Classic

Key dates

  • September 2023 – restriction of WLR3 new supply
  • April 2025 - orphaned assets phase
  • December 2025 – Close WLR platform

What’s Openreach doing?

We’re working with Ofcom, Communications Providers, the OTA2 (Office of the Telecommunications Adjudicator), the NICC (Network Interoperability Consultative Committee) and trade bodies to manage specific elements to minimise:

  • end customer disruption – defining vulnerable end customers to keep them connected
  • impact on special services, such as alarm lines, traffic lights, ATM and health monitoring devices

We’re also improving number portability to make it simple for people to keep their phone numbers.

The schedule of forthcoming sessions is available on this page. Please note that you'll need your Openreach portal ID and password.


Information downloads

Coming soon Fact Sheet Video FAQs Newsletter - Issue 1

Additional information

The links on this web page are designed to summarise all information that has been previously shared with industry and provide regular updates from working group sessions. You'll need to login to your Portal account to access the page.