Landlines are going digital

Digital Landline Switchover Timeline

  1. Telecom industry announced its intention to close the PSTN in 2025
  2. Openreach consultation on WLR withdrawal launched
  3. The 12 month countdown timer has begun until the UK nationwide Stop Sell of traditional landline phone services comes into force.
  4. 6 months until the UK nationwide Stop Sell of traditional landline phone services comes into force.
  5. 3 months until the UK nationwide Stop Sell of traditional landline phone services comes into force.
  6. A UK nationwide Stop Sell of traditional landline phone services is now in place. Communication providers will contact customers letting them know when they will be migrated to a digital landline.
  7. The traditional landline phone service (PSTN/WLR) is now closed

Today’s fixed line telephone system, or what is referred to as the PSTN or WLR is outdated and needs upgrading. The telecommunications industry are leading on a nationwide change to move from the current network to an Internet based voice network, knows as VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol.

Working with government, organisations and industries across the board the current PSTN network will be closed in December 2025. A nationwide stop sell of new voice services using the PSTN phone network will come into force in September 2023.

This means between now and 2025 you need to take action to be prepared and ready to be moved onto the new Internet, VoIP, based voice service by your communication provider.

Things you can do to be prepared…

Alternative Ways To Communicate Or Supply Power

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Internet/VoIp systems rely on your mains power as it’s needed to power your router so the Internet connection can be established. The old PSTN system carried 50 volts down the copper line along with the analogue phone signal and the power was supplied down it from batteries and generators from your local exchange. As you move off the PSTN system you will no longer be able to power your household corded phones from the power supplied down the copper phone line.

In order to be able to use the Digital phone when there’s a power-cut you will need a Battery Backup or UPS.

Communication Providers may offer you a free battery backup unit that can last at least an hour if you are deemed vulnerable*. Otherwise you can purchase a battery backup or UPS device online.

It is also advised to make sure you have an alternative method of making a call if there is a power outage such as using a mobile phone. Some communication providers also have hybrid household phone handsets that can automatically switch between connecting to your router and the mobile network.

*OFCOM’s guidance on battery backup/UPS units: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0016/123118/guidance-emergency-access-power-cut.pdf?fbclid=IwAR22sAinVTEFeY9JymHPBL3r0dhxjrdb6WWLny5xdXPdb37e1vHS3NBeDh8

Upgrade Alarms, Lifelines And Other Connected Devices


If you have any device such as an alarm, monitoring devices or a Telecare system that connects to the traditional copper telephone line then you will need to contact the company that supplies you with this service to inform them that your telephone line is being upgraded to an new Internet Protocol based service.

In order for these devices to continue to work they may need to be upgraded so they are compatible or use an alternative method to communicate, for example switching to use the mobile network instead or connecting via WiFi.

If you know you have devices that may be affected it’s best to get these sorted now before you are moved onto the new Internet based (VoIP) voice service.

Your Handsets Will Connect To Your Router Not The Wall Sockets

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Once moved onto your communication providers Internet based (VoIP) voice service, your existing handsets will need to be plugged into your router. Your extension telephone wall sockets will no longer work. You will also need a broadband connection but communication providers may provide a lite connection just for the digital landline service to work.

Some communication providers may supply you a new router that you will have to use in order for the voice service to work. Also some may offer devices or service specific handsets that allows you to wirelessly connect to the voice service without having to plug the handset into the back of your router.

Your communication provider will provide you with information in how to get it working.

WHAT ABOUT PHONE ONLY CUSTOMERS?

As mentioned a broadband connection is required but communication providers have been given lots of options including low bandwidth broadband services just for the Internet/Digital Voice based service to work. So communication providers will switch current phone only customers onto one of these services. You will then get some kind of router that you can then plug your phone into to enable your phones to work.

Age UK have provided some handy guidance around this and are working with communication providers as they rollout this out.

Local Area Code

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When making a local call, you will now need to dial the area code too. If you forget you will likely get an automated message stating to redial with the area code.

WHY LANDLINE PHONE SERVICES ARE GOING DIGITAL…


Maintenance. Global Decline In Spare Parts

The current PSTN we use today is no longer maintainable. There are lack of spare parts and knowledge as this technology has dramatically declined around the world.

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Enabler For Move To Full Fibre

The UK is shifting to Full Fibre (FTTP) and moving to VoIP/Internet based voice services enables this.

The UK government wants 85% of the UK having gigabit and full fibre broadband services available by 2026. 100% by 2030.

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New Possibilities And Future Proofing

Moving to VoIP/Internet based voice services allows integrations with modern day systems providing more opportunities and features such as simultaneous multi calls, high definition audio and more advanced calling features. It can also mean reduced costs too.

Recent posts

LATEST SOCIAL POSTS

Landlines Go Digital
Landlines Go Digital4 days ago
UK landlines are going digital by December 2025
BT is rolling out Digital Voice, its new home phone service
Want to know more?
Drop in events will be at Co-op Llanrwst on 22 & 23 April & Bayview Shopping Centre Colwyn Bay on 24 & 25 April, 10am - 4pm

https://bit.ly/3U0zdVl
Landlines Go Digital
Landlines Go Digital2 weeks ago
As part of the switch to digital landlines, BT are visiting Cardiff to tell you what Digital Voice is, why the change is necessary, and what it means for you.

