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Preparing for the Landline Telephone Digital Switchover: What You Need to Know

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What is the Landline Telephone Digital Switchover?

As most of you will be aware, the UK's telephone network is transitioning from analogue to digital technology. By 2025, all landline calls will be made using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which relies on a broadband connection.

Why is This Happening?

The upgrade is necessary because the old analogue system is outdated and costly to maintain. The digital switchover will provide more reliable and modern telephone services.

Will it Affect Me?

If you use your landline for calls or have telecare devices (e.g., fall monitors, lifelines, personal alarms), fire alarms, or burglar alarms connected to your phone line, the switch to digital will affect you.

What Do I Need to Do?

1. Stay Informed: Wait for your provider to inform you about the change.
2. Check with Service Providers: If you depend on a landline or have devices connected to it, contact your service provider to understand how the switch will affect you and whether any upgrades are needed if they have not been in touch.
3. Prepare for the Change: The transition might be as simple as connecting your phone to your broadband router instead of the wall socket, but understanding the process and how it affects you will help lessen the worry.

Do I Need Broadband?

Yes, after the switchover, you will need a broadband connection to use a landline phone. Providers are expected to offer various options, ensuring you won't need an expensive high-speed package if you don't want one.

Power Cut Concerns

VoIP phones need power, so they will not work during power cuts like traditional phones do. If you rely solely on your landline, your provider must ensure you can contact emergency services during a power cut. This might include providing a battery backup or a basic mobile phone for emergencies.

For more information, please contact your telecommunications provider to understand how the digital switchover will specifically affect you and the services you use.

Still unsure and want to find out more; additional information and advice can be found here:

Local Government Association Digital Switchover Hub

Public Switched Telephone Network Charter

Ofcom

Read CAN’s first report about the Digital Switchover and the effect on rural communities here.