Connectivity is vital for a care home, enabling residents to stay in touch with their loved ones and ensuring staff can fulfil their jobs efficiently. We recently spoke with Jon Anderton, Managing Director of Cambridge Telecom, about the upcoming switch off of the public switched telephone network, which is due to take place next year and why, if your care home hasn’t already taken action, now is the time to start.  

Please introduce our readers to Cambridge Telecom and the aim of the company.

Telecommunications have undergone significant changes over the years, driven by advancements in technology, evolving consumer demands, and regulatory changes. Something that we pride ourselves on is that we have evolved our clients’ telecoms with these changes to ensure they stay connected and continue growing effectively.

Cambridge Telecom started providing mobile phone services to business customers in 2006 with the simple idea that we would put our customers first and always advise on the best solution, even if it wasn’t ours! We’re proud to say some of our very first customers are still with us today. Since then, our range of products has expanded, and we now provide mobile, hosted voice, broadband, leased-line and IoT solutions. We can accommodate all our customers’ communication needs, meaning they only have to deal with one point of contact. 

In 2025, public switched telephone network (PSTN) will switch off, so all customers will be moved to a fully digital network. How can Cambridge Telecom assist with this?
The Switch Off refers to the replacement of copper telephone lines with faster and more reliable fibre lines. This means that traditional broadband connectivity will no longer be supported, and users will need to switch to fibre connections. Additionally, telephone lines will transition to IP Voice technology. There are many hosted IP-Voice solutions on the market, and we concentrate on four different solutions each of which is well-priced, offers great functionality and world-class up-time.

The move to a fully digital network can seem daunting for those who are not knowledgeable on the details, but we offer peace of mind as we have a lot of experience of smoothly transitioning a site from traditional comms to a hosted IP-Voice solution.  We aim to be an affordable choice for everyone and we have a depth of experience with care homes, their budgets, their priorities and providing the right solution.

Tell us about how telecoms has changed over the years and the importance of care homes relying on a supplier to ensure they don’t fall behind.

Telecoms has evolved from traditional landline systems to digital and wireless technologies. The emergence of mobile phones and the subsequent development of smartphones revolutionised communication, allowing people to communicate on the go and easily. Additionally, the advent of broadband internet has transformed how people access information and communicate, enabling faster data transmission and multimedia content delivery.

Improvements in connectivity – whether that be 4G, 5G, fibre broadband or affordable leased line – has allowed new products to improve the way we communicate. The solutions available to care homes from resident’s Wi-Fi, streaming services and Person Centred Software, supporting Operations, NHS Engagement and Medication Management, are all now possible due to improvements in the speed and robustness of modern connectivity. 

The speed of change and the on-going service requirements means that an end user either needs to have an in-house team managing their systems or a trusted supplier who will always pick up the phone and sort out any issues quickly. 

As telecom providers for almost 20 years, what sets you and your work apart?

We’re proud to say 19 of our first 20 clients still work with us, and the 20th has retired. Our aim is to provide the solution that works for the end user; we answer the phone and quickly solve any headaches, and we proactively look for both improvements and cost-savings. We pride ourselves on not overcomplicating it, we serve a purpose and we offer advice to whoever needs it – communicating what is happening.