More info here: https://www.bt.com/help/landline/digital-voice-phones
Landlines Go Digital
Landlines Go Digital2 weeks ago
As the telephone industry upgrades from analogue to digital landlines, Age Cymru is warning older people to be wary of rogue traders trying to take advantage of the switchover. The change will see calls made over a broadband line instead of the old analogue network, which is becoming increasingly unreliable.

For most customers, all aspects of the switchover will be free of charge with no home installation work required. If customers require additional support with set up, they will be contacted by their telephone provider.

Age Cymru therefore warns that if somebody offers to carry out work relating to the switchover, in return for some form of payment, it’s likely to be a scam that should be reported to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

People can also check with their telephone provider about what work is or isn’t taking place in their area. However, if anyone feels threatened or in any danger from a rogue trader they should call the police as soon as possible.

Age Cymru’s chief executive Victoria Lloyd says “It’s such a shame that we must warn older people to be on their guard in relation to the digital switchover as this is something that should improve people’s experiences of phone services.

“We’ve been told that lines will be clearer, which will help those who are hard of hearing. There’ll be a facility to enable three party lines which will help people to have mini group chats with friends and family and thereby help reduce loneliness. And there’ll be increased protection against unwanted marketing or nuisance calls.

“However, given our experience of how rogue traders work we want to forearm older people so they can avoid potentially expensive and emotionally damaging scams and instead take full advantage of the new phone services without any unnecessary fears.”

Understanding the digital switchover process

BT, the biggest supplier of landlines in Wales, is holding dozens of events across the country to advise customers face-to-face about the switch. Other phone providers may also be organising similar events.

Age Cymru understands that for most customers, digital switchover will simply involve connecting your home phone handset to a router rather than the phone socket on the wall. And for BT customers, if you don’t have the correct router, they will send you one completely free of charge.

At this stage, BT will be writing to all their customers to make them aware of the changes, and following up with those who are ready and eligible to make the switch. BT will not be switching customers who may have difficulty making the change just yet and will give these customers additional support when the time comes.

If you think you’ll have a problem with the transition, think you are vulnerable, or use a healthcare alarm connected to your landline, please contact your phone provider and tell them. If anyone uses a personal healthcare alarm, they should also check with their suppliers that they have everything they need prior to the switchover.

BT customers who are ready and eligible to make the switch will be contacted four weeks before making the move to ensure they have everything they need.

While BT are by far the biggest provider of telephone services in Wales, this is an industry-wide change and other telephone providers are managing their own switchover process so contact your provider to understand how the change will affect you.

For more information visit www.agecymru.org.uk/digital-switchover
Landlines Go Digital
Landlines Go Digital3 weeks ago
Got a question about the #DigitalSwitchover to Digital Voice?

Visit BT's Digital Voice team at:

🗓️3 April (10-2pm)
📍Riverside Library & Cafe, Swan Square #Haverfordwest

🗓️3-4 April (10-4pm)
📍Red Square (by Waterstones), High Street #Abergavenny

🗓️3-4 April (10-4pm)
📍Morrisons Newtown, Pool Road #Newtown

🗓️5 April (10-4pm)
📍Morrisons Welshpool, Berriew Street #Welshpool

🗓️5 & 8 April (10-4pm)
📍Co-op Pentrebach, Brown Street, Pentrebach #MerthyrTydfil

🗓️8-9 April (10-4pm)
📍Dolgellau Library, Bala Road #Dolgellau

For more info 👇
Landlines Go Digital
Landlines Go Digital4 weeks ago
From next week and throughout April 2024 @bt_uk's Digital Voice team will be touring #Wales.

So if you want to know more about the #DigitalSwitchover to Digital Voice, why not visit one of their events👇

No need to pre-book, just turn up.

https://www.bt.com/broadband/digital-voice/events

For more information on BT's Digital Voice visit: https://www.bt.com/digitalvoice
Landlines Go Digital
Landlines Go Digital4 weeks ago
Got a question about the #DigitalSwitchover to Digital Voice?

Visit BT's Digital Voice team at:

🗓️25-26 March (10-4pm)
📍Winnersh Garden Centre, 656 Reading Road, Winnersh, Wokingham #Reading

🗓️25-26 March (10-4pm)
📍Squires Garden Centre, London Road, Washington, Pulborough #Worthing

🗓️27 March (10-4pm)
📍Hillier Garden Centre Chichester, Main Road #Chichester

🗓️27 March (9-1pm)
📍Henley Library, Ravenscroft Road, Henley-on-Thames #Oxford

🗓️28 March (10-4pm)
📍Crawley Garden Centre, Copthorne Road, Copthorne #Crawley

🗓️28 March (9-4pm)
📍Henley Library, Ravenscroft Road, Henley-on-Thames #Oxford

More info 👇