The telephone network in the UK will change technology in the next few years. Openreach plan to stop the public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) in 2025 starting in cities.
Every phone line in the UK will be digital, routing calls over Internet Protocol (IP). All landlines will use broadband to make calls. The new system is called Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).
If you don’t already have broadband, your network provider (BT, Plusnet etc) will supply you with a connection. (You should not have to pay extra) Your telephone service provider will contact you in advance to let you know when the change will happen. If you already have broadband, your existing phone will connect into your router, usually with an adapter (provided by the company). In most case you will be able to keep your current phone number.
It is surprising that this major change is receiving so little publicity.
This is a new opportunity for scammers. Beware of cold callers. They may well be attempting to rob you. Do NOT trust anyone who comes to your door to check or upgrade your phone line. They are probably not who they seem. Do not let them in your house.
Customers who currently have Fibre To The Premised (FTTP) such as Gigaclear users already have this technology directly to their home.
Customers who have Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC) still have systems that work over old copper wires from the cabinet (In North Nibley, this is at the bottom of Warren Hill). Your connection will consist of several/many short lengths of pairs of copper wire connected together.
If you use WhatsApp, Zoom or Skype to make calls then you are already using VOIP. A growing number of broadband routers now come with the equivalent of a built-in ATA adapter, which allows you to plug your old analogue or DECT phone directly into the back of the router.
For more information See Ofcom notice
Please note that your telephone will not work during a power cut.
Please note that after the changeover your telephone will not work during a power cut. Your provider may provide a small rechargeable battery pack giving < 2 hours to power the router at a cost.
See this article for options to get around this problem.
also this article, para 2.13/2 has this - The minimum duration of the back-up facility should be 1 hour.
If you have a mobile phone and can get a signal you can always use that, but that is not an option in parts of the parish.
Many people now rely on their mobile phone and have ditched their home phone.
If you have Gigaclear then you can consider doing away with your landline altogether. More of this at a later date.
Before you change to a digital landline, let your provider know if:
At present, if you want to use VOIP now you will not be able to call old landlines or mobile phones without subscribing to a connection service such as Vonage from £7 per month. This may allow you to keep your old landline number. However this is cheaper than a landline charge, currently £25+ per month. See this Vonage website
If you have a Gigaclear connection, you may have this service for £9 per month and there is an option to keep your old number.
See also this website
More info later